Faith That Works

You see that a person is justified by works, and not by faith alone. James 2:24

 

Do you ever wonder/worry that you’re not doing enough work for God?

As I understand James 2:24 (above), James does not deny that we are saved by faith alone. The point he makes is that if there are no works, then there is no faith. What we say is proven by what we do. Just before this (James 2:17) he said, “So also, faith by itself, is dead.” Dead faith is no faith.

We are told in scripture that there are “varieties of gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:4-5) and a “variety of services,” but we all serve the same Lord. Every Christian has some gift(s) and every Christian is assigned, by God, some service to others.

Recent teaching pointed out that Jesus said something about this that is often missed (and I am sure I am one who missed it). In Matthew 22 a Pharisaic lawyer asked Him what the great command in the law is. Jesus answered him like this, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

What is missed is that the two commands are alike, equal in their importance. It is as necessary for us to love our neighbors as it is for us to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind!

As Christians we are all fine with loving God and studying His word, going to church, and listening to sermons. Most of us are willing to fill our hearts and minds with all we can of Christ so that we are assured of our salvation and how much He loves us.

But, what about works? What about loving our neighbor?

There was a little video on Facebook recently of a long line of pick-up trucks hauling their Bass boats down to Houston to rescue people stranded in their flooded homes. We had recently heard about the “Cajun Army” that does just that, shows up with their boats wherever the flood waters rise in America. (I have no idea if the group in the video was the Cajun Army.)

These men risk their trucks, their boats, and their lives to love their neighbor in emergency situations.

These kinds of things always make me ask, “What am I doing?”

Well, many do not have a boat, but we have other assignments in the “variety” of things that need to be done for our neighbors who are not in the floods of Texas. We have neighbors with physical needs, with emotional needs, and many with spiritual needs.

Knowing that the command to love our neighbor is as important as the command to love God, what is the next thing we should do?

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2 Comments

  1. Karen Harbster Says:

    Thankful for verses like this and for your desire to blog about them. Today I have been encouraged to think deeply about my works. I am also encouraged to get on my knees and ask the Lord for an awareness of the people around me that need to be loved into His kingdom and just how I can, daily, be a part of God’s perfect plan toward that end.
    Blessed and thankful,
    Karen

  2. admin Says:

    Yes Karen, Examining what we are doing is a great exercise in keeping in the will of God. I pray He gives you clear direction!

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