Faith Without Works is Dead
We all know it is impossible to please God without Faith. But our Faith has to be proven. Faith has to be accompanied by actions. In James 2 we are taught “Faith without works is dead.” So exactly what does that mean? First of all, lets define “Works”. Works are visible evidence of Faith through actions of obedience to God.
In James 2:21-24, James gives us a perfect example of what it means to show faith by works. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?” If you know this story of Abraham offering his son Isaac in Genesis 22, you know God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering on a mountain. Abraham was obedient to God and offered his son.
By Abraham actually offering his son as a sacrifice, he displayed his faith through his obedience or works. That’s why James says “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” Abraham showed his Faith by his works and therefore his “Faith was made complete by what he did.”
Faith without works is dead because it shows our hearts have not been transformed by God. A characteristic of truth faith is a changed life. Real faith moves us to do works (actions) that spiritually transform our lives. We can’t say we have faith but be spiritually dead. When the Word says “The Just Live by Faith” it is saying that through our obedience to God we will show our faith through a life of good deeds and actions.