DAILY DEVOTIONAL, July 1, 2022
“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 5:18. NKJV).
Recent devotionals have focused on the gift of eternal life. We are saved by faith alone, apart from works, said Paul (Ephesians 2:8-9). Does that mean we can trust Jesus and live like the devil and still be saved? Can I trust Jesus and ignore His will and enter into heaven? Enter James. It is forever true that salvation is a free gift unrelated to any good deeds we may do. James comes along to remind us that there are different kinds of faith. The devils have faith in the sense that they believe in God’s existence (James 2:19). Their problem is they do not submit to God.
True faith, saving faith, submits to God. True faith embraces the will of God. True faith results in a new birth, a changed life. True faith is always a faith that works. While our good works add nothing to our salvation, good works always accompany true faith. James says, “I will show you my faith by my works.” What we do, how we live, the choices we make, are all influenced by our faith.
If you ask, “Are good works necessary?” The answer is, “Yes and no.” Good works are not necessary to secure our salvation, but they are necessary as demonstrations that our faith is genuine. Whether our good works are many or few, they neither add to nor detract from our salvation. We must never trust in our good works to enhance our chances for salvation. If good works are absent, however, it means our faith is hypocritical.
Father, help me to understand that nothing I do merits divine favor. I cannot earn my way into Your Kingdom. Thank You that my salvation rests not in what I do for You, but in what Christ has done for me. Thank you for changing my heart when I came to trust in Your Son. Help me to understand that my faith is invisible to the world unless others see the good works that flow from my faith. In Jesus name, Amen