What if Jesus Christ had come and said to us “Go in peace, be warmed and filled”, and then just left; leaving us without giving us the things needed to be warmed and filled and at peace? He didn’t, but what if?
The reality is that Jesus did provide all these things and has promised to meet our needs, much moreso than His provision for the birds of the air. Jesus Christ purchased us peace with God through His blood. He has all power and authority in heaven and earth and has promised to meet all our needs according to His riches. And, beyond all He has provided for us… He has primarily given Himself to us. Isn’t this the ‘brand’ of faith we desire?
So what about faith? Does James steer us toward a self-help solution here in ch2 verses 17-26 or give us a good understanding of what real God-given faith looks like? If we are saved ‘by grace through faith’ (its a package deal – both grace and faith originate with God) then can our faith be dead?
If our faith is dead, then it truly is ours… of our own making or initiative.
James does make it clear that saving faith and sanctifying faith are one and the same and that faith is evident by obediance… fruit… works…. action… Christ in you the hope of glory.
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; (James 2:22 ESV)
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (James 2:24 ESV)
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:26 ESV)