Two Sides of the Coin
weekly devotions to refresh your soul by Dr. Dan Bolin - September 6, 2022
Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse than useless; it does positive harm. Something of 'the image of Christ' must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings. - J. C. Ryle
James is practical. His epistle simply explains how to live the Christian life. In his opening chapter he summarizes true religion. It contains two fundamental elements: our outward love toward others and our inward godly character. James is concerned with both sides of the Christianity coin. He explains that God wants us to reach out to the needy, and he wants us to serve them with clean hands.
James asserts, “Religion that our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
Expressing our Christian commitment through both gracious, sacrificial charity and godly, personal character is a real challenge. Some people work diligently to help the oppressed yet openly reject God’s simple and direct call for clean living. Other people strive to live sinless lives, but they neglect and avoid the vulnerable who face painful and overwhelming challenges.
James’ charge to his readers 2,000 years ago and today requires us to look after those in need, especially those who have limited ability to help themselves. And he insists that we live unpolluted lives that obediently conform to the Word of God.
Dan Bolin President Refueling in Flight Ministries, Inc