Devotions for June 23, 2017

JAMES 2:14-26

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[a] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[b] He was even called the friend of God.[c] 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath,[d] so also faith is dead without good works.

FAITH + WORKS= SPIRITUAL FRUIT

The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved from our slavery to sin by grace through faith. As Jonah puts it, “Salvation belongs to the LORD.” Jesus purchased this for us on the cross, and He paid dearly to do so. This passage teaches that if we have real faith, then it will produce the fruit of good works.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Q: According to verse 22, what made Abraham’s faith complete (that is, what showed that his faith in God was real)?

Q: In what ways can you show others that you have been saved by Jesus’ radical grace by engaging in good works?

Q: With whom can you share the good news of Jesus’ finished work on the cross for the washing away of sins?

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