14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? – James 2:14-20
We Christians can talk a good game about how we don’t earn salvation. One of the key parts of Protestant doctrine is that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). We might say we believe it, but we don’t always live like we do. Instead, many of us try to earn favor with God by doing good deeds, That never works. Instead, our good deeds should flow from us as a response to God’s love and faithfulness to us. Our faith should produce good deeds in us.
Questions for Reflection:
- What is the condition of your faith?
- Do you perform good deeds as a way to earn your status with God or do your good deeds flow from your love of God and others?