Meditation Commentary on James 2:22-26.
22Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23And 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. 24You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
As we see in verse 22, faith and works are a team – they go hand in hand. The word “perfect” that we see at the end of the verse, comes from the Greek word “teleioo,” which means “to complete.” Therefore, faith is not complete until it is paired with works.
What a challenge we find in verse 23! Abraham had such faith and an intimate walk with God, that he was called the friend of God. That is one of the most honorable titles that one could possibly be called. It is such a blessing that we serve the one true God – the God who longs to have a personal relationship with everyone and wants us to be able to call Him friend. God has the ultimate combination of love and justice. He is merciful in all areas, while being fully righteous and the one true Judge.
Verse 24 is another clear reminder that truly converted Christians cannot have faith alone, but our faith should be coupled with works, which are a natural result of our love for God.
The 2nd chapter of James is filled with wonderful comparisons and references to Scripture that is relative to the topic. We find a reference made to a woman who literally put her life on the line in order to protect two of God’s men. If I was to make a list of passages in the Bible that directly relate to faith and works being joined together, I do not believe that this is a story I would have used. It is remarkable how many times my ways are not God’s ways. This is a challenge for me to dig deeper into the word of God.
Yet again, we find a stark comparison made to faith and works; this time an analogy of out body without the spirit being dead and faith without works being dead. From the repetitive nature of this chapter, we see time and time again how important it is to have not only faith, and not only works, but a combination of both faith and works in our lives.