Faith Without Works Is Dead
By Brian Price 5/3/10

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” - James 2:20
Ever wonder why Christians sometimes act like children of the devil? Many times it’s because they are children of the devil. The Bible tells us that those who say they have faith, but don’t have good works, are actually imposters.

“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” - Titus 1:16
Many struggle with the book of James because of its teaching on works. Martin Luther (not the civil rights leader, but the one who lived in the 1500’s) supposedly had a hard time dealing with the book of James because of his firm foundation in salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, the very verse he read that won his soul was, “The just shall live by faith.” - Romans 1:17

But if we look closely at the teachings in the scriptures, we can see that God is actually telling us that those who claim to have faith, and don’t have good works, are spiritually dead. These verses in James are not dealing with that of salvation. One cannot be saved by good works. No amount of good works can get a person to heaven. In fact, the Bible actually states, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9.

Although James mentions that a man is justified by works and not by faith only, he is talking about good works that go along after salvation, not before. Hence the reason the Bible says again in the next verse in Ephesians, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:10. Good works justify the Christian, not the unbeliever. Jesus Christ justifies the unbeliever.

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.” - James 2:19-20
You see, the devils believe there is a God. They know there is. They’re fallen angels. But here’s the thing. They’re going to hell. You too can say you love Jesus all you want to, but that doesn’t mean a thing if you’re life doesn’t show it. You might still go to hell. The Bible clearly teaches that just because a person may lay claim to his belief in God or in Jesus, this is not enough to show that he's saved. It takes work. It takes repentance, true penitence of the heart.

My old pastor, Gib Wood, said one time, "Salvation is a lot like a bullet and the hole it makes. Faith in Jesus is the bullet. Repentance is the hole. Which comes first? The bullet? Or the hole? The truth is, they happen at the same time." By the way, repentance is just simply turning from one's sin, and turning to the Lord Jesus. That's all repentance, in biblical definition, is. So any time you see Jesus in scripture refering to repentance, he is talking about one turning from his sin, and returning to Him.

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” - Matthew 15:7-8
I used to be there. I used to say I was Christian and I loved Jesus and everything. But you know, when I was by myself all alone, God knew what kind of person I really was. He knew what kind of thoughts I had on my bed at night. He knew me. Or better yet, he didn’t know me all.
“21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
- Matthew 7:21-23
But it took someone really loving and someone who had courage to show me that I was going hell. I thank God for that person. I'll never forget Marth Palma. Besides my mother, Martha was instrumental in my salvation. My mother is the only other person who, were it not for her, I would not be a Christian today. I was 19 when I really knew that I loved Jesus, because it was then that I returned to him with my whole heart.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.” - John 14:15
"3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
- 1 John 2:3-4
A true Christian is distinguished from a false Christian by his fruit. If the person is a true Christian, ultimately, he will keep God's commandments.
"Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother." - Mark 10:19
So my question to you is this. Do you have faith without works? Don't you know that the unrighteous will go to hell?
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
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