Ahhhhh the James 2 Faith vs. deeds
I love this chapter in James mostly because when I was a new believer, I thought that I found a contradiction in the Bible. Silly me…
I remember reading what Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8 NLT God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Or in Galatians 2:16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
Even in Isaiah 64:6a We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.
So then why is James telling us that faith without good deeds is dead? It seems like Paul and James are contradicting each other.
In reality following the law will not get us to heaven, doing good deeds, will not get us there either. Ask yourself this if you could do enough, give enough, or follow the law enough to get into heaven then why on earth would Jesus need to die on the cross for us?
James is merely saying that the faith that saves you will produce good works because you are a follower of Christ. It’s because you love Jesus because you want to be more and more like Him every day, you grow closer to the one that is Love, your deeds are the fruit of that love!
The best example that I can give is Operation Christmas Child. We as a church give generously to this ministry (Deeds). We gather gifts for children that we will never meet. We get so excited as the boxes pile up in the sanctuary week after week, and the Good Lord willing we hit our goal this year, but we do this not to put a check in our heavenly box of salvation we do it for the hope that one child, one family, one village, or even one nation finds Jesus (Faith).