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  • Jason Wilson

Tuesday Devotion: A Faith That Works




The Apostle Paul and James seem to be at odds when it comes to salvation. Paul insists that salvation is by grace alone through faith, not by works (Eph. 2:8-9). Yet James boldly proclaims that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26)! At first glance, these apostles appear to contradict each other.


However, a closer look reveals a beautiful, nuanced perspective. Paul emphasizes the interior reality of saving faith - a heart transformed by the grace of God. James stresses how genuine faith inevitably produces outward fruit. It's like light and heat - distinct, yet inseparable. Where there is light, there will be heat. Where there is true faith, good works will follow.


Paul affirms this in Ephesians 2:10, stating that though we are saved by grace and not works, we are "created in Christ Jesus for good works." The gospel is that God works for us, in us, and through us. Paul highlights God working in us, while James spotlights God working through us. Together they present the full picture of dynamic faith.


True faith resides in the heart but overflows into action. Just as love for a spouse leads to affectionate acts, faith leads to good deeds. Empty words without accompanying action arouse doubt. Conversely, when we sacrificially serve others, generously give, or boldly share our faith, we demonstrate inward faith.


The takeaway? Salvation is entirely God's work from start to finish. But genuine faith can't stay hidden. It flows out of us as we walk in the good works God prepared for us. The gospel isn't just about personal piety; it's about practical acts of worship. Our works don't save us, but they sure do point to the One who did!


Everyone has some areas of their life where they don’t really live out of obedience to God, which is often a hypocrisy that we excuse or learn to live with. What are your areas? What can you do to have your faith transform those areas? 


Scripture

James 2:14

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