In the Christian world, we talk a lot about faith. Faith is something we all talk about having and possessing and yet it seems to have lost its meaning. In this short study, we’re going to revisit exactly what faith should be and what it looks like to those around us.
Let’s focus on a very important aspect of our faith and that is works. We see very clearly in Scripture that faith without doing anything is considered a “dead” faith. James 2:26 says, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” We cannot say we have a faith and not back it up by our actions. Our actions include our lifestyle, the way we live our life, and the way others see us. If our actions oppose those of Christ’s, then our faith is weak and we need to strengthen it.
How do we strengthen our faith? One of those ways is to reflect having the Spirit within us by showing the qualities of the Spirit. Many of us think that “works” has to be for example, acts of service or volunteering, when really it is the subtle instances in our life that show our faith in Christ. Using the fruit of the Spirit as an example, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). In our actions we should be showing love, we should be showing kindness, and self-control. These are the actions we must show to show our faith is not dead. If our faith is alive then we will show these qualities.
We must also be careful not to have all actions and no faith. It can be just as easy to fall on the other side of the spectrum, to have all works and do all sorts of good things but have no faith in Christ. James 2:18 says, “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” We should be showing our faith by our actions. Faith and works should be together, not separate.
Talking about faith is one thing, showing our faith in actions is another. God did not just say He loved us, He showed it by sending his one and only Son (John 3:16). In turn, we must show God we love Him by our actions in how we live our life. Faith without works is dead, therefore, let us be alive in faith by showing our faith by our actions.