Faithless Action and Actionless Faith

( [email protected] ) Nov 04, 2004 12:15 PM EST

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26 NIV)

Rightly understood, faith is not a substitute for moral conduct but a means toward it. The tree does not serve in lieu of fruit but as an agent by which fruit is secured. Fruit, not trees, is the end God has in mind in yonder orchard; so Christlike conduct is the end of Christian faith. To oppose faith to works is to make the fruit the enemy to the tree; yet that is exactly what we have managed to do. And the consequences have been disastrous.

A miscalculation in laying the foundation of a building will throw the whole superstructure out of plumb, and the error that gave us faith as a substitute for action instead of faith in action has raised up in our day unsymmetrical and ugly temples of which we may well be ashamed, and for which we shall surely give a strict account in the day when Christ judges the secrets of our hearts.


Lord, may my faith and action walk hand-in-hand for Your glory.


Action without faith is directionless and empty. Faith without action is comatose or dead. What does our action (or lack of it) reveal about your faith and mine?

Used with permission.