Dead or Alive

How is your faith? What are your works? Do you marry the two of them? Do you consider each of them as one half of a larger whole? Would you consider one to be more important than the other? Does your life reflect your belief?

As Christians we hear and talk a lot about faith. But what is faith and how is it demonstrated? We need to know both the definition of faith and what we are to do with our faith. Our faith cannot be mere believing in God.

We look to Hebrews 11:1 as the definition of faith which says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” That sounds good, but what hope is the author of Hebrews talking about? He is talking about our hope in Jesus Christ and eternal life. We cannot see either at this moment, but we look forward to them.

As we can see by the definition of faith, it is not merely belief that God exists or that Jesus is the Son of God. After all James tells us, “You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (James 2:19) Faith is far more than believing in God.

Our faith must be put into action. As James states in 2:17, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Is it any wonder James asks his rhetorical question in today’s passage? In other places in Scripture, action is called works. When to put together faith and works, we have a very nice reminder in a hyphenated word—faith-works.

A dead faith, or mere belief there is a God, does us no good. We are in no better position to inherit eternal life with God than the demons who also believe He exists. Our faith must be put into action. That doesn’t mean just busy work, but truly working to carry out God’s will. More on that tomorrow.

I pray we all have a faith that includes hope in Jesus Christ. I pray we put our faith into action. I pray each one of us seeks to know God more intimately and abide by His will for our lives. Faith is confidence. Faith is hope. Faith is assurance. Faith is put into action. Faith-works. Put your faith to work.

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

Published by martypressey

Marty is a Pastor, retired Marine and dedicated Christian who has taught adult Bible classes and preached for 20 years. He currently serves as pastor of 3 United Methodist Churches. He believes being well-grounded in the Scriptures is key to living a better life. He brings a layman’s viewpoint to all his classes and sermons, helping others understand how to apply Scripture to their daily lives. When he sees others understand the message of a particular passage, it brings him great joy. He has seen his faith increase exponentially over the years; fully believing God has a plan and is executing it. He feels blessed to be part of that plan.

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