We all talk about faith, we sing about faith and read about faith but God wants to us to put our faith into practice, live out our faith in life. A true believer has his faith on display at all times.
James 2:20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? We are righteous when we put into action our faith. We need works of faith, not faith alone. James here gives us a couple of examples of living faith or faith in action.
How to live out your faith in action?
1. Faith in action is to be involved in good deeds. James 2:14-17
Faith in action is to be involved in good deeds in spite of our needs. We are called for good works.
2. Faith in action is to obey God.
James 2:21-22 21Was not our Father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
A good example for obedience by faith is Abraham. When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Abraham was more than willing to sacrifice him. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
As a result of faith, he got back his son. His eyes were opened where God provided an alternative ram for the sacrifice and Abraham is called the father of all who believe.
Remember, faith never came easy to Abraham. There were times when he faltered in his faith especially when he went to Egypt and he paid terribly for it. He almost lost his life and his wife. But now he is mature and he is putting his faith into action. Let us be committed to obey God’s word not matter what difficult it is.
3. Faith in action is to sacrificially love God.
Now, I want you to look at another person who is very new to faith and who puts faith into action, Rahab. It’s understandable that James would use Abraham as an illustration of living faith—especially to his predominately Jewish readers. Rahab, however, is a different story. She was a Gentile, a prostitute, a liar, and lived in the pagan city of Jericho. How could such a person illustrate true faith? James 2:25-26 25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Rahab knew very little about the true God but what she knew, she believed, and what she believed, she acted on.
She believed that God had led His people out of Egypt and defeated the Amorite kings. Joshua 2:9-10. She openly confessed that the Lord “is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” Joshua 2:11.
True faith willingly makes whatever sacrifices God requires. She was willing to sacrifice her life for the same of faith by hiding the spies. If she was found out she would be killed by the king. Friends, we need to be willing to put our life on the line for the sake of faith. God is looking for people who are willing to sacrifice for the sake of faith. Her faith was vindicated when she aided the Hebrew spies who entered Jericho just prior to Joshua’s invasion.
4. Faith in action is trusting God in difficulties.
Finally, when God brought the walls of Jericho down, remember everyone living in and around the walls perished. Jericho was burned by fire. However, in all these difficult situations Rahab trusted God that he who promised is faith to save her. See is going through the rubbles but deep down she knew that God will save her and her family.
Today, you may be going through a tough time. Maybe, different things looking bleak and there is no hope for the future. However, faith in action is trusting God in difficult times. God who saved and rescued Rahab will protect us. He who promised is faithful to the end. In Matthew 1, we find Rahab’s name listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Look at the honour of faith in action.
Trust God in difficult times. Both Abraham and Rahab valued their faith in God above all else. Both were willing to sacrifice what mattered most to them: for Abraham it was Isaac; for Rahab it was her own life. They were willing to trust God in difficult times. Their obedience in the face of such great sacrifice proved the genuineness of their faith. James calls each of us to examine ourselves to be sure we have a living faith.
I pray that God will enable you to live out your faith that we profess. Ask God for the grace and courage to face any sacrifice necessary as you live out your faith.