We Demonstrate That We Follow Jesus through the Things That We Do
I’ve written that we should treat love like a verb. I also suggested that we’ll do well to view Christian as a verb and not so much a noun (and certainly not an adjective). We should do the same thing with faith. Yes, faith is a noun, but we will do well to consider it as a verb, to behave as though faith is an action.
If we move forward and treat faith as a verb, we put our faith into action, actions that speak louder than words. If our faith fails to produce an outward expression that impacts others, what good is it? James writes that faith apart from action is dead (James 2:17).
Faith is Not an Intellectual Assent
Some people claim that faith is a personal thing, something they keep to themselves. And other people act that way.
Yet what good is a faith that we don’t share with others? Jesus says that if we acknowledge him to other people, he’ll acknowledge us to Father God in heaven (Matthew 10:32). The implication is that if we deny him, he might deny us. That’s an eternally monumental risk to take.
Belief is not enough. James confirms that even the demons believe God exists (James 2:19).
Faith Is About What We Do
James continues discussing the subject in his letter when he challenges people to figure out a way to demonstrate their faith without any action. They can’t. For his part, James shows his faith through his deeds, by virtuous actions (James 2:18).
He gives an example to drive home his point. Imagine meeting someone lacking food or clothes, and we give them a blessing and send them on their way. If we don’t attend to their physical needs, what good is that? What does our faith accomplish (James 2:15-16).
Faith Without Works Is Dead
James wraps up his teaching on the subject by saying that just as a body without its spirit is dead, so too is faith without any deeds (James 2:26).
If we aren’t willing to tell others about our faith and demonstrate it through our deeds, it accomplishes nothing. It is dead.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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