Without doubt, faith is the foundation of our salvation. In the King James Version of the Bible, the word faith appears 247 times. Interestingly enough, the vast majority of these references are found in the New Testament.
Throughout the New Testament, a progression in thought emerges. Christ lets His disciples know good works can bring light to the world and ultimately glorify God.
Matthew 5:16—Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Further on, in Paul’s letter to Titus, a challenge is issued from teacher to student to encourage believers to be consistent in doing good works because others benefit from what we do.
Titus 3:8—This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
James raises the importance of good works to an even higher level. He stated good works are a primary indicator of our faith. In fact, he says if we do not perform good works we really do not possess true faith. This thought is quite sobering.
James 2:17—Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Faith without works is dead because it reveals a heart that has not been transformed by God. God commands those who have put their faith in Him to act in a way that conforms to His principles and directives and not those of the world.
An African proverb contextualizes this concept of faith and works in a hand-in-hand relationship: “Put your faith in God, but tie your camel tight.” We see clearly the necessity of having our faith solidly in God, He requires things of us to accomplish His plan.
If we say we have faith in Him… then we become subject to the question are we tying our camel tight by doing what He demands of us?
A life grounded in a robust faith, directed by the Holy Spirit, and lived in obedience to His Word will draw people to Christ and not drive them away from Him.