What kind of faith do you have? The question we must ask ourselves is, is the faith I have a saving faith or a non-saving faith? In the Book of James in the New Testament, the writer inspired by God gives us tests so we can evaluate our faith to determine whether our faith is a living faith or a dead faith. In the Christian Church it is important we possess what we profess. If we claim to be a Christian, the characteristics of being Christ-like will be evident in our lives and if they are not… well you get the idea.
Here are the tests given in James for determining whether or not our faith is a living saving faith or a dead non-saving faith:
#1 James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
How do you respond to trials in your life? All of us will go through trials of all kinds throughout this life. How you respond determines much about the kind of faith you have.
#2 James 1:15: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
How do you respond when you are tempted? Who do you blame when you are tempted? A lot of us always look to blame others for our shortcomings in this area. What does this area say about your faith?
#3 James 1:19-22: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
How do you respond to the Word of God? Do you receive it? Do you obey it? It is one thing to say you believe the Bible, but another thing to obey and apply it in your life. Are you a doer of the Word or only a hearer?
#4 James 1:27: Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
How do you respond to those in need? Caring for those who are hurting and broken can keep us from being lured into the world because we can see others’ needs above our wants.
#5 James 2:1: My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
This verse is clear in meaning in that, you cannot hold faith, true faith in Jesus Christ and show partiality to specific people and not others. If God had this attitude, we all would be in trouble because none of us measure up.
#6 James 2:14,17: 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
This is where the rubber hits the road for those who profess what they don’t possess. We know someone’s faith is real by what they do. There is evidence of a faith that has changed a life to reflect the heart of God in our good works. Otherwise, our faith is dead. So, if you claim to have faith, then show me your faith otherwise it is lip service. What we do and how we live reveals what kind of faith we have and in who that faith is in.
Take the test? If you come up short, Christ is the answer. He has the power to forgive and the power to change your life. Today, I humbly ask if you haven’t already done so, put your faith in Christ and Christ alone.
Paul is a Christ Follower. He has been married to his beautiful wife Rebecca for twenty-four years. They have two beautiful children, a dog, two cats and a turtle. They love being together as a family and doing the adventure that is ministry. They love the outdoors and enjoying God's creation.