James 2: 1-9
Do not think you can show partiality and still be holding to and practicing faith in Christ. That is snobbery! Do not pay special attention to the rich than you do to the poor. That is criticizing and judging with wrong motives. Especially do not discriminate this way with your brothers and sisters in Jesus! God also chooses to save those who are poor in the eyes of the world, and make them rich believers as His family! Do not humiliate them. Actually, isn’t it the rich who usually dominate and slander you and dishonor God? Live the truth in love with all people. If you really fulfill God’s law, you will love your neighbor as yourself without partiality.
James 2: 10-13
Are you trying to live by religious laws to be good? Remember that if you break even one of God’s laws, you have failed and are a sinner. So instead, live under Christ’s law of liberty, which is His moral instruction to love and have mercy. If there is no love and mercy, there is judgement. But, mercy is victorious over judgement.
James 2: 14-26
What is the profit of professing to have faith in Jesus, but no matching good works to show for it? Is that really a conviction of saving faith? For example, if a believer truly lacks food or clothing, and another believer says “God bless you” at church, but does not offer help, what good is that? If faith in God does not have corresponding actions of obedience to His Word, then it is dead faith, without any saving power. Jesus often criticized the religious leaders of His days as hypocrites with dead faith. You cannot say you can have faith apart from resulting good works. Rather good works should show and reflect your true living faith!
A person cannot say they have faith just because they believe God exists. Even Satan and the demons believe God exists to even shuddering in terror of Him. Only the foolish, unproductive, spiritually deficient person can say they can have faith without corresponding good works. Faith apart from cooperating in the good works of God is inactive, ineffective, worthless, and dead. Even Abraham demonstrated his faith in God by obediently offering his own son Isaac on the altar. Faith should have expression and implementation from the heart.
When someone believes, adheres to, trusts in, and relies on God in faith, then they strive to conform to God’s will in thought and deed…and God accounts this as righteous….right standing with Him, as His friend. Man is justified not only by what he believes, but also by what he does in obediance to God.
Just like the human body is lifeless when apart from the spirit, so faith apart from works of obedience to God is also dead.
Summary: Faith in God is not just believing He exists…even Satan knows God exists. When true faith and love for God is in the heart, obedience and resulting goo behavior follows. If it is all just talk, then it is hypocrisy and dead faith. Jesus strongly warned religious leaders of this kind of hypocritical dead religious thinking and life. Are you striving to know and obey God from a heart of love OR just in religious hypocrisy?