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A Living Faith

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What [does it] profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? ... Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14, 17

Do you find today’s verse a little troubling or, at the very least, confusing? If so, you’re not alone. Taken in isolation, these words seem to say that without good works, you can’t be saved.

However, this passage is a clear example of how context means everything. When you take these words as part of the bigger picture of New Testament teaching about your salvation, you understand that your good works are not a means to an end for your salvation. They are a result of that salvation.

The New Testament is clear that you’re not saved through your own works, no matter how good they are. But when you have God’s Spirit dwelling inside you as a result of coming to Jesus Christ for salvation, your Spirit-inspired attitude will always result in good works.

Are you looking for ways to put your faith into action? Then ask God what good works He’d like you to take part in today. But never forget that your good works here on earth can’t save you for eternity, and they can’t earn you additional favor with God. What they can do, however, is make your faith more real to you and others.

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