We believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. That’s a great thing to trust in. But if you really believe it, then you’re going to let someone know that you feel that way.
I live in the Boston area. It’s no secret that the people around here believe that the New England Patriots are the greatest football team ever. Because of that, in the fall, on any given weekend, no matter where you go you’ll hear people talking about them. That’s what happens when you truly believe something. It affects how you act and speak.
You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
We are saved because we trust in Christ. His blood was shed for our sins. But is believing enough? What does the Scripture say?
…that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
There has to be both the faith and the actions working together. Believing alone won’t save you. There has to be a confession, out loud, from your own lips.
When the Holy Spirit works on your heart, He causes faith to arise in you. That’s actually what conviction is. It’s when you believe that something’s wrong with your life and there’s something you need to do to bring about a change.
When we come to Christ in repentance, we’re acting on what we believe. We need help, and the Lord is the only one who can give it to us.
But salvation is not the only area where faith and actions need to line up. Whenever we’re trusting God for something, we need to walk it out. Look at James’ example.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
This is in reference to Israel defeating Jericho in battle. Before the fight, Israel sent spies into the city. This account is told in the book of Joshua, chapter 2.
If you read that chapter, you find out that everybody in the city believed that the God of Israel was the true God. They believed that God was going to give the whole land to Israel. But of all the people in Jericho, only Rahab acted on what she believed.
She hid the spies on her roof. By protecting them she secured safety and protection for her family. Her faith and her actions worked together for her good. That’s why James concludes this section with this summation.
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
We need to be a people who operate with a living faith. That means that it’s not just in our hearts. It’s a faith that people can see by our actions and hear from our lips.
Question: What’s an example of how your faith and actions have worked together?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017