James 2:14-26, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Romans 3:23-26, Ephesians 2:8-10
When you buy a car, there are special features you can get as upgrades. Extras are nice, though not necessary. But what if you purchased a vehicle and looked under the hood to find that there was no engine? I’m no car expert, but I know the engine is essential for the car to run. It is not an “extra.” This is a picture of the Christian life: Faith is the engine that powers our works. And faith without works is dead faith.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, our proclamation of faith is validated in our demonstration of good works. When Jesus is acknowledged as the good King who sits on the throne over all of our desires, it changes the way we live out our faith. We live as God’s children—children who believe in the one true King. And we live as His servants who want to carry out His will.
Our works do not save us. Jesus’ work alone produces the saving faith that springs forth from one’s heart. Only by faith in Jesus’ kingship and His triumph over the power of death can we be brought to a newness of life—new creations, found in Him complete. God the Father gives this gift of faith by grace. Grace is a currency that is unattainable by any human work.
Grace is not transactional. It is charity—a completely free gift from God which produces faith in faithless men and causes us to cling to Jesus.
The very Word of God wrapped in flesh cried out on the rugged cross, “It is finished!” Three days later He rose and defeated death. No man is capable of keeping perfect faith on his own. But as they used to say in the old church choir, “He is able.” God is able to keep the engine of faith running. Even in our hypocritical moments of disconnect between our words and our deeds, He keeps us and uses us.
We are men of imperfect faith, but we are met with perfect grace. By remembering and trusting in God’s faithful work, our faith will never die. Our faith is living and active because it is in a living, active God who eternally loves us and uses us for His glory.
Written by Jevon Washington