CORRESPONDING ACTION OF FAITH
Jas 2:14-20 KJV 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
The subject of justification by faith and work has been discussed at length. Apostle Paul had taught in the book of Romans that we are justified by faith only and not by the works of the law.
Here Apostle James said a man is justified not of faith alone but by work also.
This seeming disparity has brought a lot of controversy to the body of Christ and I learnt that Rev Luther King Jr wanted the whole book of James expunged from the New Testament because of this. But It was sorted out.
The doctrine of Paul on the subject of justification is stated in such language as the following: “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight,” Rom 3:20. “We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law,” Rom 3:28. “Being justified by faith,” Rom 5:1. “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ,” Gal 2:16. Compare Rom 3:24-26; Gal 3:11; Tit 3:5-6.
On the other hand, the statement of James seems to be equally explicit that a man is not justified by faith only, but that good works come in for an important share in the matter. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works?” Jam 2:21. “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works?” Jam 2:22. “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only,” Jam 2:24.
Now, all that is necessary to reconcile the statements of Paul and James, is to suppose that they contemplate the subject of justification from different points of view, and with reference to different inquiries.
Paul looks at it before a man is converted, with reference to the question how a sinner may be justified before God; James after a man is converted, with reference to the question how he may show that he has the genuine faith which justifies.
Paul affirms that the sinner is justified before God only by faith in the Lord Jesus, and not by his own works; James affirms that it is not a mere speculative or dead faith which justifies, but only a faith that is productive of good works, and that its genuineness is seen only by good works. This collaborates what Paul teaches in Rom 10 that you believe with your heart and confess with your mouth.
Paul affirms that whatever else a man has, if he have not faith in the Lord Jesus, he cannot be justified; James affirms that no matter what pretended faith a man has, if it is not a faith which is adapted to produce good works, it is of no value in the matter of justification
The reconciliation of these two writers is easy: for it was and is still true, that if the question is asked how a sinner is to be justified before God, the answer is to be that of Paul, that it is by faith alone, “without the works of the law;” if the question be asked, how it can be shown what is the kind of faith that justifies, the answer is that of James, that it is only that which is productive of holy living and practical obedience
The harmony is that before a man becomes born again, his works of righteousness cannot give him a right standing before God. He has to put faith in what the Lord Jesus has done and by that he is justified by faith and righteousness is imputed unto him.
But after he is born again, there is to be evidence that his faith is genuine and this is done by the fruits it produces like holy living, righteousness and obedience. In summary, there has to be actions that are consistent with what he professes. This is what Rev Kenneth Hagin of blessed memory termed the corresponding action of faith. The actions that show that you are in faith.
Of course good works do not lead to salvation but you can’t be saved and not do good works. We are saved to do good works Eph 2: 10.
This is what I call the work of faith which is evidently contrary to the work of the law. We still do good work because we are saved.
How do you apply this to our situation?
James said if your faith does not bear any work, he likened to a body without a spirit and he said it is dead. It is the spirit that makes the body to be alive.
Jas 2:26 KJV For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
The word “dead” there is “nekros” in Greek. It means it is destitute of life. He said faith without work is like that. It is dead. A living faith has to be demonstrated.
Take for instance, assuming you are sick and prayed for that you are healed in the name of Jesus, it is expected if you really believe that you are healed to start acting like healed people. You don’t continue lying down there but you start using your leg and hand and act as if you are truly healed. You may still feel pain but 2Cor 5: 7 says we walk by faith and not by sight. Do what you don’t feel like doing and you will discover that healing is done.
In Act 3 where the lame man was healed. After Peter spoke to him that he should be healed, the man was still sitting down there until Peter reached out and lifted him up. The Bible says his ankle bone received strength.
Act 3:7 KJV And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
That was how the miracle was worked out. We have the gift of working of miracle.
I learnt of a story of a sister that the doctor told her that she could not have a baby because her womb was damaged. The lady believed God and she went home, wrapped some clothes and placed them under her gown. She started acting funny like the way pregnant women do. She spat, and did so many things. About three months later she started really feeling funny and so she went to the hospital for a check. Behold, the same doctor that said she could not have a baby declared her to be pregnant. Faith works. The word work.
Are you a student who believes in God for admission? Why don’t you start acting like one. After I wrote the entrance examination to the University for the third time, I told myself after the exam that this would be the last time to write the exam. When I got home, every morning I would dress up and carry my folder and start telling myself that I am a university student, I am going for a lecture, and so on and so forth. I did that for about four months standing before the mirror and spoke my faith and then walked around like a University student. It sounds funny, but I was only demonstrating my faith. of course i gained admission that very year.
You want to buy a car, start acting like a car owner, get a key and hold it the way car owners hold their car keys. Start learning how to drive. In fact, drive the car in your sitting room. The natural man cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit.
You want to get married and there is nobody or money; why don’t you get a wedding gown, dress up every day, walk around your house holding a wedding flower and act as a wife. For the man, get yourself a suit and act like a married man.
What happens when you act on your faith?
Heaven is bound to confirm the word of his servant
You pull the resources and forces of nature to work together on your behalf.
Faith is alike a magnet, it will draw to you what you believed for
Mk 11: 23 says you will receive what you believed and confessed.
Reason why many don’t act their faith
They said it is ridiculous and stupid. That is exactly the point I am making. Faith is the sixth sense and it is diametrically opposite the five senses.
It may not follow the popular opinion and sound illogical, do it. The Bible says the doers will be blessed. We have become word practitioners. Just like you have legal practitioners so also christians are now the word practitioner.
1Co 2:14 KJV But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
As you put your faith to work, you will get the desired result.