by Rick Warren — June 22, 2020
“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.’”
James 2:18 (NLT)
But faith is so much more than that. James teaches us that real faith transforms lives.
James 2:18 says, “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’” (NLT). Here, James is describing the person who thinks faith can be separated from actions—how believing in God’s Word and good deeds aren’t connected.
However, James also says he can’t see your faith if you don’t show it with your good deeds.
His life has been changed by his faith, so James says he can prove his faith by pointing to the way he serves God and the way he serves others.
One way to explain this is to consider love. Love isn’t visible unless you are able to see it in action. In the same way, the only way you know if someone has real faith is by looking at how they live.
James is essentially saying, “If you claim to be a Christian, then I have the right to ask you to prove it through your actions.”
The point is, someone as big as God can’t possibly come into your life without changing you visibly. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT).