“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26
As what is stated in the book of Romans, people are made righteous by faith. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is what saves and makes someone righteous. Genesis 15:6 says, “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” It is clear that because Abraham had faith, he was made righteous.
In the book of James, it is emphasized what kind of faith saves. True faith is not proven through works. True faith is not words confessed by believers that are often not held accountable. Proof of words is action, same applies to faith – words of faith is action. The faith of those who truly believe in Christ will show through their actions. James 2:18b: “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
In Hebrews 11:17-19, it is said because Abraham believed God can raise the dead, He took action according to what God had commanded him – offering his son, Isaac. His true faith was revealed through his action.
We are made righteous by faith and this faith is seen through our actions. This is what James means when he wrote: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”
So, let us reveal our faith through our actions. This includes: A change in character and attitude, “ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Romans 12:2a; work out our salvation in obedience, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure,” Philippians 2:12-13; do good for the glory of God, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:16.
The requirement for salvation is faith, and the act of faith is the proof of salvation. True faith produces a renewal of the heart through the Holy Spirit, and that renewal is seen through actions. There is no separation between faith and actions. Instead, faith working together with actions results in faith made perfect, James 2:22.
Source: Article from GBI Gatot Subroto, Jakarta