Sunday, July 31, 2016

Are You Living a Deedless Faith?

(The following post was originally posted a few years ago - it's was worth restudying)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo SundayDeeds_zpshblcchqn.jpg

Are You Living A Deedless Faith?

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well;  keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.'  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  You believe that there is one God, Good!  Even the demons believe that - and shudder. 
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'  and he was called God's friend.  You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."    James 2:14 -26

I'm always quoting the saying "actions speak louder than words."  Today we will be studying our faith in action.

Now, it is true that to be saved all we have to do is believe that Jesus died for our sins and accept God's wonderful gift of eternal freedom through Jesus Christ.  However, what follows this change in belief should and must be a change in our actions.

Let's first look at the meaning of "faith" - "is confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion or view." (Wikipedia)  , "firm belief in something for which there is no proof, belief in something that you cannot see, complete trust" (Merriam-Webster).

When one believes in something with all their heart not only do their thoughts change to follow that belief but their emotions and actions also change.  You are fooling yourself if you say that you have become a Christian but continue living the way you did before that change of faith.  As it says in the verses above:  " by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."  Those people around us see more of who we really are through our actions than what they hear through our words.  Any non Christian is watching you more than listening to you.

I want to clarify - I do NOT believe that you can lose your salvation.  As it says in John 3:16  "..that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  That decision to believe takes a second but our "Christian Walk" takes a lifetime.  We are all sinners, even after we have become a Christian - the difference is that now (as believers) when we sin we acknowledge that sin, we ask for forgiveness, strive to never commit that sin again and try to be more like Jesus in word & in action everyday.

James used two examples from the Old Testament in the verses above.  I want to talk about Abraham & Isaac - If you recall God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Abraham had such trust in God - not understanding why God would ever ask such a thing but trusting & believing that there was a good reason.  Abraham took Isaac to the altar & there God intervened & saved Isaac - Abraham's faith was tested & he passed with flying colors - God called Abraham His friend!!!

There will be hardships and tragedies in our life but we must continue to follow Jesus without understanding why certain things happen.  We might not know the reason for these life problems until we get to heaven but we still must continually act by faith.

Are you living a deedless faith?  Or performing faithless deeds? Instead strive to live a deedful faith.


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