James 2:17 - Faith and Works.

James 2:17 " Faith and Works.

James 2:17 (KJV) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, 
being alone. 

James 2:17 (NLT) So you see, it isn't enough just to have faith. 
Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all - it 
is dead and useless. 

James 2:17 (AMP) So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds 
and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of 
power (inoperative, dead).  


   As you read these verses, you may become a bit confused. "I 
thought all I needed was faith to be saved. Now I'm reading that faith 
alone doesn't save me?" As you study the Bible, remember that God 
never contradicts himself. Don't take a verse out of context; instead, 
examine it in the context of the passage and the entire Bible.  
   Paul wrote: "We are made right with God through faith and not 
by obeying the law" (Romans 3:28). James says we are "shown to be 
right with God by what we do, not by faith alone" (James 2:24,). The 
two are not contradictory. True saving faith will manifest itself in 
a life of good works. Faith is what is required to get into God's 
kingdom. But true faith never stands alone. It always produces a changed 
life. Now, your life will not change to perfection overnight. In fact, 
this side of heaven, you'll never attain perfection. But now that 
Christ has given you new life in him, you will continue to grow in your 
desire to please him more and your sinful nature less. Good works will 
flow naturally from your life in Christ. [The One Year Bible for New 
Believers re Jam. 2:14-24] 


Our Lord taught and modeled faith that does good deeds, and Paul 
also affirmed the need for good deeds (Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 2:10; 
1 Thessalonians 1:3). Christians are to endure testing and 
temptations, receive wisdom, inherit the Kingdom, pray for the sick, receive 
forgiveness, and rescue the wanderer (James 1:3, 13-14; 2:5; 5:15, 20). All 
of these things can be understood as "faith expressing itself in 
love" (Galatians 5:6). [One Year NLT SB re vss. 14-26] 

Genuine faith will naturally produce good works; the two 
complement each other. When someone truly believes in a cause, that belief 
will change the way that person lives The reality is that if you 
have faith, works will naturally be a product Just as an apple 
tree will bear apples, so faith will produce good works (see Luke 
6:43, 44) Faith and works are not enemies. True faith and righteous 
works go hand in hand. They are two parts of Gods work in us. Faith 
brings a person to salvation, and works bring that person to 
faithfulness. Faith is the cause, works are the effect. [Nelson SB] 

   The Old Testament twice refers to Abraham as God's friend - 2 
Chronicles 20:7 and Isaiah 41:8 - and it's an unusual designation. Not many 
people in Scripture are said to be friends with God. But James points 
to Abraham's relationship with God as an example for us. The 
invitation into friendship with God is open to anyone. We can enter into 
that friendship by doing what Abraham did.  
   What did Abraham do? He believed God, and he acted on his 
belief. Those who emphasize obedience live as if God wants an army of 
robotic servants around Him. But that isn't a scriptural message. It's 
possible to go so far in the other direction that we live as if God only 
wants us to mentally acknowledge Him, but that isn't a scriptural 
message either. What does God really want in our relationship with Him? 
Faith that works its way outward in our lives. Faith that results in 
fruit. Believers who believe so thoroughly that they do something about 
what they believe. That's what cultivates friendship with God.  
   When we become friends with God, we grow to be like Him. That 
means not only that we hear His words and do them, but also that our 
hearts and minds learn to think, feel, and act like Him. We develop a 
bond that goes well beyond simply following instructions. We become 
united with Him in purpose and mission and methods. [The One Year 
Hearing His Voice Devotional by Chris Tiegreen re vs. 23] 

   Hebrews 11 is sometimes called The Roll Call of Faith. 
The individuals listed took action that demonstrated their faith. 
While studying Hebrews 11, however, you may notice that a faithful 
life does not always bring the same results in human terms. 
   Verses 33"35a describe the victory and deliverance some 
people of faith experienced. Verses 35b"38 describe the torture, 
mockery, and death other people of faith experienced. Were some more 
faithful than the others? No. They obtained a good testimony through 
faith (Heb 11:39). They decided a Well done! from their Master 
was more important than life itself. Verse 40 explains that God has 
planned something far better for people of faith than the world has to 
   The outward appearance of success does not always indicate 
faith, and the outward appearance of failure does not always indicate 
that faith is lacking. A faithful servant is one who does what his 
Master tells him, whatever the outcome may be. As our example, we need 
only to consider Jesus who endured the cross; but now He is seated 
near the very throne of God! What a reward for His faithfulness! Do 
not grow weary in being faithful. A reward is awaiting faithful 
servants. [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby] 


   Im a big Green Bay Packers fan. Every year I follow their 
games enthusiastically, hoping they will make it to the Super Bowl and 
win big! But this morning I got to thinking, What if the sports 
announcer started the season by saying, "Let's hear it for the Green Bay 
Packers, our new Super Bowl champions!" Sure, I'd be excited for about 
three seconds, and then I'd say, "But wait ... they didn't do 
   Holding the trophy without playing the game or taking the 
journey wouldn't mean as much, would it? In fact, the victory is not at 
the end of the journey, but in the midst of the journey. God wants 
us to experience the joy of carrying that ball into the end zone. 
   As those who have pledged their faith in God, we already know 
how the "season" will end. We know we have already been given the 
gift of salvation, and we have been assured that victory is already 
ours. However, God has entrusted us with talents, time, and treasures, 
and he has asked us to go the distance to prove to ourselves what he 
already knows - we are winners. He also wants us to help those who are 
still struggling on the field. 
   Thank you, Father, for letting me peek into the future and 
see the final score! Thank you as well for giving me the privilege 
of playing the game and being part of the big win! In Jesus' name, 
Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional by John & Johnny Baker] 

Faith and works are like two oars of a boat.  To get somewhere 
they must work together, either one alone without the other will 
result in going nowhere but in a circle and ending up nowhere.  [Pastor 
James Hayward, IN Campmeeting, 1989] 

Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The 
coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not 
valid if detached from works. [Ryrie SB re vs 24] 


The illustration of false faith in verse 15 and 16 is parallel 
to the illustration of false love found in 1Jn 3:17. The latter 
passage calls for love in action; this one calls for faith in action. 


A workless faith is a worthless faith. [Ryrie SB]


Most Important Decision in Life: 

Importance of Choice: 
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]  

Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782

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