Faith that Works
This blog was created based off a recent Charis Minute with James Brown.
There were debates among scholars and historians and great church reformers like Martin Luther, the 16th century reformer who called the book James ‘the epistle of straw.’ He said that it lacked the evangelical character and heft of Paul’s epistles.
Why? Because Luther focused on faith, and James seemingly focuses on action—doing something with our faith. Luther felt that it promoted a Christianity of works and not faith.
There is no contradiction between faith and works!
It's not faith or works; it's faith that works. In grace circles, sometimes we find the word ‘works’ to be religious. It just means ‘actions.’ So let’s use the word ‘action’ instead.
In the 2nd chapter, James explains:
If a brother or sister doesn’t have any food or clothing, and you tell them to go in peace and be warmed and filled without giving them anything, what good does it really do him? Was there really any faith there? (Verses 14-15)
Someone may say, “You have faith, and I have actions.” James wisely says, “Show me your faith without your actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions.” (Verse 18)
He gives Abraham as a great example. When Abraham offered up Isaac on the altar, he was demonstrating his faith in God by his actions. He had faith (the root) in his heart that God would not take his son that caused his action (the fruit) of offering up his son. (Verses 21-24)
Anything that we do with our eyes on God is being obedient to Him because faith is the root. Action is the fruit. James is saying, I want you to have a faith that works.
True faith will cause you to act!