Faith Without Works Is Dead
It is absolutely true that no amount of works that we can do will give us the right to be in Gods kingdom. We that make it to live and reign with Him will have made it by His grace and mercy, and by His grace and mercy alone! So why then is faith without works dead? If I have faith or believe then why is that not sufficient? Gods word says that the devils believe and tremble. So we see that faith in itself is not enough.: Now we need more action, without which we find that "Faith without works is dead." Pg 76 We must also show proof to God that we have faith or belief, and that comes by our works or obedience.: But this is not all. There is action and more action. "Faith without works is dead." Pg 88 So faith is belief, and it can also be called obedience. This is a sign to God that we have repented for the way that we have lived our lives and really do have faith or believe in Gods grace and mercy. Let's look at what is required of us that truly believe in Gods grace and mercy.
Mankind has all kinds of explanations to what he thinks sin is, from smoking to drinking to dancing and more. We also know that the way we have behaved in the past has not been in accordance with anyone's standards but our own. This is what God gives for His definition of sin. 1 John 3:4
4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. So sin is the transgressing or breaking of Gods laws. Now look at how much clearer it is in the book of James.
8If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So to transgress the law is to break Gods commandments. Now we see what it means to sin. And we have all sinned and come short of Gods glory.:
23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; But the good news is that we have been given mercy by Gods grace and we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. But the big question is how do we fall under the blood of Jesus? To do this there has to be a set standard for us to live by. And obviously it has to be a standard other than ours or anyone else's. So what is the standard that I will be judged by? How do some people fall under grace and mercy and others fall under the penalty of eternal damnation?
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Through our faith or belief we are given grace or mercy by God. 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. Not by our works that we can have false pride in our spiritual accomplishments. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. We were created to always have lived according to the way that Jesus did and taught. and this was given to mankind from the beginning of creation. We have already read that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is only by His grace and mercy that we are given the chance to repent and walk in His ways. But we are not saved by our works. It is our faith, or belief, or obedience, that brings about Gods grace and mercy. If we have faith or believe what God says about repenting and turning from our sinful lives, and taking hold of His covenant, then we become obedient to our part of the agreement. Quite simply we have to show a new walk in order to fall under the blood of Jesus and obtain Gods mercy. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action. Pg 93
30Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. We establish the law or commandments of God through our faith or obedience. I now have a standard in which I can see whether or not I am truly trying to live according to Gods will. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, "a design for living" that really works.Pg 28 Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. What God had ordained that we should walk in. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. The standard by which we will all be judged. The keeping or breaking of Gods commandments.
Now there are those that say that the law can never be kept perfectly so therefore it is done away with. Well, they are half right. The law has certainly not been done away with, we have to have a standard by which to be judged. But they are correct in the fact that we can not live up to the law perfectly. But it is in striving to live by the law perfectly that we come under grace. What does it mean to be perfect in Gods eyes? 1 Chronicles 28:6-9
6And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. 7Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day. The Lord is telling Solomon, be constant or faithful and unchanging in serving Me. 8Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever. Keep and seek all of Gods will, and then he will be rewarded. 9And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: Know Him by learning what He requires of us and always striving to do his very best to keep Gods commandments or law. A perfect or pure mindset, no middle of the road. for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. God knows what is in our minds at all times, our hearts being our minds.: Genesis 6:5
5And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Let's look deeper into what it means to be perfect before God.: Genesis 17:1-9
1And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And the Lord told Abram to walk before Him and be perfect. In order for Abram to do this God gives Him something to do. 2And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. God makes a covenant with Abram. A covenant being an agreement between two parties, each side having to do certain things to fulfill their side of the pact. Now we know that this covenant is the commandments or Laws of God. 3And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 4As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. 9And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. God changes Abram's name to Abraham and tells Him to keep His covenant and in doing so He will be perfect, just like what God said to Solomon. We also see where Abraham is made the father of many nations or through Him we all have the chance of coming into the same covenant with the same promise, but this is another lesson. The point is that we are perfect when we strive to keep Gods commandments.
9When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. The Lord says that we should not learn to do the things that He has not given us to do to serve Him. 10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. The Lord is using several things here to make His point about what it is that He has not given us to do. Each of these examples has to do with the worship of false gods. 13Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. The Lord has by this point in time been teaching the nation of Israel, which included the stranger or people other than Israel, all His commandments, statues and judgments. It is in keeping them to the best of our ability that we are perfect before God.
30As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. Gods way, or his will, or His commandments are perfect! 31For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? 32It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. My way is made perfect when I strive to do Gods will. Psalm 101:4-6
4A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. 5Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Selfish and self-centered. 6Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. A perfect way is the keeping of Gods commandments. The big book says that we are in the world to play the role He assigns.: We are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity. Pg 68 Let's look at what Jesus said about being perfect.: John 17:14-23
14I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Jesus is praying to the Father about His followers. They are not of the world by living according to Gods commandments and not putting worldly things first before them. 15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. To protect them from the wiles of the devil and their own lusts. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. They strive to keep the Law even as Jesus does. 17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Setting them apart through the Word of God. 18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. As the Father sent Jesus to bring mankind the message of salvation and what must be done, Jesus has sent the disciples to carry the message to still others. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. As Jesus has set Himself apart from the world through the word, the desciples might also be set apart by the keeping of the word. 20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; And Jesus did not pray only for the desciples but also for those who would hear them, He prayed for us. 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. That we may all be one, set apart from the world as servants of God, keeping the commandments to the best of our ability. And by serving God others may come to believe and come to serve God when they see how we live and conduct ourselves in all our affairs. 22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Made perfect by the keeping of the commandments to the best of our ability, for the glory of God the Father, through the example set by Jesus Christ.
Now we see what it means to be perfect, and those of us who really try to be perfect before God know how this can be a struggle within ourselves at times. Let's see what Paul says about this struggle with doing what we know God would have us do.: Romans 7:4-7
4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. We have become dead to the law because we are no longer under the law, we now obey it as we strive to serve God so we can be an example to others. 5For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. When we were living to satisfy our lusts we were doing things that broke the law, and were sealing our own damnation. 6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. But now we are no longer breaking the law but living according to it. 7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. It is by the law that we know what sin is.
The law or commandments are the very standards that we will be judged by.: Romans 7:12-16 12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. So we see that the law or commandments are holy, just, and good, giving us a way to strive to adhere to what is pleasing to our Creator. 13Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. Now as we strive to serve God and keep His commandments, when we fall short we have away of clearly seeing our short comings and we can turn back to what God would have us do. 14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. The commandments are spiritual or Godly and not material and I am carnal or worldly both in body and mind. 15For that which I do I allow not:I do the things that I am striving not to do. for what I would, that do I not; What I really strive to be spiritually I can't accomplish. but what I hate, that do I. The things that I have come to despise are the very things I find myself doing. 16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. So the things that I find myself doing, and I don't want to do them, I see are against the very law that I am striving to keep. So I see that the law is good as it continues to show me when I fall short. Of course I find that these struggles are fought as I strive for perfection, not as an excuse for willfully falling short. Galatians 5:16-26
16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. So the only way to win this battle is to live as best we can according to the word of God. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Gods word and the things of this world or our own selfishness are always fighting against each other because they are completely opposite of each other. 18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. If you are led by Gods word you are not under the law because you are keeping it and not breaking it. 19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Selfishness and self-centeredness. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Living by Gods laws and commandments. 24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. We no longer live selfishly but selflessly. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code. Pg 84 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. We must show who we serve by how we live.
Let's Look now at what it means to be under Gods grace. In the 5th chapter of Romans they say that the gift of grace is free, the gift being the atonement for our sins by the death of Jesus Christ. The grace is mercy from God that He does not have to give us. By His word, according to our sins, we should all be made to suffer eternal damnation. But by His grace or mercy we are given a chance to repent and turn again to serve Him.: "God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" Pg 63
When we were under sin or serving our own selfish needs we were under a death sentence.: Romans 5:21
21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Having now begun to come under grace through righteousness we have a chance at eternal life by Jesus. We know that no amount of works can bring us eternal life and that it is only gained through Gods mercy or grace.
1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? We have to begin to live in a way other than our old selfishness, and there is only one standard by which we can live and come under Gods grace. 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. So once we have been baptized in Jesus and made a decision to serve God we must live differently than we have been. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: As He died for our sins we also must let our sinful ways die and strive to live in a new way or in the likeness of His resurrection into a new life. 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Now having repented and knowing what sin is we strive to live by His commandments and not willfully sin. 7For he that is dead is freed from sin. Once we begin this new way of life we are no longer under the bondage of sin, we are free from it. 8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. When the old man dies and we are freed from the death sentence brought about by sin, we now have a chance at living with Christ as long as we keep ourselves dead from sin by not willfully breaking His laws. 10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So we too must die unto sin and live unto God. The only way to do this is to strive to keep His law. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Do not purposly do what you know is against Gods word. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Do what you know to be Gods will. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. In striving to serve God and not willfully sinning we are under Gods grace and not the death penalty brought about by sin. 15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. We can't be under grace if we continue to willfully sin or break Gods laws, grace is an opportunity to change from breaking Gods commandments and to live according to them. 16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? We are either servants of God or servants of satan. There is no middle of the road. 17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. So now having faith or believing in Gods word we have become obedient to it and are made servants of righteousness or servants of God. 19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. Our old way of living, selfish and self-centered, leads to death and eternal damnation. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. The only way to become a servant of God is to obey Him. That leads to everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Something has to die for our sins, blood has to be shed. Our gift from God is to come under the shed blood of Jesus and have a chance at eternal life.
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Faith is the belief in things that we don't have convincing proof of or don't see. It is believing that God will deliver His promise of eternal life to us and keep His side of the covenant by bringing us into the land that He swore to those before us that were His servants. We believe this through His word even though we have not seen this with our own eyes, just as we believe that God created all things. We believe that if we obey Him and keep our part of His covenant that He will do what He said He will. Therefore we have faith in God.
6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn't. What was our choice to be? Pg 53
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. Pg 46 We must believe that God is and that He will reward us for serving Him. If we don't have faith we can not make a beginning. The whole 11th chapter of Hebrews is full of examples of those that have served God and have all had faith. Everyone of them showed their faith by their works or by obeying Gods word. You can go and find them in the scriptures and read about each and everyone of them.
17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Just beleiving is not enough with God. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. We show our faith by our works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. Even the devils believe and they tremble because they know God and they see and talk with God. 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? You don't really have faith if you don't show it by your works. 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? By obedience was Abraham's faith made perfect. 23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. If we believe we must show that by our conversation or lifestyle. If you tell me that you will give me something for meeting you somewhere and helping you do something and that what you will give me is a great reward for doing this, I show my faith or belief in what you are telling me by my actions or by going to meet you and help you. You most certainly are not going to pay me before I do what is required. God is the same way. 25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? Take the time and read about Abraham and Rahab and you will see their faith demonstrated by their works. 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. So just as the body is dead without Gods breath of life, so is a persons faith wtihout their works.
As we have things revealed to us it is our whole duty to put them into practice in all our affairs. Faith or belief must become obedience to God and His word if we are to grow. Remember we strive for spiritual perfection in order to have spiritual growth.
We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. Pg 84
1 Thessalonians 5:21-23
21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.