31 Oct. James 2:14-19,4:11-12

31 October. Faith without helpful deeds is worthless

"My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them?"

"A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. If you say to that person, 'God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,' but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. In the same way, faith that is alone - that does nothing - is dead."

"Someone might say, 'You have faith, but I have deeds.' Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons [Greek - 'daimonia' - evil spirits] believe that too, and they tremble with fear..."

"My brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers [of the faith], because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all make many mistakes."

"If people never said anything wrong, they would be perfect and able to control their entire selves too. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control their whole bodies. Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship... It is the same with the tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it boasts about great things."

"The tongue is like a fire, It is a whole world of evil among the parts of our bodies. The tongue spreads its evil through the whole body... We use our tongues to praise our Lord and [Heavenly] Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself..."

"My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. Do good and bad water flow from the same spring?.. Can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! And a well full of salty water cannot give good water."

"Brothers and sisters, do not tell evil lies about each other. If you speak against your fellow believers or judge them, you are judging and speaking against the law they follow. And when you are judging the law, you are no longer a follower of the law. You have become a judge. God is the only lawmaker and judge. He is the only one who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge your neighbour."

          (James 2:14-19, 3:1-12, 4:11-12)

 

 

James points out that it’s no good claiming to have faith if your actions don’t show it. There’s no point telling poor people to ‘have faith’ if what they really need is food and clothing. So faith without actions is useless. (James 2:14-20)

Just as a body is dead once a person’s spirit leaves it, so too “faith that does nothing is dead!” (James 2:26).

James then warns the believers to be wary of the power of the tongue. Not many of them should become teachers of God’s word, as teachers will be judged more harshly than most by the effect of their words.

The tongue is only small, but it can have a huge effect – like the bit in a horse’s mouth, or the rudder on a ship. A person’s tongue can spread evil like a forest fire, or it can be used to praise God. Blessings and curses shouldn’t pour out of the same mouth any more than you’d expect sweet water and salt water to flow out of the same spring! (see James 3:1-12)

James warns the believers against judging other Christian brothers and sisters. By doing so, they are setting themselves up as God. (James 4:11-12)

The photo shows boys playing football at a Christian children's home in India (Children's Homes in India Trust).

You can read more from the Letter of James @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/18-le…/the-power-of-words/


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