Dwelling In Him
Two men, Jim and Joe, went down the aisle in a revival meeting. Years passed, and one day the evangelist again saw the pastor of that church in which he had led the revival. He said to the pastor, “You know, I remember that night when two men, Jim and Joe, came down the aisle and gave their lives to Jesus. How are they?” And the pastor replied, “Jim is a saint. He is a pillar in the church. He has grown in grace and is a strength in the house of God. Joe went back into sin after three weeks.”
Did that surprise God? No, for God knew all about it. God looked on the inside of the heart and saw Jim’s faith, and a commitment that glorified Him, and the angels rejoiced. God also saw that Joe had just made a gesture, an outward profession, and it was not in his heart at all. God knew all of that, but the pastor did not know it. The evangelist did not know it. The people did not know it. It was only in works that Jim proved he was justified by faith. It was only in works that Joe proved he had no regenerated experience at all. The only way you can demonstrate what is in your life is by what you do.
So Paul says that God-ward, we’re saved by trusting the blessed Jesus [Ephesians 2:8-9]. And James says outward, the only way you can demonstrate it is how you are in your life, what you do. So the apostle James concludes that works make faith perfect; by our works, abiding in Him and He in us, our faith is made complete [James 2:22].