"Faith without works is dead."1
One of my favorite quotes happens to be from a Buddhist monk who said, "To know and not to do is not yet to know." To translate this into our Christian terminology it could be, "To believe and not to act is not yet to believe because I only truly believe that which motivates me to action."
It has also been pointed out that we don't always act consistently with what we profess but we always act consistently with what we believe. In other words, I may profess to be a Christian but if I don't act like one, chances are I may not be one.
Furthermore, if I say I believe that Jesus Christ is coming again and unless people receive him as their Savior, they will be lost forever—but don't do anything to share the gospel—chances are I don't really believe that people are lost and that Christ is coming back again. I only profess it.
As James put it, "What's the use of saying that you have faith and are Christians if you aren't proving it by helping others? Will that kind of faith save anyone? It isn't enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn't show itself by good works is no faith at all—it is dead and useless."2 And as James also said, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."3
Good works don't save us. They just confirm what we are and what we believe. Jesus said the same thing. "By their fruits you will know them," he declared.4 In other words, to know and not to do is not yet to know—or to believe and not to act is not yet to believe.
Have you had a reality check lately to see what you really do believe? You measure it by your actions and the way you live.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be a doer of Your Word and not just a hearer and grant that my belief in You will be for real—and be evident in what I do and in the way I live. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. James 2:20.
2. James 2:14, 17 (TLB).
3. James 4:17 (NIV).
4. Matthew 7:20.