“There is no essence of faith without works, just as there is no essence of the body with the spirit”
I’m quite sure that what brought you to come read this is because you seek an understanding on faith and works. I do not seem to have attained fully the understanding of this but rather to share in bit what I understand by this through God’s Word. Now, we understand the word faith and everyone seem to be have been taught so well on this topic but I hate assumptions, so let’s just look at what faith is from scriptures because this may be your first time hearing about the word faith. Clearly and boldly written, the scripture gives the definition of it in the book of Hebrews
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I have written on HAVING THE NOW FAITH, you can please read that by using our search engine. So here we see the definition of faith, that first it is in the now, then we understand that it is the substance of things hoped for, and faith is the evidence of things not seen. We must understand clearly here that faith is the drive to things we hope for, and faith also brings to us the evidence of that thing even though we have not seen it. Though this may be for another time but I’ll say, there is a place that joy takes in the position of faith that also provides the substance for you and makes the evidence of it very possible at your reach. Let’s see how Amplified Bible defines it in that same text.
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Faith is the title deed of things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see. What is Title deed? Merriam-Webster dictionary puts it this way
the deed constituting the evidence of a person’s legal ownership
It’s the deed that constitute the evidence of a person’s legal ownership, this is usually done in writing documents, for example Pastor Poju Oyemade always puts it this way, when you own a land you don’t claim the ownership of that land, unless you show the papers to it for which the ownership of that land has been transferred to you legally, such that even without seeing the land at all, or without taking anybody there, by seeing the papers they totally agree that it’s all yours. Now thats what faith is, it gives you the title deed of that thing even when it has not yet been seen and it stands as a sure evidence of your legal ownership of it. Not to dwell too long on this, let’s see what is works because James one of the very practical writers of the scriptures said faith without works is dead and we need to understand that works
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
This takes a serious issue in the heart because James said the phrase “Faith without works is dead” three times
- What is works?
- Works means the obedience of faith
- Works means the demonstration of faith or acting on God’s Word
These definitions are clearly seen in God’s word. Please understand that works does not mean activities but rather obedience or responding to faith or demonstration of faith. James put it to us by saying that some brethren will see a brother that is hungry, instead of giving the brother food or money to buy food they will say the spiritual word “be filled” even as they close their eyes to say it to make it more believing to the hearer but James called this act dead! So we understand that faith can not stand alone, it has to stand with works and then he made it more clearer by saying true faith is known by demonstration and not just in declarations.
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
This then means the practice of works through demonstration is actually faith and not just by your declarations hence your faith stands alone lacking demonstration. That’s why Paul said even in his preaching that they do not come with enticing words but in demonstration
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in DEMONSTRATION of the Spirit and of power:
Therefore we understand that what makes a living faith is something higher than declarations which is to demonstrate it or to walk in obedience of God’s word.
- Abraham was justified by works
This part will make you to understand works very well because Abraham did not just believed God but through his believing there was a demonstration. The Lord said to him that he should sacrifice his only son and the truth about Abraham is, he has learn to believe God and then obey God which is demonstration. Now to add to it, demonstration is the proof of your fear of God. This is because when he was told to sacrifice his son, he obeyed and then when he wanted to do that the angel of the Lord called him out of heaven not to lay his hand on his son and it was said of him that he feared God.
Genesis 22:11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that THOU FEAREST GOD, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
This same thing was said of Noah when the Lord commanded him to build an ark, yes he believed but he demonstrated his believing being moved with fear to build the ark.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, MOVED WITH FEAR, PREPARED AN ARK to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Clearly we understand now that demonstration is a reflection of the fear of God in us. So Abraham was justified by that act which is called works and then righteousness was imputed unto him. James said that you now see how that his works reflects his faith in God and he made us to understand that by demonstration our faith is made perfect
James 2:21 WAS NOT ABRAHAM OUR FATHER JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
2:22 SEEST THOU HOW FAITH WROUGHT WITH HIS WORKS, and BY WORKS WAS FAITH MADE PERFECT?
2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
We must understand that works perfect our faith because through demonstration of God’s word we perfect faith. What justifies us as God’s people is our works and not our faith only. There is no essence of faith without a demonstration of it, which is called works. Scriptures says faith can not stand alone, works have to follow it and by that works you perfect your faith. Works shows faith, because it is the true proof your faith. Demonstrate your faith by your works because faith is actually known by works and not by faith alone for faith can not stand alone without works, hence a dead faith.