Lately, I have been meditating on James 2:14-25 which contains the famous message: “Faith without works is dead.”
Most people would interpret this message as: Christians who don’t give to charity or Christians who don’t live a ‘good’ life are not true Christians – their faith is dead. On the other hand, some interpret it in a more dangerous tone saying: Believing in Christ alone doesn’t save you, you have to complement your belief with good works to enter heaven. Through this blog, I hope I can shed more light on what the apostle James truly meant with his allegedly ‘confusing’ statement. Let me tell you right now that James is not an advocate of ‘hard work’ or rolling back into fulfilling God’s laws (which we cannot fulfill at all).
I would like to agree with the apostle James when he said that faith without works is dead. But in order to put this verse into context, I believe the next appropriate question should be: “what is your faith?” or “where is your faith placed?”
If your faith is placed on human effort, then to act out your faith would be to invest and exert more human effort. BUT if your faith is in the finished work of Jesus Christ, then your corresponding work would be to rest in His finished work.
What James is simply saying is that if you truly believe that Jesus’ death on the cross has brought Salvation to all those who believe, then why are you still struggling for your salvation? If your faith rests on the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, then what are you so worried about? If you claim that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour BUT you still live your life as if you have to earn your salvation, then your faith in Jesus Christ is dead.
So, I submit to you; in honoring the name of Jesus Christ,our greatest ‘work’ of faith would be to stand still and know that He is the conqueror. Stand still and know that Jesus Christ has ALREADY bought every blessing for us through His death on the cross.
“Be still and know I am God” -Psalm 46:10
Below are some of the few verses that The Holy Spirit placed on my lap throughout my meditation on exercising our faith in Christ. How should we behave and act as Christians who have faith in Jesus Christ? From the verses run down below, it is quite clear that God simply wants us to trust in Him and therefore rest in Him.
Before you read the verses, ask yourself: What can we really do as mere men? Are we behaving like children of God when we worry and when we struggle in this life? Are we glorifying The All-Loving and All-Powerful God at all when we do such nonsense? Aren’t we insulting the cross of Christ when we claim that we still have to suffer after HE has suffered for us?
The verses below clearly show how God works and how He want us to function; that if you know that He loves you, there is no power in the universe that can stop His good will and blessings from reaching you. Do remember that all blessings reach us because of grace and grace alone. Our hard works and half-baked obedience don’t mean a cent to God. All we have to do is stand still and receive His love and blessings for there is really nothing we can do as man but as The Almighty God, HE can do everything:
Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. -Joshua 10:25
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” -Acts 5:39
There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. -Proverbs 21:30
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. -Isaiah 46:10
So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” -Acts 11:17
‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. -2 Chronicles 20:15
What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. -Revelations 3:7
That’s why Jesus, our Lord, calls us His sheep. He just wants us to follow Him and He will conquer everything for us. This is where our faith lies – in Jesus Christ. And to exercise this faith is simply to let the Shepherd do the shepherding.
Do you believe in Him? Do you believe in what He promised? Then exercise your faith in Him! Whatever your problem is, sickness, poverty, persecution, depression or anxiety, rest in His finished work for He has literally conquered ALL THINGS. There is nothing left for us to do but to thank Him and enjoy the ride.
“I have conquered the world” -Jesus Christ (John 16:33)
* Image taken from Google Images