Can faith be seen? How can we see faith? These questions are rhetoric in the sense that faith is an intellectual and emotional disposition therefore it cannot be seen. But what did Jesus mean in Mark 2:5 where it is written “And Jesus seeing their faith said to the one sick of palsy, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’”
Did he see their faith? Of course not! Today we will learn two lessons from the passage given in James 2:14-26. We will learn these lessons in light of the topic “visible faith”. What did Jesus really see! What the Lord actually saw was the action of these men who had faith in him. From the divine vantage point, faith is acknowledged when it manifests itself in action. We can’t see faith but we can sense the presence of faith by the actions that it causes. We experience the wind in the same manner.
“Yes, a man will say, you have faith, and I have works: show me your faith apart from your works, and I, by my works, will show you my faith” (James 2:18). God sees your faith, and honors it, when that faith is manifested in doing His will. Having set the ground, we can now look at the lessons from the scripture.
Lesson 1: faith and works must not be held in isolation. This is to say that faith and works are dichotomous. Christians who do not have good works in their life say they believe in Jesus for eternal life. They believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for their sins, was buried and raised to life three days later. But their life is in shambles. They sin constantly. For this the scripture would say, “See? Their faith has no connection with their works.”
Lesson 2: You do not get eternal life by believing that God is One. Oh yes! You don’t gain eternal life by believing that God is one! The demons also know this. You get eternal life by believing in Jesus for it. And the demons have never and will never believe in Jesus for eternal life. Why not? Because it hasn’t been offered to them. Jesus did not die for the sins of demons. No demon believes in Jesus for eternal life.
So don’t allow people to tell you that it has to be more than just believe because the demons believe. That is ripping this verse completely out of context. In conclusion therefore, faith and works must be and should be like the sponge in a bucket of water, how do we describe it? Is the water in the sponge or the sponge in the water? They are in each other. It is faith in Christ that causes good works.