Image via Wikipedia(James 1:22-25)”Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. Whoever listens to the word but does not put it into practice is like a man who looks in a mirror and sees himself as he is. He takes a good look at himself and then goes away and at once forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks closely into the perfect law that sets people free, who keeps on paying attention to it and does not simply listen and then forget it, but puts it into practice – that person will be blessed by God in what he does.”
What from God’s Word here will you put into action this week?
Indeed, James would seem to be bent on contradicting Paul, when he says that “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26), but in reality there is no contradiction at all. James means by “faith” empty professions of belief, creeds that are mere lip service, in the same sense as the saying of Jesus: “Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven” (Matt. 7:21).
No one would have agreed with him more than St. Paul. The kind of “works” which Paul condemns, is the hopeless attempt to win salvation by observing all the niceties of Jewish moral and ceremonial law. Whereas the kind of “works” that James regards as indispensable, is the practice of Christian behavior that Paul binds together inseparably with the possession of Christian faith.
Do we just read the Bible and not have people read the Bible through our actions. Do we mark our Bible and not have the Bible mark us.
Religion that is not commitment, trust, and service is not religion at all. There is no merit in being trained on Christian doctrine if we do no more than that. We have only to look at the Old Testament, to see that the real reason why Abraham‘s faith is extolled is that he was the kind of man who was prepared to sacrifice his son, because he believed it was the will of God. Even Rahab receives honorable mention for assisting Joshua’s spies. In other words, faith without deeds to back it up is an empty shell (James 2:1-26). When someone claims to have faith, what he or she may have is intellectual assent – agreement with a set of Christian teachings – incomplete faith.