Devotions for Monday, September 26, 2011
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
This week’s verses are some of the most disputed verses in the Bible. We have to look at them carefully, and in context so that we don’t read some things into these verses that aren’t there. Think about the following:
1. James has already said that salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned. (Check out James 1:17-18).
2. James says in verse 14 “though a man say he hath faith”- so the faith that is being discussed is not faith that is authentic.
James is contrasting authentic faith verses a claim to faith that is dead.
In today’s reading, James is saying that if the faith that we claim is not leading us to do something then the faith that we claim is not authentic God honoring faith at all. He uses the example of saying to someone, “Be warmed and filled” as a way to deal with their hunger and nakedness. Is this profitable? Does it help the problem? Of course not! In the same way, a faith that is just a claim, or a faith that is just words and not action is not faith at all. That’s why James goes on to call this so-called faith, dead faith. It isn’t faith at all.
Is your faith leading you to actions today? What a great test of authenticity! How can you express your faith with your hands and feet today?