James 2:15-20
Memorise James 2:20
“... faith without works is dead”


In James 2:15-16, we are given an illustration of what faith without works is like. If a person is hungry and in need of lodging, what should we do for him? If we do nothing but wish him well when it is within our power to provide what he needs, there is ultimately no worth to that well-meaning expression. James likens this to the Christian walk. He highlights how good works are important, as proof of the fact that we are truly saved. In the above illustration, we see that simply professing a belief in Christ does not mean that we are saved – it must be backed up by a life of good works.

This does not mean that salvation requires works – instead, he points out how a reformed life is evidence of a person who is saved. To further illustrate this, James notes in verse 19 that “the devils also believe (that there is one God), and tremble”. This belief in the existence of God does not equal salvation – we can see this in how they tremble and fear God, but ultimately do not submit to Him. Faith that does not result in good works is therefore described as “dead, being alone” (v17) – it was never a living faith to begin with.

If we are truly saved, then living a reformed life means having real changes in the way we think, feel and act. If we claim to have professed Christ but still cling on to our old ways despite knowing what the Bible says, then we are not living a reformed life.

In such situations, it is necessary for us to examine our faith – is it a living faith, or a dead faith? A true, living faith would show itself in our lives; we would yearn more for the things of God and strive to live a life that is pleasing to Him. A dead faith, on the other hand, produces only fear and despair – much like the ‘faith’ that the devils have. If our faith has thus far only given us fear and despair, then we must go back and consider again what it means to be saved, and check if we have indeed accepted Christ as our Saviour.

Thought: Is my faith a living faith that has changed the way I think, feel and act?
Prayer: Lord, help me to show my faith in Thee by the way that I lead my life.