“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”James 2:26
When we read this verse, some could interpret it to mean that one must possess faith and works to receive salvation. On the surface, it seems James stands opposite of Apostle Paul, who said, “We maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the Law” (Rom. 3:28). On the contrary, James agrees with Paul; however, he also states that faith and works are inseparable. He does not advocate that a person can be justified by works apart from faith. Instead, Paul stresses that by faith, we are saved, and James emphasizes that the natural byproduct of our salvation is good works.
Let’s be clear. Doing something nice for someone with a begrudging attitude and disgruntle heart does not equate to a good work, but doing something with a heart of compassion and love in Jesus’s name, that’s a good work indeed. It is important to understand that there is no amount of good works that will earn God’s favor, His forgiveness of sin. The forgiveness of sin can only be received through Jesus Christ, to be cleansed by His shed blood. Therefore, do not be fooled by those who claim the good works are necessary to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Such teaching is not congruent with God’s word.
In summary, faith is how one obtains salvation–to become a Christian, while works are how we demonstrate our Christianity. Therefore, let us strive to employ good works throughout our day, not as a means to try and earn God’s favor, but that He may glorify Himself through us by enabling others to see Jesus working both in and through us to show and tell the gospel to the world.
A Faithful Sower Publishing is a limited liability company that is dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and help guide people into a relationship with God and grow in that relationship. The publisher, editors, and authors achieve that end through prayer and the careful exposition of the Bible to best explain and illustrate Scripture in a meaningful engaging way so others can apply its truths to their everyday life. The mission of the the A Faithful Sower ministry team is to carry out the Great Commission issued to all who choose to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Jesus commands us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).