The true nature of doing good works has been downplayed a lot in this world we live in. And this is very sad since even Jesus said, 1“he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” The Lord said that our belief in Him would yield many good works. He also mentioned how this is possible, by way of the Spirit or Comforter. So proclaiming that works are not necessary is saying that what Jesus, our Lord, says is wrong. People get this mindset because of what Paul said in Ephesians 2:8,9. It starts off with, 2“for by grace are ye saved through faith”. And that is so true. It is what is said next that is taken out of context,2 “it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast”. Sure, being saved is a gift from God, because of God’s grace. It is also true that our own good works are filthy rags and do not help us in any way, otherwise we would boast. However, faith plus works are important. It is just the kind of works that we do, that is the key. Paul continues, speaking of God, 2“we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” As we are created in Christ, we do good works accordingly. The fruits of our faith is the works that God does through us.
James helps us understand the important of faith plus works even better. As Jesus taught that our belief yields many great works, James will expound upon this. He said, 3“as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Our faith is truly empty if God is not working through us. This faith is not lifesaving but dead. A dead faith means a person is not saved at all. James continues, 3“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” Ok, we are getting somewhere. This question is important. Now let us see what faith alone does for us. This example should help, 3“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” It is God that would move us to love one another as He loves us. Without such love in our lives, there Is no true faith. Without God yielding fruit in our lives, our faith is dead. Works through God, is the outcome of our faith. To conclude, James said, 3“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” We cannot do God’s will without works through faith.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, may the importance of true faith be in the heart of every Christian. I know that in the day we live in that works have been downplayed as faith is elevated. Where faith plus works should be taught, it is not. I pray that people will re-read what You have said about believing in You and then doing greater works. I know that You have done so many great things in my life and I give You all the glory. Your servant James also spoke about faith plus works, but his words are also set aside and not realized. Lord, this leaves us with so many empty people in this world. Without Your works inside of us, we are truly dead. Without Your fruits, we are not serving You but our own will. I pray that You will prick people’s hearts that they will repent and trust in You, Jesus, starting today. May there be a change of heart and soul take place. May their faith be revived, that You may start working through them. I know that You have so many great things to do inside of us, if we but listen to the Holy Spirit. If our hearts were just open, You could do so much good in our lives. We need You Lord. Our faith is dead without You. I trust in You God. I love You. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1John 14:8-21 (KJV)
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
2Ephesians 2:1-10 (KJV)
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
3James 2:14-26 (KJV)
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.