The Role of Works in Faith - Stoic Matchmaker

The Role of Works in Faith

The Role of Works in Faith

September 23, 2022

The Role of Works in Faith

It’s a common misconception that works (meaning our actions) have nothing to do with our faith, and more specifically with our prayers – both answered and unanswered. But actually, the Bible is very clear on this matter, stating that works are an essential part of our faith journey. In James 2:17-26, we see how works in action validate our faith before others.

Let’s take a closer look at this passage to see what it teaches us about the role of works in faith.

Conceptualizing Works in Faith

The book of James is full of faith-related wisdom. In its second chapter, verses 17-26, the titular author addresses the topic of works in faith. He starts by saying, “[…] faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17). 

This is a powerful statement that gets to the heart of the matter. Our faith must be active for it to indeed be alive. But how do we have active faith? 

Works Are Necessary To Validate Our Faith

That’s simple. To have active faith, we must act in the name of and on behalf of our faith. We must work toward the things for which we pray, as well as behave in the world the way that God expects Christians to behave – with kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and love. While works are not a requirement for salvation, they are still essential to our faith journey. 

The 26th verse of James, chapter 2 – and the last verse we reference in the passage cited above, says, “As the body without the spirit is not alive, faith without works is dead.” This puts a fine point on the statement with which we quoted before. It makes it more definite and implies that works are so essential to having and maintaining faith that to not have them is as if to have no soul, therefore having no life or breath.

Works validate our faith before others. When we put our faith into action, it shows that we genuinely believe our God and His ability to answer our prayers. This is how we grow in our faith and become more like Christ.

To put something into God’s hands does not exclude or prevent us from doing our part to make it so. In fact, God expects us to lay the foundation and believe He will be there to do His part in His time.

Putting Our Faith Into Practice

When we serve others, give generously, forgive others, and work toward supplying our own needs as best we can, we are living out our faith and letting others see our hope in Jesus.

Our works don’t earn us salvation, but they are evidence of the transformation that God has worked in our hearts.

As we obey God’s commands and follow His lead, works will naturally flow from our lives. When people see the change in our behavior and attitude, it gives them a glimpse of the power of God at work in us.

So let’s not be afraid of works! Instead, let’s use them to show the world the hope we have in Jesus.

 

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