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True Faith Should Result in Good Works
Bible Passage James 2: 14-26
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & books Genesis, Hebrews, James.

True Faith Should Result in Good Works

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached February 15, 2023

14 What good does it do, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but does not prove it with actions? This kind of faith cannot save him, can it?

15 Suppose a brother or sister does not have any clothes or daily food

16 and one of you tells them, “Go in peace! Stay warm and eat heartily.” If you do not provide for their bodily needs, what good does it do?

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it does not prove itself with actions, is dead.

18 But someone may say, “You have faith, and I have actions.” Show me your faith without any actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions.

19 You believe that there is one God. That’s fine! Even the demons believe that and tremble with fear.

20 Do you want proof, you foolish person, that faith without actions is worthless?

21 Our ancestor Abraham was justified by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar, wasn’t he?

22 You see that his faith worked together with what he did, and by his actions his faith was made complete.

23 And so the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” And so he was called God’s friend.

24 You observe that a person is justified through actions and not through faith alone.

25 Likewise, Rahab the prostitute was justified through actions when she welcomed the messengers and sent them away on a different road, wasn’t she?

26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without actions is also dead.


The Christian faith is not merely a mental belief, but something that is practised. Those who say they have faith must give evidence of it by their behaviour. In the case of the poor Christians considered in yesterday’s reflections, it is useless to talk sympathetically to them but not give them food and clothing.

A professed faith must produce a corresponding change in behaviour, otherwise it is dead and useless (verse 14-17).
Genuine faith will prove itself by good deeds. The simple belief that God exists is not enough. Even demons have such a belief, but it will not help them escape God’s wrath and judgement (verse 18-19).

True faith is active and has to have works as well as words. Works will come from the faith of the person who really trusts in God. Faith has to prove itself by what it does. The works of faith here does not mean just to keep the law. It means to do good things and to be kind to other people.

So the believer must practically profess his/her faith. It’s important to understand that the love of God, if it is true, must propel us to have a great deal and wonderful relationship with people. Our relationship with others determines our faith.

Abraham also had a belief in God, but it was a belief that completely changed his life and actions. True, Abraham was justified by faith when he whole-heartedly trusted God, even though he did not know how God could possibly fulfil his promise (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:1-3,16-25). But that is not the incident James is talking about here. He is talking about the incident thirty years later, at the time of Abraham’s offering of Isaac (verse 20-21; compare Gen 22:1-18). Abraham not only said he believed in God, but he proved it by being willing to sacrifice Isaac on the altar. He believed that God could fulfil His promise of giving Abraham a multitude of descendants through Isaac, by bringing Isaac back to life (cf. Heb 11:17-19).

Genuine faith is demonstrated not simply by the set of beliefs a person holds, but by the actions that those beliefs produce (verse 22-24).

As with Abraham the friend of God, so with Rahab the prostitute, faith expressed itself in actions (verse 25; compare Josh 2:1-21). Faith and good deeds are as inseparable as body and spirit.

🔷 True, real faith must lead to active love and sacrifice for other people

🔷 Faith and works are not separate. They are like body and soul that must always be together. Where there’s separation, there’s death

🔷 The simple acts of mercy to people in need to save lives receive applause even in heaven

🔷 Faith that is not supported by works is dead

💥 Pray that you can be merciful to those in need
💥 Pray for anyone who is cold and hungry

Good words are of no use when we do not add actions to them. Our faith can only be seen in our actions and works. True faith will impress upon you to be kind to other people.

In series Bright Morning Reflections