God's Working People

Good deeds do not save you, but they do show evidence that you have the faith that is essential for your salvation

God’s Working People
The Work of Good Deeds – Part I

Scripture Reading: James 2:14-26

Key Verse: James 2:14
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

The Apostle James asked a critical question: Can faith, alone, save a person? Another way of saying this might be, what kind of faith saves a person?

James concludes that a faith that without good deeds is dead (James 2:17). In other words, a person can have faith in God, but if it is a faith that does not produce any change in that person’s life, then it is useless (James 2:20).

For example, I have faith that George Washington was a real person. To me, he really did exist, but that faith really does nothing in my daily life.

Our faith in Jesus must be the kind of faith that generates change in us, that makes us a different person than we were before believing in Jesus. James is telling us that this kind of faith produces good deeds in our lives. Good deeds do not save us, but they do show evidence that we have the faith that is essential for our salvation. Today’s Scripture Reading makes this clear:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:14-15)

Jesus is the prime example of faith with deeds. Jesus always had compassion for the people around him, and He healed and did good deeds for them.

One of the first signs of faith is we sense more compassion for the people around us. When we have the Spirit of God within us, He causes us to think and feel things like Jesus did.

Of course, we are not perfect in our compassion as Jesus was, but the Spirit helps us grow compassion as we walk with Jesus. If a person says they are saved but has no change in their compassion levels, it is doubtful they have the kind of faith that the Bible calls for.

The most important sign of our faith is when our feelings of compassion move us to act.

I am sure you have had those moments when a picture, an advertisement, or a story has stirred a feeling of compassion. However, until we do something, those feelings are worthless.

Biblical “saving faith” moves God’s people to take action that makes life better for a person or a group of people, to meet a need when they can.

Father, grant me the courage to examine my faith and see if there are changes in my compassion levels and the way I do life. I ask this in Jesus’s Name, amen.

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