The born-again Christian should practice good works. He should act, talk and live differently. Jesus spoke of Christians as being lights—Matthew 5:14–16. We can either shine for the Lord, or we can hide our light. A light is of no value unless it is used. The church often does not have an impact upon the world because the Christians are not producing good works.
The Acts of Faith are Saving
The Acts of Faith are Practical
The Acts of Faith are Enduring
II. Practical Faith—vv. 14–19
A. Impractical faith—v. 14. What value is it to have faith if we do not use it? It is lifeless, it is dead!
B. Indifferent faith—vv. 15–16. “If you have a friend who is in need of food and clothing, and you say to him, ‘Well, goodbye and God bless you; stay warm and eat hearty,’ and then don’t give him clothes or food, what good does that do?”—LB.
C. Impact of faith—vv. 17–18. Unless you show that your faith has made you Christ-like, and unless it makes you become interested in helping others, your faith is in vain.
D. Impersonal faith—v. 19. Satan believes in Christ, but he is not a Christian. He believes in his mind only. Note Romans 10:9–10.
III. Powerful Faith—vv. 20–26
A. Problem of faith—vv. 20, 24. Believing without doing is not really faith. Faith acts! Note v. 24.
B. Practicing faith—vv. 21–22. “Was not our early father Abraham right with God by what he did? He obeyed God and put his son Isaac on the altar to die. You see his faith working by what he did and his faith was made perfect by what he did”—NLT.
C. Personal faith—vv. 21–25
1. Abraham—vv. 21–23. His faith acted; he obeyed God fully.
2. Rahab—v. 25. Her faith saved her—Joshua 2, Hebrews 11:31.
D. Power of Faith—v. 26. The body is dead without spirit, so the Christian is lifeless without faith.
Does your faith work? Does your faith get results? Are you willing to trust God for the impossible? Note Jesus’ words in Mark 16:16. We are saved by believing. But we maintain our Christian experience by faith. By putting faith and works together we get results.
I. A Live Faith. Works are an evidence of a real live faith. The possibility of the possession of a dead faith is here declared (14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 26). Just as a live body will manifest its life in action, so live faith will move.
II. A Profitable Faith. Works make faith profitable (14). “What doth it profit?” is a great question. Here we have profit associated with faith. It is essential that we should have a profitable faith.
III. A Working Faith.
1. FAITH LEADS TO SHUDDERING (19). Real faith leads us to believe in a living God. But what does such a faith lead to? It makes even devils tremble, or, as it could be rendered, “The devils also believe and shudder” (M. reads, “So do the devils, and they shudder”). Has your faith in the existence of God led to shuddering yet?
2. FAITH LEADS TO SACRIFICE (21). Abraham’s faith led him to Mount Moriah, and to offering his son. Real faith will lead us to Calvary, and to accept the sacrifice Christ has made.
3. FAITH LEADS TO JUSTIFICATION (24). That is, real, living faith.
IV. Perfection of Faith (22). Faith can mature. The proof of a strong and maturing faith will be seen in a plenitude of works.
Some non-Christians produce more good works than the born-again Christian. Jesus said the world should see our good works—Matthew 5:16. Some non-dedicated Christians bring shame to God’s work by not living a fully dedicated Christian life. Thank God for those who live so that they bring honor and glory to God and His work.