Friday, 2 September 2022
“So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.” -James 2:12
Just faith in Christ is not the sole aspect of being a Christian. If one claims to have faith there are certain other features that is expected to be seen in us in our Christian walk. Faith must work, it must produce and it must be visible. Verbal faith is not enough; mental faith is insufficient—faith in Christ must inspire us into action!
In this epistle, James stresses the importance of true faith in practical everyday life for believers. In today’s reading he highlights two faces of faith that each of us as disciples of Christ must possesses for the world to put their faith in Christ.
In a world that is divided by its race, religion, riches and colour, our churches are not any different. Very often the churches forget that “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for all of us are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28). Though the first century Christians claimed they had faith, their actions displayed prejudices and favoritism—these cannot co-exist. Jesus when He walked on the earth never treated any one who came to him differently. He died for all mankind opening heaven to all who would put their faith in him. If this is so, who are we to treat the poor who are rich in faith differently (V. 5). We are called to love our fellow brethren in church equally. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Is this what is practiced in our churches today? If not we have sinned and have broken the law (vs 9). May we repent and ask the Holy Spirit to pour His love into our hearts.
Faith displays itself in works. Faith without works cannot be called faith. Faith is more than mere words and knowledge; it is: “What you do When you have to do it.” James here talks about 2 kinds of works that is an outcome of faith:
Works towards fellow man: James speaks of the importance of a Christian’s response toward the needs of another Christian brother/sister in the rest of the chapter. This is a responsibility placed on us. If the need of the hour is physical, emotional or financial support, we cannot walk away from that place after saying a prayer on how God can take care. That is faith without works and that is dead! God will expect us to be His hands, heart and legs and do what He would do if He were there.
Works towards God: What set apart Abraham distinctively from others that gave him the title of “Father of Faith” was his obedience. He proved he had faith by obeying the One who called him. So did Rahab, and she is privileged to be in the genealogy of Jesus all because of her obedience to the God of Israel. If we claim that we have put our faith in God, it needs to be demonstrated in our implicit obedience to the Word. In Hebrews 11, we meet the faith heroes of the past who stood out among the many through the ages because of their response to God’s word. Today if you and I claim to be people who have faith in Jesus Christ, how quick are we to obey Him?
In the words of Francis Chan: “True Faith Manifest Itself Through Our Actions.”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, You demonstrated Your love by laying down Your life for me. As I put my faith in You, work in me and show Your love through me to others. Amen.