“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Talk is cheap. It’s a common phrase in the English language. We all take it as a given that just because someone says something doesn’t actually mean anything will happen. Of course, there are people that we trust, who have proven that when they say something, they will follow through with action. On the other hand, we don’t trust people who consistently fall through on their commitments. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how great the promise is if it never comes true. What matters is the result – the things that a person does, not what they say.
The same is true for our faith. The faith vs. works argument has been debated at great length, but in truth it’s very simple. Nothing in scripture suggests that any action or good deed can earn any sinner a place in heaven. Nothing that we can do will make us good enough or holy enough to earn our place in eternity with God. It is only faith in God, specifically faith in his son Jesus Christ, that allows us to inherit eternal life by his grace. The confusion comes from the faulty reasoning that the two – faith and good deeds – can exist apart from each other. If a person’s actions don’t reflect the faith they claim to have, that faith simply isn’t real.
Think of it this way: if I promised you I would give you $1 million next week and then next week rolls around and I have nothing to give you, you’d assume that the promise was a lie and that the $1 million didn’t exist. That’s the only logical conclusion. Why then do we have this idea that it’s acceptable, in some cases even “good enough,” just to claim faith but not ever act on it. It’s just as empty as the million dollar promise.
If a husband promises his wife that he will love her forever, then divorces her, the promise was a lie. If a friend tells you he’ll help you move and then doesn’t show up, the commitment wasn’t real. If a parent tells their child they’ll get a pony for their birthday but doesn’t, the pony doesn’t exist.
If you say you believe in Jesus but don’t follow his commands, you don’t really believe in Jesus.
Don’t take my word for it. 1 John 2:4 says, “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
It is clear that a faith in Jesus Christ is a commitment that requires action. Without walking the walk, talking the talk is worthless. Thankfully, we know that when we do fail, when our faith falls short, when our belief falters, we have a savior who gives grace upon grace and will never fail to forgive us. Praise God for that.
I believe that you are the one, true God and that your son Jesus is the savior of all mankind. I believe that by him I am saved and will spend eternity with you. Help me in my moments of unbelief and strengthen me in my faith. Let my life reflect the faith I claim and let me always walk according to your word.
In Jesus’ Name,