Your faith is DEAD.
Can you imagine if you reached the gates of Heaven only to find out that after living the "Christian Life" your faith was dead the whole time? Maybe you think you would know if your faith was dead, and I hope you would, I hope we all would, but I have to wonder. I don't think Jesus would have said "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Matthew 7:21 I would assume that would mean that there are Christians who will sincerely believe that their faith in the fact that God sent Jesus to die for them will be enough to get them a ticket into Heaven. Jesus however plainly states right here that calling on his name will not be enough.
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. James 2:14-17
James clearly states that if we are not living out our so-called faith that it's as good as dead. People with dead faith can "talk the talk", but they don't "walk the walk". While this may be an upsetting topic, the truth is pretty cut and dry. You can read the Bible all day long, you can pray the longest, loudest prayers, you can wear the T-shirts, go to church, watch Fireproof, Courageous, Flywheel, and listen to K-Love every single day, but those things will NOT guarantee your salvation.
Think about Abraham. He knew God, and talked to God, God couldn't have been any less real to Abraham, but it was Abrahams surrender to God that proved His salvation. He was willing to follow and obey, to WALK the walk that God called him to. This is where it gets tricky because you can say, was it Abraham's willingness to follow God that saved him, so Abraham could boast in that? No, it wasn't. He believed God, and had a faith that was alive and his surrender produced "faith in action". Had he not had faith that was alive he would have never offered Isaac up, he would have carried on with his life, ignoring what God called him to do, and his faith would have proven itself dead.
That is why I have used the image above every day. The question isn't FAITH or WORKS? The answer is FAITH AND WORKS. It is by our works that the true faith within us manifests itself.
I love the way Warren Wiersbe speaks on this in Be Mature (James): Growing Up in Christ (The BE Series Commentary).
As believers we have an obligation to help meet the needs of people, no matter who they may be. "As we have therefore the oppertunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" Gal 6:10. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me". Matthew 25:40
In reference to Luke 10:25-37 the good Samaritan Wiersbe notes that "Each of them would defend their faith, yet neither demonstrated faith in loving works.".
So what would be said of us? If we know of a need and do nothing to meet it, can we call our faith living faith?
My prayer for all of us is that we would not be deceived to believe our faith is alive when it is truly dead.
View 31 Days Through The Book Of James here.