Pt.3 Who are you offending? – Faith, Deeds, and Actions

It is evident worldwide that many Christians have diluted the Word of YAHWEH or deviated from the original teachings of the Bible, which originated with the Israelites or Hebrews (Deut. 14:2 and Deut. 7:6). There are many noticeable biblical deviations when referencing living out one’s faith. However, today let’s look at the mindset of Faith. 

Before we start, I want to be clear, there are no works, actions, or deeds that can gain or obtain salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). Living out your faith in obedience to the commands and His Word is an act of love toward YAHWEH and Yahshua (John 14:21-23). 

Definition of Faith

  1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
  2. Strong belief in a god or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
  3. Places the action upon the subject rather than its object, as in faith in YAHWEH.

Definition of Emunah (Faith in Hebrew)

  1. Action-oriented involving active support.
  2. innate conviction, a perception of truth that transcends, rather than evades, reason
  3. Places the action upon the object, as in support YAHWEH.

Explaining the Concept of Faith and Action.

Allowing your faith to be defined in your life by words alone, internalized thoughts, feelings, or the notion that all you need to do is believe, is flawed doctrine. Faith was always meant to function as emunah. Emunah is not actionless faith, it’s faith completed by works, actions, or deeds.

Example: Imagine you have faith that the light in the room will turn on if you flip the power switch, but you never get up and flip the switch. Your Faith remains in your head as knowledge of a possibility, a feeling, or a belief that something is plausible. Whereas emunah does not remain an intellectual concept in your head, you act on it because you have a belief in the light turning on.

The Apostle Yaʿaqov (James), brother of Yahshua (Galatians 1:18-19), profoundly understood how a believer in YAHWEH should conduct themselves. The Apostle firmly believed that true believers, including himself, ought to exemplify their faith through their actions ( behavior, works, or deeds). Displaying your faith to the world is not for show, and it can not and will not obtain salvation for you. Salvation can only come from Yahshua. However, living out your faith displays irrefutable evidence to the world that you are indeed a devout follower of YAHWEH and Yahshua Ha-Mashiach. In Matthew 16:24, Yahshua told His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and let him bear his torture stake, and let him follow Me.” This is what we must do, deny ourselves daily and determine to obey his will, which will cause us to display our faith and obedience. This type of faith shows an unwavering conviction and unrelenting dedication to the teachings of YAHWEH.

14. My brothers, what is the gain if anyone says he has faith, but he does not have deeds? Is the faith able to restore life to him? 

17. So also faith, if it does not have deeds, is dead being by itself. 

18. But someone will say, You have faith, and I have deeds. Show me your faith apart from your deeds, and I WILL SHOW YOU MY FAITH BY MY DEEDS.

James 2:14, 17-18

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Apostle Yaʿaqov Perspective on Faith and Deeds

Apostle Yaʿaqov offers a clear and concise explanation of the often misunderstood connection between faith and deeds in James 2:14, James 2:17-18. To gain a deeper understanding of this concept, we will approach the Scriptures with the same level of analysis as a Berean. It’s essential to take note of the Greek word for faith, which is “Pistis,” a term that embodies the notions of persuasion and conviction. When individuals are thoroughly or fully persuaded of something, they are unwavering in their beliefs, even when faced with opposing evidence. The Greek word for deeds is “Ergon,” a term that encapsulates one’s actions, deeds, and works. Essentially, the scriptures convey that faith and deeds are closely intertwined. If there is no tangible evidence of one’s persuasion (faith) displayed through their behavior, works, or deeds, then their faith is either dead or insincere. In other words, if an individual’s faith is genuinely alive and authentic, then it will be reflected in their actions and words, not merely in their spoken beliefs. True faith will result in good deeds, actions, works, and the manifestation of the fruit of the spirit.

Where did the Apostle Yaʿaqov get this thinking or perspective? Perhaps from his big brother Yahshua. In John 14:11, Yahshua said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; BUT IF NOT, believe Me because of the works themselves. Yahshua is telling the people to believe in Him, but if they can not take His word for it, believe because of the deeds or works He was doing. Therefore presenting as conformation that works, actions, or deeds are used as proof.

Abraham’s Pistis and Emunah on Display

Lastly, Romans 4:20-22 says, But he (Abraham) did not doubt or waver in unbelief concerning the promise of YAHWEH, but he grew strong and empowered by faith, giving glory to YAHWEH, being FULLY PERSUADED that YAHWEH had the power to do what He had promised. Therefore his faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with YAHWEH).   

  1. YAHWEH told Abraham to leave his land, family, and everything he knew and go to a land He would show him. Abraham showed unwavering trust and belief in YAHWEH as he departed into uncharted territory with his family. He demonstrated his faith through his actions without any doubts or hesitation. This was a profound act of faith. (Genesis 12:1-5)
  2. YAHWEH tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his one and only son to Him. With no hesitation, Abraham took his son Issac up to be sacrificed (Genesis 22:1-19). Abraham’s faith was in the promise YAHWEH made to him in Genesis 15:5 that his descendants would be as the count of the stars in the sky.

Let’s all understand faith like the Apostle Ya’aqov and be fully persuaded like Abraham, demonstrating our faith through our actions.

By David Edwards

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