Autopsy of a Dead Faith, Part 3: Just the Facts
This post is part 3 in a series. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.
After describing a faith of empty words as a dead faith, the second way James describes this dead faith is that it knows the right stuff but that knowledge has not transformed the person. It is all about the facts.
It is really easy to claim you have faith. Faith is on the inside. There is no way to verify if a person really has faith. Or is there? James invites the person who claims to have faith to prove it by their good deeds. Then he makes the point that you cannot prove you have faith by what you say you believe.
James makes it clear that believing the right things about God is not the same as having faith in God. The Jews trusted in their Jewish-ness for their redemption. James refers back to the Shema passage in Deuteronomy 6. This passage begins by affirming their belief in the one true God. He is God and the nations around them worship gods. Believing the truth about God is not enough. It is not enough to have the facts or belong to a church with right doctrine or recite accurate creeds. Even the devil could honestly do all these things. By that standard, he could become a member of most churches. Just because we believe the right things about God does not mean we believe in God.