"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'God, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
...You see that [Abraham's] faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
...As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
Scripture tells us over and over that we are saved (from eternal damnation) through grace (from Christ's death on the cross) by faith and that works don't save us. If we want to get to Heaven, we have to believe that Jesus Christ died once and for all as atonement for our sin (Romans 10:9, John 3:16, Hebrews 9:27-28). But what happens once we have secured our salvation? Are we to sit tight and wait to die or for Jesus to suck us up?
1. Do you believe you can be saved and go to Heaven without having any deeds/fruit on earth reflecting your change of heart?
2. James said Abraham's faith and actions were working together. What is a modern day example of our faith and actions working together?
3. Abraham's faith, according to James, was "made complete" by what he did (his actions). What does it mean for our faith to be made complete?
4. Think about your week. In what ways have you shown your faith by your actions?
5. Think again about your week. In what ways have your actions contradicted your faith?
Pray this week for God to encourage you to put your faith into action. Consciously watch for opportunities to do so. You don't have to go out of your way to feed the homeless or save orphans and widows. You can put your faith into action by speaking gently to your children, doing something generous for a neighbor, or even doing a chore for your spouse that you usually leave to them.