Have you every heard the term 'faith without works is dead'? What does it mean? Works? This passage in James 2: 14-26 is very straight forward and to the point and completely explains the concept. Do you think you can get anywhere in your faith by learning all the right words, terms and phrases? Nope! The book of James is pretty clear. Here's what the Bible says.
18a) 'I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.'
(Paraphrased by Peggy) I can already hear your response. But Wait....So and so has the gift of hospitality so they should be the greeters. The people who meet with visitors and new believers have a gift for evangelism, so that's their job. The person who organizes events has the gift of administration, so they handle all that work. The list could go on and on. There are many and varied ways to accomplish the good things that God has placed in our midst.
We can tell ourselves that there are plenty of resources and resourceful people in the body of Christ. Plenty of people who can handle all the things that go into the 'good works' department. You can convince yourself that you're happy right here, sitting on your pew, with your faith. But...here is the ouch part. The part that pierces your spirit and says 'wrong'. Ouch!
17) 'God talk without God acts is outrageous nonsense.' Right there. That's the Ouch!
18b) 'Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works.'
Yep. Read that again. You can't just say you're a believer without demonstrating your beliefs. You can't just say you have the gift of faith and leave everything that should be done, and has to be done, up to everyone else. Ouch again!
18c) 'Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.'
Faith and works go hand and hand. Helping someone else demonstrates your faith. Start trying things out. Get involved in a ministry at your church or in your community. This passage goes on to say that no one is too big or too important to be left out of Faith in Action. Nobody's britches are too big to lend a helping hand. Yep. That's right. Nobody.
21-22) 'Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action.'
Works of Faith is the definition of each one of us taking an active role; a role demonstrating our faith. There is a place out there for each of us. A place where our actions will fit like a glove. There may even be more than one spot that feels right. Get out there and find your glove(s). Don't give up if the first thing you try doesn't fit. Keep trying on gloves. Your glove is out there; waiting for your hand to do the 'good work' you are called to do.
James 2:17 MSG
"Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?"