Reflection: “Faith alone justifies but justifying faith is not alone. You may as well separate weight from lead or heat from fire as works from faith. Good works, though they are not the causes of salvation, yet they are evidences.” So said the English Puritan Thomas Watson.
We are saved by God’s grace alone through faith alone. Yet the beauty of that truth can be abused. If we minimize faith to only being a sin transaction (my guilt for Christ’s righteousness), we miss the fact that faith unites us to Christ, who fills us with his Holy Spirit.
Faith always changes us. It is impossible to be united to Christ in justification without having your heart reoriented towards sanctification. Which is why James talks so strongly here. He says faith without works is dead – that kind of “faith” can’t save – because it isn’t true faith.
As we have seen throughout this entire series, one of the constant metrics that true faith is at work in your life is a changed heart towards the poor. Of course, obeying Christ means transformation of so many areas of our life – our worship of God, our sexual ethics, our abhorrence of violence. Together with these, we need to include another – our response to the poor. God’s people reflect God’s generous heart towards the poor.
Question: Is your faith alive or dead?
Prayer: Dear God, through your indwelling Spirit, help me to reflect your generous heart towards the poor. Transform my life through faith in you. Amen.
Watch: The Genesis of Human Rights – https://www.publicchristianity.org/the-genesis-of-human-rights/