Faith without works
Rather a long scripture (relatively) today:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters,* if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith without works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. James 2:14-26
This was one of the scriptures we were asked to read for our Disciple class last night. We were then to consider the question, "What does it mean that faith without works is dead?"
From my musing --
Our faith in God calls us to action. Faith without works is faith without obedience. We are called by God to a particular rule of life -- called to live a life that shows forth love in action. We are motivated to that life by our awareness of being loved by God and by our willingness to be obedient and to be transformed by God so that we can do what he calls us to do. We do not earn grace and love through our works; we give evidence of love and grace through our actions.