Years ago, I had a conversation with a friend I still replay at times. As we watched our kids on a playground, she asked about faith and works. “Can you be a Christian but not really act like it?”
She began recalling two girls at church in her youth group. They were there every Sunday, sang in the youth choir and went on all the mission trips. These two girls had found something out about my friend and turned on her with words and gossip that wounded her to the core. They excluded her from their friend group, made her feel unwelcome and soon she stopped going to church altogether.
Now as a young mom, she was wondering about Christianity. Could someone claim to be a Christian without works that bore it out?
We talked about real faith. We talked about faith being a gift of God’s grace that doesn’t come from our works. And we talked about the place of works where there is authentic faith.
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Right on that playground, in the midst of squealing kids and sippy cups, we wrestled through the same questions that wrested the earliest church fathers. Is there a faith without works?
Spurgeon said “faith and works are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God trusts God; he that trusts God, obeys God.”
Faith is a verb.
Today, I’m writing over at Deeper Waters as part of the study through the book of James. I’d love you to join me for the rest of this devotion.
Happy to be linking with #TellHisStory.