We must beware of taking the familiar pronouncements of Scripture for granted. The counsel and warning of James in the 2nd chapter of his epistle should be familiar to us – may it not become too familiar. What is classified as“works”? James’ epistle makes it clear it is faith ‘in action’! Our faith in the words of Jesus (it is significant the word “faith” occurs 30 times in the gospels) – and the words his disciples and the apostles wrote – should inspire us to live Christ-like lives.
Our chapter 5 in Judges about Barak and Deborah shows that teamwork often lays the foundation for success in serving our Lord. To this we must add that the clearness of our own vision of the future plays a vital part in the way we live – of our acts, done in faith. What do we have faith in? Our chapter 32 in Isaiah starts “Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice.” How positive! This “will” happen!
Jesus left his disciples with a vision of the future – and they spread the message of this, seeking to stir hearts to genuinely believe and have faith in Jesus. And so we see that “faith” must have a clear vision, an objective – in which we have faith. We then show our faith by the way we live our lives, our priorities.
At the moment the news broadcasts in this country are largely filled with the promises of politicians as an election will soon take place. But we have good reason, from past experience to be cynical. It is hard to have “faith” that many of those promises will be fulfilled.
James holds out to us the example of Abraham (2 v.21-23) as an outstanding example of a man of faith in what God was able to do; a man who showed his faith by his resultant actions – his “works.” Let us do the same, takingto heart the blunt point that James makes at the end of the chapter: “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
It is vital we develop a genuine ‘spirit’ of “faith” to gain the reward of eternal life. Let us echo, from our hearts, and embrace the words of Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke, we also believe, and so we also speak….’ ” [4.v13] May we “according to what” is “written”, which we read every day, show – in the way we speak and act today (and every day) wehave genuine faith, in what we say we believe.
By Bro D.Caudery
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