True faith only works with effort. No, we are not saved by effort or our own works of righteousness, but by God’s grace. But God’s grace, however, only works when we are ready to receive it by real faith. How is our faith proven? Faith is proven by works following according to James chapter 2:18 (King James version Bible),
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
James is saying that real faith is only shown by works that come as a result of a held faith. In other words, I will show you my faith by the things that I do and not simply by a confession of faith. Anybody can say that they have faith in God, but not everybody can prove this faith with a life of submission and obedience to His Word.
Abraham’s Faith Proven By Works
James goes on to prove in James chapter 2 and verses 21-24 (KJV) that Abraham’s great faith was only proven by his works; he says,
(21)”Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?”
(22)”Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”
(23)”And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
(24)”Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Therefore, we can gather from Abraham’s faith, which very much pleased God, that if you want God’s grace to enable your ability and your faith, you MUST put forth an effort to submit to and obey God. God will only make your faith perfect when you SHOW the willingness to obey Him regardless of the consequences.
God will not strengthen your verbal confession of having faith (and that is sadly all that many in the church have today), He will only strengthen your effort that results from your faith that believes that He will help you obey Him. In other words, God will not meet you where you are as many teach, He will only meet you when He sees you traveling (as a result of faith) to meet Him. Then, and only then will He reach-out to you and join you with the grace that will empower you to obey Him.
In conclusion, let us put aside man’s false teachings that faith is based on a confession and not based on a cause and an effect. That is to say, the cause is the faith we have in God and the effect is the effort that is a result of that same faith. Let us put it this way: that faith that we have will cause us to submit to the very will of God! A-men