Read: James 2:14-26
In the process of breathing, there is inhalation and exhalation. No one can live by just inhaling alone. And in regard to eating and exercise, no one can stay healthy for long by just eating and never exercising. For the Christian, good works is the display of faith as seen by the world. There needs to be a healthy balance between faith and works for a true Christian. Jas. 2:17 says, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Charles Hodge said, “Although religion does not consist in outward acts, it always produces them. The love of God can no more fail to produce obedience to His commands than a mother’s love can fail to produce watchfulness and care for her infant. A person’s religion, therefore, is vain which expends itself in exercises that relate exclusively to his own salvation. And doubtless many Christians go limping all their days because they confine their attention too much to themselves. True religion as we find it in the Bible is a permanent, spontaneous, and progressive principle of spiritual life, influencing the whole man and producing all the fruits of righteousness. It is the root and spring of all right feelings and actions, manifesting itself in love and obedience toward God, in justice and benevolence toward others, and in the proper government of ourselves.”
We need not worry too much to know whether a tree is alive. Its fruitfulness or fruitlessness will tell you the actual condition. In the same way, a living faith produces the evidences of faith: good works. In Heb. 11:33-34, we see people who had faith that “subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Do we have faith like that? Does our faith translate into appropriate actions or works that glorify God?