Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? James 2:21, 22.
We need to have more of Jesus, and far less of self. We need a childlike simplicity that will lead us to tell the Lord all our wants, and believe that according to His riches and goodness and love He will satisfy our needs. “If ye shall ask any thing in my name,” He says, “I will do it.” If you love Me, you will show that love by keeping My commandments. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth.” ...
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” This is the only true test of character. In doing the will of God we give the best evidence that we love God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. The oft-repeated words of love for God are of no value unless that love is made manifest in the life practice. Love for God is not a mere sentiment; it is a living, working power. The man who does the will of his Father who is in heaven shows to the world that he loves God. The fruit of his love is seen in good works....
The apostle James saw that dangers would arise in presenting the subject of justification by faith, and he labored to show that genuine faith cannot exist without corresponding works. The experience of Abraham is presented. “Seest thou,” he says, “how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” This genuine faith does a genuine work in the believer. Faith and obedience bring a solid, valuable experience.
There is a belief that is not a saving faith. The Word declares that the devils believe and tremble. The so-called faith that does not work by love and purify the soul will not justify any man. “Ye see,” says the apostle, “how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” Abraham believed God. How do we know that he believed? His works testified to the character of his faith, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness.
We need the faith of Abraham in our day, to lighten the darkness that gathers around us, shutting out the sweet sunlight of God's love, and dwarfing spiritual growth. Our faith should be prolific of good works; for faith without works is dead. Every duty performed, every sacrifice made in the name of Jesus, brings an exceeding great reward. In the very act of duty, God speaks and gives His blessing.—The Signs of the Times, May 19, 1898.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 79
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