Christians, at times, go through seasons of feeling as if they’re not living out their faith as they should. They think it’s caused by not reading their Bible consistently, not praying enough, or not sharing their faith with others on a weekly basis. Regardless of what causes the feeling of a dying faith, we all think that we can fix it by just doing more “stuff” and somehow by doing more “stuff” we can prove that our faith is authentic. It’s as if we think doing spiritual things are a means to being a Christian, right? We want to ignite our faith with the power of works. But this is not what the Bible teaches.
The book of James says, “So also faith by itself if it does not have works, is dead.”
Question: What’s the problem? My works or my faith?
Most of us have read this scripture with good intent but applied it wrong. In this case, we think that James is telling us to awaken our good works, which is kind of true, but our works are only dead because first, our faith has no pulse. The real problem is that we try to revive ourselves by our works when really our faith is the thing that needs reviving.
It’s not that we should revive our works, it’s more that we need to revive our faith.
It’s been said before, “A heart by itself if it does not have a pulse, is dead. So, if I have no pulse, what’s the problem? A dead heart. And what should I do to get a pulse? Try to revive my heart.”
So, how do we revive a dead heart/faith? By thinking about what Christ has done for us through His life, death, and resurrection. For the love of Christ compels us, (for we know), He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them (2 Corinthians 5:15).
So, when our works seem to be nonexistent and our faith seems ineffective we must remember that we have died to self and now live for Christ. This new life we now live by faith in Christ will produce good fruit. For Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). This is what it means to have true living working faith. As we continue learning to live out our relationship with God and others, let us remember that our faith must come from the pulse of the gospel.