I’m so loving this study, guys.
James is such a great book, and one that I find new challenges in each time I read it. plus, I get to unpack it with Kristie, who is an amazing fellow blogger. ❤ (read her blog here! you’re going to love it!)
this is one of those passages.
the kind that people get angry and disagree over. the kind that people can’t really seem to come to terms with because it demands more from them than they wish to give.
I know what you’re thinking: “wow, great plug for this post, Moriah. you’ve got me REALLY excited to read this now..” 😉
but hang in there! don’t give up on me or click away to another post just yet. give me a few paragraphs, and I guarantee you’ll be challenged, and better for it.
I actually love this portion of Scripture. I love the obedience it calls us to, and the challenge it sets before us. I love that it doesn’t allow us to remain where we’re at, but calls us up and out of the habits we’ve created, and into newness and true life! I love that God gives us grace upon grace to obey it, even though we don’t have the strength in ourselves. 🙂 He’s GOOD, guys.
this passage could probably be accurately renamed “how to love Jesus by getting our hands dirty“. it’s all about taking the head knowledge and turning it into action that shows the renewed condition of our hearts. it’s all about truly being the hands and feet of Jesus and being unafraid of getting into the thick of it with others whose hearts are hurting.
the idea here is not that you’re saved by your works (NOPE.), but the challenge of “do you truly have faith in God if it doesn’t move you to action?” the implied answer to that question is a resounding no! that’s exactly what the Pharisees had: lots of head knowledge, but no acted-out works of love or faith towards God or their fellow man.
I love the examples James gives here: we know Abraham believed, because he obeyed. we know Rahab had faith because she acted on that faith. we have proof through their actions of the state of their hearts.
so what do your actions say about the state of your heart? are they actions of obedience and faith in Christ? or are they actions of self-dependence or desperation to “try harder” and “prove yourself”?
is there proof of the faith in your heart through the actions of your life?
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? can that faith save him? if a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? so also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.