The Differences Between True and Dead Faith


A lot of people say they have faith, but the Bible teaches that unless people have works which show evidence of their faith then these people are not truly justified before God.


James 2:24 tells us plainly  "You see then that man is justified by works, and not by faith alone."


So how are we justified?  This will all become very plain and easy to see at the time of the Judgment.  At the time of the Judgment many people will say they had faith in the Lord, but yet their lives will show differently. Their lives will show deliberate and unrepentant sin, no desire to share the true Gospel with others, little to no sincere seeking after the Lord etc.  So at the time of Judgment, it will be very clear to see that these people did not have a true saving faith but instead they had a dead faith. 


On the other hand, others will also say that they had faith, and when their lives are revealed at the time of Judgment their lives will prove that they had true faith in God. These will be people who evidenced true faith because they lived holy, turned away from all known sin, witnessed for the Lord, loved the Lord with all their heart and their neighbor as themselves etc. 


So yes, it is true as the Bible teaches us in James 2:24 - "We are justified by works and not by faith alone."


True saving faith produces the works of sincere repentance to turn from all known sins and to live a life that longs above all else to give glory to God.


True saving faith produces works/fruits for as Jesus plainly told us  "You will know them by their fruits."


Dead faith, on the other hand, is only a belief with no works.  Dead faith will not show that our heart has been made completely brand new when we heard the Gospel message and responded to it.  As the Bible teaches, even the demons believe in God and have this sort of dead faith, but of course this sort of faith does not save:

"You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!  But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"  James 2:19-20


The works that James is referring to are not the types of works such as the Jewish, Catholic and other types of religions promote in which their works merely revolve around doing various religious rituals and traditions such as circumcision of the flesh, confirmation classes, attending Mass etc. The Lord is not interested in works such as circumcision of the flesh but rather He loves to see 'circumcision of the heart' type works (which evidence a brand new heart) that show lives which live to truly follow Him in all our ways.


These are some of the works of a truly born again life:


-Obedience to God's Word  (John 14:23)

-Forsaking all known sin and walking in holiness  (Hebrews12:14)

-Abiding in Christ daily  (John 15:1-9)

-Walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh  (Romans 8:5-14)

-Loving the Lord with all one's heart and loving our neighbor as ourselves  (Matt. 22:37)


These are some of the evidence of a true saving faith.  As the Bible warns, we all should examine and test ourselves to make sure we are truly in the faith and not deceived by a dead faith:


"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?"  II Corinthians 13:5


Judgment Day is coming for every one of us and we need to make sure we're ready. Make sure you don't fall for the popular but deceiving statement that says "We are saved by faith alone", for the Bible instead teaches that we will be justified by works that are the result of a true saving faith, and not by faith alone. (James 2:24)


Article was written by F. A. Butler

Keep standing firm on God's truths,

SeriousForTruth Ministry