Friday, August 14, 2020

Knowing Doesn’t Mean You Are Growing

"But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” —James 2:18-20

Had a conversation with my sister-in-law the other day about spiritual maturity. I find it difficult to write about it for fear that my words might seem pious or condescending – neither of which is my intent. Instead my intent is for them to be them to be an encouragement to all of us who are walking after the Spirit and resisting the urge to walk after the flesh.

James was addressing the problem of thinking that faith is enough.  To put it another way, if I am saved – then that is good enough.  I can go on with my life. I don’t have to stand for good and stand against evil – I can just live my life – go to church – remain silent – stay sheltered in my holy huddle. That is enough.

James said that faith without works is dead.  I would add that works without faith are also dead.  Doing good in this world is not just for the here and now, but it is also for the here and then. What we do as Christians has an eternal aspect that is absent from any other good that might be done. The absence of the Spirit does not make “good works” any less good, but they don’t have a spiritual component that brings glory to God and points people to Him through faith in Jesus.

Because of our faith – we are – should be – compelled to love – to show compassion. It is the fruit of our faith. If our total focus is on our comfort and our well-being – every man for himself thinking – then something is not right in the faith department.

…… to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17

Meaning you have missed the point if you think that merely accumulating knowledge by attending church or studying the Bible is the end-game.  God wants us to apply that knowledge by faith for His glory and the good of others. 

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” – James 2:15-17

So what are you doing to show your faith in God and love for God and others? 

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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