Can an Actionless Faith Save You?
There are some people who try to earn their way into heaven. They do good and obey God’s commands—at least most of them anyway. They work hard their entire life to get God’s attention. Surely when their time comes, God will throw open the doors to heaven. With a wide smile and a gracious gesture he will say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” But he could say, “Go away, I don’t know you.” They’re really not sure. They hope they’ve been good enough, but doubt lingers.
Others laugh at this approach. They say you can’t earn your way into heaven. Eternal life is a gift, given in grace and received by faith. They say a little prayer and figure it’s all good. They have their get-out-of-hell card. Since heaven is a present, they continue living a life unchanged. They set God aside and live for themselves.
Is faith alone enough to save them? Maybe it is and maybe it’s not. James writes that it’s through our actions—that is, our good deeds—that we confirm our faith.We are saved by God’s grace through faith, andthen we prove it by showing his love to others. Click To Tweet
Yes, we are saved by God’s grace through our faith, but then we prove it by showing his love to others through our actions. We need to have faith and then we need to do good deeds. Both are required.
What do you think about faith and doing good deeds? Do you agree with James?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.