Active Faith-James 2:20-26

 James 2:20-26 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. 

Giacomo 2 :20-26 «Insensato! Vuoi renderti conto che la fede senza le opere non ha valore? 21 Abraamo, nostro padre, non fu forse giustificato per le opere quando offrì suo figlio Isacco sull’altare? 22 Tu vedi che la fede agiva insieme alle sue opere e che per le opere la fede fu resa completa; 23 così fu adempiuta la Scrittura che dice: «Abraamo credette a Dio, e ciò gli fu messo in conto come giustizia»e fu chiamato amico di Dio. 24 Voi vedete dunque che l’uomo è giustificato per opere, e non per fede soltanto. 25 E così Raab, la prostituta, non fu anche lei giustificata per le opere quando accolse gli inviati e li fece ripartire per un’altra strada? 26 Infatti, come il corpo senza lo spirito è morto, così anche la fede senza le opere è morta.” 
     James gives a lesson that faith without practical application (deeds) is useless. Faith then is to be considered an active, not passive, agent in our life. We tend to think of faith as a passive state of being. This is influenced by the fact that our salvation is based on the active work of Christ and our response is to believe (which seems passive) that we will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). Certainly this is true; but James is not referring to our response in coming to Christ. He simply says that if we have an active faith, it will be evident by what we do with it.
     To further clarify the point, James gives us two illustrations and a biblical comparison. First he says that Abraham was justified by faith evidenced in what he did (Genesis 15:6). He was not passive. Secondly, Rahab was declared righteous for her actions in welcoming the spies and helped them to escape (Joshua 6:17). The biblical comparison is that faith and deeds are related to each other just as the body and the spirit are. Without the spirit, the body is dead. A true believer must be what God wants him to be and do what God wants him to do.
     Finally, does our faith have an expression in our world? Do people, whether accepting or rejecting, see and recognize our faith? Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).
Pray with me:  Lord, I have come to know You as my Lord and Savior by faith. Help me not to simply rest my faith in passivity, but to find ways to live out my faith before the world. 

Leave a Reply