Spiritual Law of Faith and Action

Faith is not something we merely possess; rather, it’s something we use. Unless we act, our faith produces nothing, has no value and essentially is dead (Jas 2:17).

In the Greek language and the New Testament, there is no distinction between faith as a belief and actions prompted by belief. Exactly the same Greek noun (pistis) is translated “faith,” “faithfulness” or “trustworthiness,” depending on the context. In part, this means our faith governs our actions. The word also has a verb form, which typically is translated “believe.” Unfortunately, our cultural use of “believe” means only to accept something as being true or real, in contrast to the Bible where faith is an active verb.

Biblical faith requires action, but action also affects one’s faith. When Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son, for example, his faith and his actions were working together, yet his actions made his faith complete (Jas 2:22). Again, this demonstrates that true faith and action are inseparable; without action, faith is incomplete. The same thing occurs when we thank God and praise him for what he said he would do, especially when we don’t see the results; our thanksgiving and praise — our actions — make our faith complete.

We may say we believe what the Bible says, but does that mean we merely accept its validity? Or does it mean our faith in God’s word affects everything we do? In other words, does our faith make us faithful? We might say we have faith in God for provision, healing or protection, but has that faith radically affected how we think and what we do? If not, then we really don’t have faith or believe what we claim we do.

Just as we can determine what a tree is by its fruit, we can determine whether we have faith by examining how we think and what we do.

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