Mon April 22-Genuine Faith

Genuine faith is love in action,

James 2:17-20. 26 (CEB)

 17 In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity.

18 Someone might claim, “You have faith and I have action.” But how can I see your faith apart from your actions? Instead, I’ll show you my faith by putting it into practice in faithful action. 19 It’s good that you believe that God is one. Ha! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble with fear. 20 Are you so slow? Do you need to be shown that faith without actions has no value at all? 26 As the lifeless body is dead, so faith without actions is dead.


I don’t know about you, but there are some scripture passages that at first glance, leave me saying, “Wait, what is this talking about, ‘dead faith’?” At first glance, this passage seems to address the question, Which is more important, faith or action? James had to address this question because there were false teachers misleading early Christians, by teaching good works or actions were necessary for salvation. But we know that it’s faith in God through Jesus that saves us, not anything we can do on our own. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “You are saved by God’s grace, because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of.” So faith put into action is a living faith, a genuine faith, not a “dead lifeless faith.”

To understand this passage, we need to understand what it means to have genuine faith. John Wesley, founder of Methodism, has said, genuine faith is when we have “a sure trust and confidence” in God, that through Christ our sins are forgiven. Genuine faith means that we love God, with all our heart and soul and mind, and that we love our neighbor as we love ourself. So genuine faith is love in action. When we experience the love and grace of God in our
lives we want to share it with others. God fills us with the Holy Spirit, to work in us to transform us, so that we can do God’s work to transform the world. So a living, genuine faith is transformational.

Faith and good works aren’t a separate proposition, meaning you either have faith or you do good works. Faith is inseparable from good works, our faith is love in action. Genuine faith in God can’t exist without it producing good works. The love of God that transforms us, flows through us into the lives of others as we follow the example of
Jesus by taking action to feed, clothe, serve, care for the sick, share the good news and to seek justice. We show our living faith each day through our loving actions, and our faith bears witness to God’s love.

by Jeneene Reduker

For Pondering and Prayer

Do our lives show others our living faith, or are we playing it safe? What do our actions say about our faith in God?

Prayer: Holy and Loving God, create in us a living faith, that through our loving actions, the world may be transformed by your love for us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scroll to Top