Living Faith

James 2:14–17

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is faith? In the same way, faith by itself is dead, if it is not accom­panied by action.

I suspect that most Christians struggle from time-to-time about the status of their faith. I happen to be one of them, but I also feel that my faith has become stronger because of James 2. I first came by this Bible passage in an unusual way. It happened to be at a time in my life when I was asking myself many questions about my faith and not getting many answers. I was reading the QC Times newspaper one morning while eating breakfast and like every morning I passed over Bill Wundram’s column (I never cared for his column and therefore, never read it). However, my peripheral vision spotted a statement in his column in very bold print. It read: James 2: Faith without action is dead.

I didn’t quite understand its meaning, but I was compelled to look into it. I think that James 2 was telling me that faith alone, if it is not manifesting itself by action (deeds), is idle or useless and shows no sign of life. Faith will do no one any good if it is not exercised. We must work out our faith to be fruitful and useful.

I concluded that God’s desire for me is to have a life that has a purpose. A life that challenges me to accomplish something for his kingdom and not just take up space. My discovering James 2 was another mysterious way that God provides answers to difficult questions that can’t be found in any book. I’m convinced that James 2 jump-started my faith journey.

Bud Johnson


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