My faith shrinks the further I am from God and my flesh grows more powerful. My life reflects my failing faith. I get where I think serving God just isn’t worth it anymore. My attitude changes. My interests change. My works demonstrate my futile faith.
What kind of works demonstrate my faithfulness? Because of a healthy faith I will want to read and study God’s Word. I will pray fervently. I will want to attend all services at church (Parkinson’s sometimes messes things up). I will desire to serve in some capacity, whether cleaning the church, helping with ushing or teaching etc.
The interesting thing is that these works occur naturally. I don’t have to muster up enough faith to do them. I don’t have to make myself do them. My “want to” has changed. My works manifest the condition of my faith.
James wrote this book to Christians. He is trying to help them see the futility of faith without works. His point is Christians ought to be different that the lost. If not, why not?
A lifestyle that contradicts Christ-likeness obviously demonstrates a faith problem. As Christians we can grieve the Spirit and quench the Spirit. We don’t lose our salvation, but we damage our relationship with God and render our witness powerless.
The question is: am I doing good works to appease God? To manipulate others? To establish a façade? Or do they just occur as a natural outcome of my faith.
“Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” James 2:22.
© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff