“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 2:18
Do you ever get confused by all the different religions in the world? Many do. So let’s reduce this complex subject to its simplest components. Ultimately, only three types of religions exist. The first type of religion (“Christian” or otherwise) teaches that people become acceptable to God by their own works, such as keeping commandments and following certain rules of morality, piety, and benevolence. Another type of religion teaches simply that people are saved by faith in Christ. And the third type of religion teaches that people are saved by a combination of faith and works.
The Bible makes it clear that only by faith in Christ can we be saved. We can’t add good works to the equation. However, the Bible also says that true faith in Christ manifests itself in good works. Faith is invisible. Someone may say that he or she has faith, but you cannot see it, nor can a person show it apart from works. And that is precisely why, at the Judgment, God judges people by their works. Though only Jesus can save us, we demonstrate the genuineness of our faith in Jesus to the world by the works we do. In the second chapter of his letter, James denounces the barren orthodox, those who believe that they save themselves by the correctness of their creed, those who may confess expertly, may argue their faith with great eloquence, and believe it in all of its details; yet they have no fruit: joy, love, peace, works, or service for Christ. They may profess religious faith, but their actions show they don’t possess it.
Do people know what you believe by how you live? Today, choose to honor God in all you do, so that those around you may know the truth.
“The first good work you will ever perform
is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.”