At first analysis of James 2:14-26, my thoughts were on how it seemed to be contradictory
to Paul when he wrote that we are saved by faith. Now James is writing that we are saved
by works. With further research and thought, it became obvious that what James means is that our works are the fruit of our faith and therefore what Paul wrote about and what James writes about here actually complement one another. In other words, faith was before works and because of faith the result is works. In fact, faith perfects works so the two work in tandem. Like a locomotive that runs from the steam, faith builds enthusiasm which then produces action.
You can also look at it in this way. Faith is like the roots and good works are the fruit. We should aim for a balance in life so that faith and good works are working efficiently together. I heard once that when they landed on the moon, they had one minute of fuel supply left. When we read God’s word, we need to aim to have the same precise balance and daily search the scriptures to find out if there is some area in our life in which we’re not in complete obedience to God’s plan.
In golf, football, basketball, and other sports, people keep a score card or stats like how many strokes it took to get the ball in the hole or how many points they scored. I often wonder why we don’t have the same attention to the activities in our life. Why we don’t keep a spreadsheet of good values, daily feats, or random acts of kindness so we can keep track of our progress. This would give us a way to work on God’s principles throughout life as He refines us. We could try to improve by applying these principles to everything we do.
This day with God will be amazing because we can keep track of our growth in faith and pray to the ONE who already has the guidance needed to refine us as we put our faith into practice.
- Justification Before Works (agoldentreasury.com)
- Faith Challenges and Understanding (andrewwhalan.com)
- Unleashing God’s Power: Maximize This Great Benefit of Christianity in your Life from Jimi Akanbi (loveinabookreviews.wordpress.com)
- Where will your faith take you? (brothersofchrist.wordpress.com)