James wraps up this passage, James 2.14-26, by saying that
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
A body with no breath is dead, so, says James, is faith without works, without evidence, without fruit, without proof.
Thomas Manton said that,
Here [James] concludes the whole argument, showing how little is [given] to an empty profession of faith without works. It is like the body without the spirit of life.
What does working faith look like then, where does it take us? If you’re a notetaker, this is it;
Genuine faith results in active obedience to Jesus’ teachings.
Working faith takes us to Jesus…every, single, time.
Here’s why. We try, and try, and try, and try to be so obedient, to do good works to show our faith, and we realise, you know what, I just cannot ever, try as hard as I might, live the kind of holy, sanctified, righteous, life that we are called out of the world to live.
Back in chapter one James writes, be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
So we do need to be doers, we want to be doers, but when we try to be we realise that we are failing, because the standard is so high. It’s 24x7x365. This is really bad news.
Where then do we turn when we realise this, that we have failed, again?
To Jesus. To the Good News, to the Gospel.
That’s why working faith takes us to Jesus.
Where is the Gospel in James? Admit the bad news to receive the Good News – this is a work of faith that we need to do each and every day, and that is why a life of working faith will always take us to Jesus.