Posted on October 18, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Victory Call
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:18
I have been partnering with our Accounts Payable Manager on a project for over a year now and periodically she refers to “proving” an account. In other words: to check the correctness of.[i] To prove it is accurate and reflects what’s true.
When my mother makes her homemade yeast dinner rolls or delicious cinnamon rolls (I can smell them now!) – she proofs the yeast and taught me to do the same. “Proofing means testing your yeast to see that it’s still alive and able to start the fermentation process that will create the bubbles of gas that cause bread and other baked goods to rise. Yeast is a living organism.”[ii] So to prove the yeast is viable, Mom adds warm water and sometimes a little sugar and then lets it set for a few minutes. If the yeast is good it will have a foamy layer on the top as a result of the yeast reacting to the sugar and producing a gas.
As I have been leading a women’s Bible study in James, I have been in discussions about works vs. faith. But in reality it is not works versus faith but rather works prove faith. Works verify that faith is true, genuine and real. Works are the proof that faith is viable, active and productive.
Now there is a huge caveat here: If we rely on works to earn favor with God or to improve our standing before God or to earn points to go to heaven we are failing to understand grace. Works do not, cannot save because we cannot keep the law perfectly. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it (James 2:10). In other words, one sin makes us guilty of breaking the law. Only perfection is acceptable to God. Therefore we need something, Someone outside of ourselves to redeem us; we cannot save ourselves.
Therefore, works do not save. Faith does not save. Only Jesus Christ saves by grace. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 Faith is not a result of works. Works are a result of faith. Works are proof genuine faith.
Some meat to chew on today.
[ii] https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-proof-yeast-1388313 accessed 10.11.19
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at email@example.com.
Think About This: Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works. – Martin Luther
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— these, O God, You will not despise. – Psalm 51:17
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.