Works, the perfection of our faith (v 22). It’s a given that works, even the best of good works, cannot earn us salvation. (1) Salvation is a free gift for those that truly believe God sent His Son to pay the price for our sin by death on a cross and that His Son, Jesus the Christ (Messiah), was resurrected on the third day, defeating death.
That being said, our good works are evidence of our faith in our lives.
- Faith is to theory as works is to practice (theory – practice).
- Faith is to word as works is to deed (word – deed).
- Faith is to knowledge as works is to wisdom (knowledge – wisdom).
- Faith is to forgiveness as works is to repentance (forgiveness – repentance).
Whether it be good works or sin, our actions are preceded by thoughts that lead to actions. Sin is preceded by temptation just as good works are preceded by faith and belief. (Could it be the motivators are love or lust?)
I really enjoy Peter”s take on this in 2 Peter 1:5-8 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peter comes at it a little differently but the concept is the same and the goal is active love.
Sometimes I hear the comment in “Christian circles” that “It’s all in God’s timing.” As true as that statement is, I sometimes believe we are using that as an excuse to remain passive when we need to be active.
“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (v 24) This is key. The term justified means “considered righteous.” So our actions, perfected or completeness in faith, is what brings justification (His righteousness), well beyond a cerebral experience.
(1) Ephesians 2:8-9
Next week … James 3:1-12 “Taming the Tongue”