Today’s Scripture: For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26
|One of the common arguments that people who believe in Lordship Salvation is, “If you don’t have works, you never had true faith.” They say that since “faith without works is dead,” faith must be validated by works, and if you don’t have works, you obviously don’t have faith. The problem with this belief is that is not what the Bible says!
Many times, pastors teach this because they see people who claim to be Christians but who live wickedly, so that when others see their lives, they are turned off to Christianity. They want people to live the way they should, but instead of teaching the importance of good works after salvation, they teach if you don’t have them, you aren’t saved.
James chapter 2 is wrongly used as proof of this teaching. James shows the importance of good works, but it doesn’t say that your faith is not real – it says it’s dead.
What does “dead” mean? “Dead” doesn’t mean “non-existent.” James even gives an example that proves it. James tells as the body without the spirit is dead, so is faith without works. Instead, James illustrates it to mean “unproductive and useless.” The body is “dead.” There is no life in it; it cannot help anyone. Although it is present, it is completely and utterly useless.
This is the correlation James uses to describe “dead” faith. The faith is real, it exists, but it is completely unproductive. If you were to come across a dead body, you would probably be disgusted and get away from it. This is how the unsaved see Christians when they don’t act the way they say they believe. Because they see so much hypocrisy in the lives of believers, they don’t want anything to do with Christianity.
Can this be said of you? Can others tell that you are a Christian? If not, put some life back into your Christian walk. Live your faith, and make a difference in the world today.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder