James 2:17 - Converted in Thought and Deed.
James 2:17 (NKJV) Thus also faith by itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:17 (NLT) So you see, faith by itself
isnt enough. Unless it produces good deeds, 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
We cannot earn our salvation by serving and
obeying God. But such actions show that our
commitment to God is real. Deeds of loving service are
not a substitute for, but rather a verification
of, our faith in Christ. [Life Application SB]
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
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
There is a vast difference between
intellectual belief and the total conversion that saves
the soul. To be sure, there must be a change in
our thinking and intellectual acceptance of
But beyond intellectual and emotional
experience, Christ demands a change in the way you live.
Certainly there will be a change in the elements that
make up emotion when you come to Christ - hate
and love will be involved, because you will
begin to hate sin and love righteousness. Your
affections will undergo a revolutionary change. Your
devotion to Him will know no bounds. Your love for
Him cannot be described.
Even if you have an intellectual
acceptance of Christ and an emotional experience, that
still is not enough. There must be the conversion
of the will! There must be that determination
to obey and follow Christ. Our main desire must
be to please Him. It is a total commitment to
Jesus Christ, who takes up residence in your heart
through His Holy Spirit.
Is your faith expressed through your
will? [Peace for Each Day by Billy Graham]
"Get in the Wheelbarrow"
The Great Blondin, probably the Evel
Knievel of his day, was notorious for his
incredible, death-defying acts. On one occasion, he
strung a tightrope across the Niagara Falls. As a
crowd gathered, he stood before them and said,
"How many of you believe that I, the Great
Blondin, can walk across this tightrope to the other
They all said, "We believe! We believe!"
So he walked across the tightrope and came back
again. The people applauded, thrilled by his
Then he said, "How many of you believe
that I, the Great Blondin, can not only walk back
across that tightrope, but this time do it while I
push a wheelbarrow?"
"We believe!" they yelled louder, wanting
to see him do this.
Then he said, "How many of you really
"Oh, we really believe it!" they shouted
back. One man was yelling a little bit louder than
all the others, so the Great Blondin pointed to
him and said, "Then get in the wheelbarrow." The
man quickly disappeared.
That's how a lot of people are today.
We'll say, "I believe! I believe!" But how many
are truly willing to get into God's wheelbarrow,
so to speak? Some people have a pseudofaith but
not real belief as the Bible would require. It
is, therefore, of the greatest importance that
we know what true faith is. The book of James
points out there is such a thing as a phony or dead
faith. And any declaration of faith that does not
result in a changed life and good works is a false
declaration. It is faith alone that justifies. But faith
that justifies can never be alone. [Every Day
with Jesus by Greg Laurie re vss. 14-17]
Real Faith is More Than What You Feel
Right now its estimated that over 40
million people in the United States are unemployed.
Some of them need food. Some of them are
wondering how theyll pay their rent or mortgage.
And they need to know that theyre not
forgotten, that they can count on others for support.
Its not enough to just tell them how
sorry we are for their circumstances. Or to send
out a tweet with a pious clich.
Empathy isnt enough. They need real
James says real faith is more than well
wishes. Imagine if you walked up to someone in a
food line and said, Hey, I feel for you. Hang
in there. Cheer up. Don't worry, be happy.
Doesnt that ring hollow in such desperate
circumstances? They dont just need your words; they need
Genuine faith is practical. It gets
involved in peoples needs.
Jesus demonstrated this kind of faith. He
didnt just empathize with our pain and
predicament. He came to earth to do something about the
sin that separated us from God.
1 John 3:16 says, Suppose someone has
enough to live and sees a brother or sister in
need, but does not help. Then Gods love is not
living in that person (NCV).
Your response to the pain of the people
in your community will show the world what you
believe. For instance, at Saddleback Church, weve
launched drive-thru food pantries. With just one of
those we were able to feed 840 families in one
day. Your church may already be doing something
similar but imagine what would happen if every
congregation did this right now.
Genuine faith produces compassion. It
says, I will help you with your burden and show
you the love of Christ. Our faith is seen by
what we do. [Daily Devotional by Rick Warren:
https://pastorrick.com/devotional/ re vss. 15-17.]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY
James 2:17 - Faith and Works.
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT