Someone asked about this verse (as has been asked many times, and will be asked many times again): “But wilt thou know, O vain men, that faith without work is dead?” – James 2:20
My question is, IF FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD, THEN HOW CAN WE WORK IIN FAITH AS CHILDREN OF GOD?
This is very important to understand for it can greatly deepen our walk with God. We all know that we cannot just confess believing and then go out and commit whatever selfish acts we want, it does not work that way. Faith in order to be of good effect must be in union with love and charity – this is the meaning of the virgins that had both the lamp and oil, and who were able to enter heaven (it is the meaning of many verses in the Bible). The lamp and oil make fire together, neither is of effect without the other, and so it is with faith and love. Together, in union, the two are of great effect; and what is wonderful to see is that Jesus demonstrated this to us in His life. Jesus’ actions are the universal pattern; He is the way, the truth and the life, and in every story about what He did He is expressing profound love from great faith (wisdom) at the same time.
It is a great truth that contained in love is all the wisdom to manifest that loves end purpose. So, if our love is good we will be given the wisdom to act on it; and if we have real faith love is what motivates us toward our neighbor – not some selfish motive to take advantage of another – yes, we all know that inwardly. Charity can only be charity if it leads to something good; it is not charity to give to those who are doing evil, for that promotes evil, which is of course not of God. We must be discerning in giving, which takes wisdom and faith.
It is also an essential part or this to realize that faith and charity together need to be put into action in our life, otherwise they do not come to fruition and God’s work is not done. This is why it is said ‘faith is dead without works’, just as the lamp is useless without oil. Evil flourished when good men do nothing. Taking action is the catalyst that completes the bond with God – for then we are acting from our WILL, and by this we MEET God’s will. The bond with God can only be forged by the fire of acting from our own will. This is why Jesus tells us that He ‘baptizes with fire’. Johns Baptism was the external baptism that prepared the way – But the baptism of Jesus is the internal baptism that transforms our soul. It is also why He said ‘turn to me’ – for He is always turned to us. The bond does not take place unless it is forged in mutual fire! We all know this inwardly, listen to your soul. Can a man’s love with a woman come to fruition (or vise versa) if it is not mutual? No, it must be mutual. It is also so with God.