Reflection: What is saving faith? Paul, in this monumentally important verse, answered the question succinctly. The bedrock requirement is faith (i.e., trusting belief in the invisible Creator God who, as Christians know, showed himself on earth in the human/divine person of Jesus of Nazareth: cf. Colossians 1:15). But the extra element of saving faith, the clinching proof, is that it “express[es] itself through love”. We may be sure that Paul was not referring to the utterance of nice-sounding words (see Matt. 7:21; Titus 1:16). He was referring, rather, to right-motivated
conduct – good works. Saving faith manifests itself in loving conduct caused by belief in God. This teaching is consistent with Paul’s magnificent discourse in 1 Cor. 13 about the primacy of love (or “charity”, the translation used in the KJV for the original Greek word agape). Remember, Paul ranked love ahead of faith as a Christian virtue (1 Cor. 13:13).
Questions: Does your faith express itself through love – constantly, occasionally or at all? How?
Prayer: Father forgive my many lazy lapses into Christian tokenism. Help me to express my faith as fully as possible in loving conduct, in all aspects of my life – at church, at home, at work, at play,
indeed in everything I do. Amen