The Bible teaches that true “faith” is always united with good works in the life of the believers. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). Intellectual acceptance and doctrinal belief, may exist without good works, but not living faith, which cooperates with God’s plan for man’s restoration. Even demons believe that God exists but they don’t obey Him (v. 19). Genuine faith will find expression in unselfish acts, for it has a desire to serve God and men. This is how it was with Christ and it will be with all who follow in His steps.
Some have found a problem in understanding the above passage in James 2:26 in relation to the passage in Paul that says, “man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:28). It is true that people are saved by faith alone but faith will always manifest itself in good works. Paul clarifies, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). And he adds, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, [and] sincerity” (Titus 2:7 also 2 Timothy 3:17; 1 Timothy 6:18).
And, in Rom. 2:6–10, Paul speaks of the necessity of having works along with faith. For works are seen in the final judgment as proof for faith. We can see that faith in God’s grace is not a substitute for good work and holy living. For it’s not a sin to do good—it’s not wrong to stop sinning (1 Timothy 5:25). In fact, you’ll know a saved person by his fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).
It can be concluded that faith that does not show itself in daily good deeds will never save any man, but neither will good deeds without true faith (Rom. 3:28). Thus, works are the conduct of a converted life—deeds that spring forth naturally as the motivation of faith. There are many other passages in the Bible that teach this truth (Jer. 17:10; Matt. 16:27; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 2:23; 20:12; 22:12).
In His service,
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