Let’s start with the basics. To be a Christian, you have to first believe in Jesus Christ. It’s the only way.
As scripture says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
This is the first and absolute essential belief of the Christian faith. But for many, that’s where their faith stops. They forget that after you believe in Jesus, you must also follow him and do what he says.
James, the brother of Jesus, had some strong words to say about people who do that. He said, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14)
In other words, if you have a faith that does nothing, is it really faith at all? The answer to that is a resounding NO.
James makes this abundantly clear when he says, “Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
That’s James’s way of saying; the proof is in the pudding.
But he doesn’t stop there. He says, “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” (James 2:18-20)
This is what you call a HOLY BIBLE SMACKDOWN in all its glory.
Let me spell it out for you. James says if your faith does nothing, if it has no fruit rooted in good deeds, your faith amounts to about the same as a demon. BRUTAL!
Make no mistake, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
But it’s your actions that prove your faith is real. (Please read that again!) “So you see, we are SHOWN to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)
So what’s a Christian to do? Simple, do as Jesus did. He “went around doing good.” (Acts 10:38)
So here’s the big question. What good are you doing?
Let’s be more specific.
What good are you doing in the name of Jesus? Where are you serving? What kind of faith are you showing?
Want to know a tough truth? Churches are full of people who do nothing. Oh, there are some who serve and are incredibly faithful, and I am so thankful for them. But sadly, that’s the exception, not the rule.
As a pastor, I often wonder what would happen if my entire church served as Jesus did. Both inside its walls and out in the community.
I know the answer; many more people would come to know Jesus. Because faith would be lived out for all to see. Bottom line!
Here’s my challenge. I think it’s time to show the world your faith in Jesus through your actions. It’s time to serve and do good in the name of Jesus.
If you do, the reward is more significant than you think. It strengthens your faith and gives your life purpose. So go out there and be strong and active in both word and deed. This is true faith. Otherwise, you really have no faith at all.
Think about it:
- Where and who are you serving?
- What steps can you take right now to start doing good?
Verse of the Day:
“So you see, we are SHOWN to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” James 2:24