But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
This is the “gotcha” passage for anyone who doesn’t subscribe to “sola fide.” But consider this.
Suppose Abraham’s faith wasn’t rock solid. What would have been different? Would he have still gotten up early in the morning to chop the wood? Sure.
Would he have taken Isaac to the mountain? Would he have built the altar? Would he have tied Isaac up?
Yes, yes, and yes to that and more.
So, what would have been different?
The moment when he raised the knife. That’s when faith and works became one. Was he really going to do it or not?
Yes means faith. No means bogus.
In that moment, was Abraham being tested by God or was God being tested by Abraham? We know the answer.
But if Abraham didn’t have rock-solid faith, he would have been testing God. He would have been waiting to see what happened next.
But he wasn’t waiting. How do we know? Because God knew.
“I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.” — Jeremiah 17:10
Psychologists have a simple way to explain this—“We always do what we choose to do.”
Works is what we do.
Faith is what we choose to do.
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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community
The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.