Authenticity matters. Appearances are not convincing to the modern person, we know too much about marketing and fake news. The savvy person knows that carefully constructed facades sometimes hide not so impressive realities.
Authentic faith isn’t just words but faith in action. Fake faith, like fake news, is just hot air, empty words with no changed life undergirding those words.
James says in vs14-17 that authentic faith is not what you think or say but what you do because of what you believe. James must have had the words of Jesus ringing in his ears still when he penned these words as Jesus had said to James and the other disciples;
“If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them…A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:17,34-35)
Works/actions are not the basis of our faith, but they are to be the result of our faith. Faith unaccompanied by resultant actions of love and a changed life is useless faith, unauthentic faith.
So, seeing a brother or sister in need and merely saying nice things to them is useless, it belies authentic faith. Real faith in God, results in a person being overwhelmed by the gracious & generous love of God and being transformed by the love so that in turn they too love others with the very same love they have received.
Jesus loved us by inconveniencing Himself, leaving heaven, living a humble obedient life, suffering opposition and then ultimately by giving Himself for us on the cross.
Authentic faith replicates that love. Loving God back by laying down our whole life for His purposes (Romans 12:1-2) which will cause us to love other people with self-giving actions just as Jesus loved us.
– In what ways is your faith on display in actions that are rooted in you responding to God’s love for you?
– Is there someone God is calling you to love with actions today?