The Two-sides of the Coin

James 2:14-26

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.”  NRSV

This may be the best description of the relationship between faith and works in the whole Bible. They are the two sides of the same coin. James said, “Faith without works is dead.” Conversely, the works that faith demands would not exist without faith.

The works our faith inspires is what motivates people to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, march for the dignity and equality of all people, volunteer in food pantries and soup kitchens, keep bedside vigils so that no one need die alone, and give of their time, talent and money to make the world a better place in the example of Jesus.

That coin should be carried in every Christian’s pocket.

Be a blessing to someone today!

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