What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”–and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:14-26 ESV)
I like fruit. I especially like blueberries (My all time favorite fruit). So I planted a blueberry tree in my back yard. I put fertilizer around it. I water it. I made sure that I planted it in a place where it can get plenty of sunshine and when it gets cold outside, it is the only plant in my yard that I put a blanket or sheet on to keep it from getting damaged by the frost. I cannot wait to taste the blueberries that it produces. You see that is the point. Blueberry trees produce blueberries.
Faith and works look like that. Faith is what we believe about God to be true. True faith produces the fruit of works. Just like a blueberry tree produces blueberries. James says that if you believe that everyone is made in the image of God and then you respect them by taking care of people who do not have the basic necessities of life (food, clothing, etc.). The evidence of our faith is how we respond (works).
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