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October 15 – Faith without works

My brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? – James 2:14

Scripture reading: James 2:14-19

James says that one’s faith will show itself by deeds or actions. In Galatians, Paul says that deeds are faith expressing itself through love, that is love for God and our neighbor.

Although this love does not save a person, without this love expressed in action, one’s faith is dead and not able to save a person. This is because faith that saves someone will also change him/her. Your faith changes you to love God and your neighbor in a self-sacrificing way. This is because when one truly believes in Jesus Christ, a new relationship has been established in which we love because God first loved us.

James gives an example of how absurd it would be to have a faith with no deeds. If your brother and sister were naked and starving and you said you loved them, yet you only expressed it by saying, “I wish you well,” who would believe you? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by actions, is dead or false faith. James goes on to say that if we believe all the Bible says but we fail to do deeds of love, we are no different than the demons, who believe and shudder.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that our faith in Jesus Christ would compel us to do deeds of love for God and our neighbour.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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