So Many Differences

Author: Michelle Isenhoff — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: March 11, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
So Many Differences

By grace alone, through faith alone.” Many believers describe the “how” of salvation in these terms (based on Ephesians 2:8-9). If a person places their faith in Jesus, that person receives forgiveness of their sins by the grace of God. Good works cannot add to or grant the forgiveness that comes by grace alone through faith alone. However, when reading the book of James, it seems like James teaches the opposite! James says things like, “Faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself” (James 2:17). So what does James mean? It’s important to recognize that James was a pastor. His letter is written a lot like a sermon with a heavy emphasis on practical application. One of the major themes in the book of James is the importance of works. James teaches us that a believer is meant to vindicate their faith through their works. To vindicate means to prove something is genuine or real. In other words, a believer demonstrates they have a genuine, living, and active faith through the good works they do. Good works can’t earn salvation, but they are meant to be the result of salvation. Last summer I planted a garden for the first time. Out of my four pepper plants, three produced tasty peppers. However, one of my plants never produced any peppers. In fact, over time that fourth plant lost its leaves, became brown, and died. The fruit from three of my pepper plants was visible proof that those plants were alive and growing. The lack of fruit from the other plant demonstrated that it had in fact died. For believers, this works the same way. If you don’t do good works, what is the difference between your faith and a dead faith? In Christ, we are not saved by good works but are saved for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10). • Jonathon Fuller • Faith in Christ changes us from sinners into children of God, and, when our identity is in Christ, our actions will begin to change by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Reread today’s Bible passages. What are some examples of good works that demonstrate faith in Christ? But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works. James 2:18 (CSB)


Read Verses:

John 4:1-43