Faith and Works II

We are justified by faith and not by works.

Translation: We are made right with God and restored into an abundant relationship with him not by anything any of us can do to earn this favor, but simply by believing in the love and accepting the gift that he offered through Jesus Christ.

Beautiful. Christians do well to guard this principle, which offers a defense against every bully demanding that salvation requires some special act or sacrifice that you or I do not feel called to perform.

For this reason, the letter of James can seem off-putting when James says, “Faith without works is dead” and “A man is justified by works and not by faith only.”

Yet what James is really advocating is the “law of liberty” (James 1:25). That liberty, that freedom, will automatically entail the freedom to do something—likely a different, special something in the case of every one of us.

Another way of expressing James’ point is that faith is for real. If my faith does not produce a change in my “real” life, then it must that be I still see God, and his liberty, as being less real than this life.

[31 Days of James]