James 2 v. 20 – 26
‘20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
21 Was not our father 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 considered righteous by what they do 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.’
Today’s reading contains two examples of genuine faith (as opposed to fake faith)
(i) The story of Abraham and Isaac is found in Genesis 23 – and James urges us to ‘see’ Abraham’s faith and trust in God, lived out by obedient action. The true life of faith is one which is evident, by what can be seen and experienced.
(ii) The story of Rahab is found in Joshua 2 – and James uses this story to highlight Rahab’s faith causing her to risk everything for God’s mission. Her actions prove her faith to be alive and
‘Equally, a lack of deeds suggests a faith is actually dead’ (v. 26)
I remember a poster, on a friend’s study wall at university, which said ‘If you faced a court trial on a charge of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you’. It was, for me, and still is, a reminder that we are to be ‘salt and light’ in the world, bearing the fruits of the Spirit – all to be seen, to be evident in our whole-life discipleship.
thank You for the challenge
in the words of James’s letter.
Prompt and nudge us, by Your Spirit,
to live out, authentically,
everything we believe
about who You are
and what our lives, in You,
are challenged and called to become,
in the name of Jesus.
Inspire greater acts of faith, in us, today.