"Show Me Thy Faith"       

James 2:18


     Not all faith is true faith. There is a living faith and a dead faith, the faith of God's elect and the faith of devils, a faith that saves and a faith that deceives, a true faith and a false faith. False faith is a faith of words only. True faith is a faith of works, a "faith that worketh by love" (James 2:14-17; I John 3:16-18; Gal. 5:6).

     If a man or woman says, "I have faith in Christ," James makes a fair and reasonable request. He says, "Show me thy faith." He is saying, "Convince me that you have faith. Justify your claim. Justify your faith." Abraham did (vv. 21-24). He proved the reality of his faith in God on Mt. Moriah. Rahab did too. She demonstrated the reality of her faith by risking her life to protect the servants of God (v. 25).

     You may say, "Oh, but I believe in one God, omnipotent, sovereign, eternal, and saving, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!" That is very good. But the devils have that kind of faith. You may be as orthodox in your doctrine as the apostle Paul himself and yet possess nothing but a false faith. The demons of hell are as orthodox in doctrine as any of us! There is more to faith than doctrine!

     "Wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (v. 20). James was directed by the Holy Spirit to repeat that statement three times in ten verses. The Spirit of God means for us to understand that dead, cold, dry letter, doctrinal faith is of no value to our souls.

     What kind of faith do we have? Is it a true and living faith, or is it a false, dead faith? If we will honestly deal with our souls the answer will not be difficult to find. True faith hears and believes the Word of God. It is submissive and obedient. It grows with experience. True faith works by love. It is gracious, merciful, and kind. It builds relationships. True faith glorifies God, rejoices in Christ, and is led by the Spirit. True faith is lasting, persevering, enduring faith. Yes, God's saints have their struggles, difficulties, and failures. But the bent of the believer's will, the tenor of his life is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, serve his people, and finish his course with joy in faith, whatever the cost.



Don Fortner