Faith Without Works Bible Study

We have all heard or quoted the verse many times, faith without works is dead. What does that actually mean? If faith can be considered dead then what is alive faith? These are some questions that many have in regards to this verse.  Let’s explore faith without works in this Bible study.


James 2:17 KJV

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Let’s break down this verse using the KJV version of the Strong’s Concordance and the dictionary.

Faith – complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Works – an act, an effort, activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result

Dead – inactive, inoperative, destitute of force or power



What does the Bible say about faith and works?


James 2:21-24 NLT Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together.


His actions made his faith complete.  And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.


As we can see in the above verse that Abraham believed God would provide a sacrifice, but he still took action and went and offered Isaac. His faith required action. He didn’t sit and wait and say ok I will stay at home and wait for God to provide a sacrifice then I will go.


No, he immediately obeyed God’s instructions and took action. In that verse is it evident that to prove you have faith there needs to be an action that goes along with it.



faith without works bible study with road sign that says faith by rosemaries heart

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Difference between faith and works


Faith is when you profess that you believe something. If you are believing and trusting God to provide for you, it could be for anything that lines up with the word of God.


Perhaps you are believing for healing, finances, or a breakthrough in some area. Works is an action you put forth an effort that shows or proves that you really believe what you have professed. 


We can declare the scriptures in the Bible all day, but if we do not have faith to back it up then it is like reading a regular book. You must believe, you must have complete confidence in God’s word that what He said is true and it will happen, then that is backed up by your actions.


Faith needs works, it cannot become a reality without it. As the Bible verse says faith without works is dead.  



What is the importance of faith?


Hebrews 11:6 NLT And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.


It is important to have faith as without it we will not be pleasing to God. If you don’t have faith you couldn’t become a believer. You have to believe and have confidence that God exists in order to accept Jesus into your heart. You need faith to even repeat the sinners’ prayer.


How could you pray for forgiveness and for Jesus to wash you with His blood and cleanse you from your sins if you didn’t have faith?  We all have faith in something, but sometimes in the wrong thing.


When I go to sit on a chair, I have faith that the chair is going to hold me and not break. When you start your car you have faith that it’s going to start and get you from point A to point B. There are so many little things that happen throughout our days that required faith but we don’t realize it.


I heard someone say that fear is actually faith in the wrong thing. If you are fearful its because you have faith in the ability of the enemy. The faith that you have in the enemy is magnified over the faith that you should have in God. Wow, when its put that way it actually makes sense.  



Faith Bible verses


Now that you have an idea of what faith is and the importance of works to go along with your faith, here is a list of Bible verses about faith.

Mark 11:24 NLT

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.


Hebrews 11:1 NLT

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.


2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT

For we live by believing(faith) and not by seeing


James 1:6 NLT

But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.


1Peter 1:8-9 NLT

You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.


Matthew 21:22 NLT

You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.



Examples of faith in action


We will take a look at a few examples from the Bible showing faith in action.


Noah – Hebrews 11:7 NLT

It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. 

He Obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith, Noah condemned the rest of the word, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.


Noah had faith when God spoke to him to build the ark. At that point it did not rain, water would come up from beneath the surface and water the ground according to Genesis 2:5-6 NLT. For Noah to believe that there would be a flood took great faith as it never happened before. Noah also had to have faith in God that He would keep him and his family safe in the ark during the flood.



Abraham – Hebrews 11:8-10 NLT

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.


And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith-for he was like a foreigner, living in the tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

God called Abraham to leave his home, he didn’t know where he was going. He had faith to trust God that he was bringing him into the land that he had promised.


Can you imagine packing up your belongings and leaving your home as instructed by God, but you have no idea where you are going? That takes faith to trust God to protect you and to take you into prosperity and abundance.



Example of faith with works


Let’s put the faith without works into a practical example that we may have to deal with currently. Perhaps you have lost your job and you a praying and believing that God will provide a job for you. You’re, doing everything you need to do spiritually.


Your praying, fasting, trusting and believing God. You are standing on His word that says in Psalm 90:17 KJV that God will establish the work of your hands.  


You have the faith, but where is the works(effort)? In this situation, you would need to get up and actually look for a job whether that be online or in person, but you need to actually look for a job diligently. 


That would be your works/effort. It wouldn’t be logical to just sit around and believe that God is going to just drop a job in your lap without you looking for a job. When you do your part God will do His part.



Faith without works

It is evident that faith without works is dead. An effort is needed to go along with your faith. There are numerous stories in the Bible of men and women of great faith that had to put forth an effort and as a result, they received miracles.


If we truly believe God and have full trust and confidence in Him we will take a step of faith. When I would hear people talk about taking a step of faith I didn’t know what they meant, but through studying this verse it has brought a great revelation.

It is necessary to take a step, take action and through your action you show that you have faith. It’s easy to say that you have faith when you are just standing in the same position and not moving.


But when you step out and make a move based on your faith that is what shows that you have complete trust and confidence in God based on his word.


James 2:18 KJV, Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.


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Heavenly Father, teach me to obey your word and to put my full trust and confidence in you. I know that you are my provider and you will take care of me. Help me to live by faith as I know that I can not please you without faith. Thank you for being a good and loving father.



Prayer For Salvation

If you are not a believer and you want to receive forgiveness for your sins or if you were a believer and you strayed away from God, repeat this prayer.

Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me of my sin. Wash me and cleanse me. Set me free. Jesus, thank You that You died for me. I believe that You have risen from the dead and that You’re coming back again for me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God, and a holy boldness to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m saved; I’m born again, I’m forgiven and I’m on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart. Amen.

Congratulations you are saved! Now that you have accepted Jesus into your heart, find a Bible-believing church, and attend regularly, so that you can grow in your knowledge and faith in God. Pray daily, read the Bible, go to church, and tell someone that you accepted Jesus into your heart.  Please email me at and let me know so that I can pray for you.



Now that you understand the meaning of faith without works is dead, one way to build up your faith is through praying the word of God.


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