Faith by Itself If It Is Not Accompanied by Action is Dead – James 2:17

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Faith by itself if it is not accompanied by action is dead

James is arguing against a kind of so-called ‘faith’ that has little to do with works. This kind of so-called ‘faith’ is what reformed theology calls a ‘head faith’ or an intellectual or an academic faith.

It is a faith that simply says, “I believe in God.” And it does nothing for others. It does nothing to change your life for the better, it does not produce a transformation that makes you a more Christ-like person.

In contrast, real faith is one that leads you to do something that changes the world for the better. It is one that loves God so much that it will do whatever it takes to serve Him.

So, in verse 17, he asks, “Suppose a poverty-stricken person came in among us with tattered clothes and needed clothing and daily food; but we did not give him any. Is that good?”

He then goes on to give a second example. He gives an example of a prostitute who only had one work in her life.

What James is saying in this example is that she was only able to open the door because she believed that their God was true and that He would save her. If she had never had a single work that produced anything for God, then her so-called ‘faith’ was a rotten corpse that could not save anyone.

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