FAITH AND WORKS
When James said, “Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (Jas.2:18) he was not dealing in foolishness. We show our faith by our works—by our service in the Lord’s kingdom—not through temptations in Satan’s kingdom. God has promised to take care of us if we will seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, but he has not promised to take care of us if we live riotously, following after Satan. If we are going to serve the Lord, we must separate ourselves from the world. Paul said, “Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” (2 Cor.6:17). As Christians, our lives must be discernible from those of the world. We have been called out of the world and translated into the kingdom of God. If, after a while, there is no difference between the church member and those out in the world, then something has gone wrong. If the world can tell no difference, and the church can tell no difference, between one who is a member of the church and those out in the world, then I am sure that God can tell no difference.
What does it mean to “come out from among them and be separate?”
It simply means that the Christian is to refrain from the evil practices that the world participates in, and it means devoting one’s life to the service of God. There are certain things that Christians cannot afford to participate in. There are activities that will lead the child of God back into the world. However, there are activities that will strengthen the child of God and draw him closer to the Lord. When the Christian forgets about his own personal pleasures, his own personal advancement; whenever he ceases to worry about special recognition or attention, he will show his faith by his works. It is easy for one to claim that he has faith, but it is a different matter when one proves his faith.
There is a great work to be done in the kingdom of Christ. All around us are those who are lost and without hope—those who have never known the Lord, and those who have fallen by the wayside. There can be no joy comparable to that of bringing one to Christ. The knowledge that you have helped to save a soul, can bring joy untold and a peace of mind that is beyond description. Let us not just claim to be children of God, let us prove it by our Christian living.