April 30, 2021 – Friday
James 2:19 NIV
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
What an interesting verse! And it comes in the midst of a ‘discussion’ of faith and deeds or faith and works depending on your Bible version. The discussion is from verse 14 through 25. The two verses preceding set up our verse for today; NIV – 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. Or in the KJV, 17 In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
James in verses 17-18 is dealing with the argument you don’t have to do anything after you are saved by saying faith without works is dead. Then immediately stating his faith and those who are truly saved demonstrate their salvation by their works or by their deeds. He is in no way saying works or deeds lead to your salvation as many religions teach. Instead, he is stating as clearly as possible, any worthwhile deeds come after one is saved and such deeds are a result of salvation.
Then in verse 19, You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder James is making crystal clear a belief in one God (and that alone) is not indication of salvation. After all, even the demons believe that—and shudder. I think most of us can recall someone who has said, “Yeah, I know there’s a God, but I don’t care. I’m going to do whatever I wish” or words to that effect. Those words acknowledge one God, the one God, and for some unknown reason they refuse Him with even greater arrogance than the demon who believe and shudder.
Believing there is one God, our Creator is not enough. You have to admit you are a sinner, in need of forgiveness; believe (really believe) Jesus paid the price for your sins on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day (defeating death); and then call upon Him as your Lord and Savior. That is when you will be saved and subsequent acts, deeds, works will reflect that you are a new creation in Christ or as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! Notice in Christ which cannot happen without following the admission of being a sinner, believing Jesus dies for your sins – paying the price for them, and calling on Him as your Lord and Savior. What follows in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20a begins to tell the rest of the story, All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. Our works, deeds, acts become our personal message of reconciliation to others.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You more than I can say or express for reconciling me, reconciling us to you. You changed my life in ways I could not imagine. Your blessings exceed anything I could have asked for. I do not know what the future holds for this fleshly body, but I do know there is a glorious future for me, for us, in heaven. I believe. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton