False faith - Hope 103.2

False faith

By David ReayTuesday 13 Oct 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read James 2:26

26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works. (NLT)

Followers of Jesus generally know that our faith in who he is and what he has done is to demonstrate itself in doing things he commands. It is not as if we get into God’s good books by being jolly decent people who do good. Our goodness is not good enough for a perfectly good God.

And yet we can get this out of perspective. We can mistakenly believe that mental assent to certain truths about Jesus is all that is needed. But Jesus himself says that not all who verbally acknowledge him will enter heaven: we are to seek to do the will of God. It is a grave misunderstanding to conceive faith as a set of beliefs. Of course it does comprise very important beliefs, but ‘faith’ is really a way of life and a sort of character.

James isn’t saying we have to add some good works to faith in order to be saved. He is saying that good works and faith go naturally together. Faith which has no impact on life is no faith at all. We can recall that when a paralytic man was lowered through the roof of a house so as to be healed by Jesus, Jesus marvelled at their faith. He was not commenting on their intellectual grasp of doctrines. He was remarking on what they actually did.

We might rightly spend time working out or even arguing out our framework of belief. Let’s also spend much time on being the sort of people who believe in a life-changing God.

David Reay