There is the tendency among Christians sometimes to stress the importance of deeds (what one does) over creeds (what one believes), or vice-versa. This is popularized in the common aphorism, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” However, we know that the word of God doesn’t pit these two against one another. Deeds and creeds are not enemies that need to be reconciled, but two sides of the same coin. Or, as James says it, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Deliverance does not come by faith and works, but by a faith that works.

That is why I find the “Truth in Action” feature of the NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible so helpful. For each book of the Bible, the authors of this resource demonstrate how the truths of that particular book lead to Spirit-driven action. Here’s a brief description of this feature.

Truth in Action is a practical feature showing you ways to apply the Bible’s great truths. Appearing in chart form, this study help summarizes the foundations and teachings of each book, then invites you—and shows you how—to act upon the summons the Holy Spirit is issuing in the Word.

Climaxing the books (or major divisions of the books), key “Action” truths are listed in numerical order, with each “Truth” listed, noting those verses that invite the believer’s response. Together these passages are summarized with action words that offer specific steps you can take to let God guide your life—at work, at home—at all times.

Now let’s see how the “Truth in Action” section looks for the letter of James in the NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible.

Truth James Teaches – Growing in Godliness

Godly living is a primary focus in the Book of James, which gives us practical instruction about living and growing in godliness. James has been called “the Proverbs of the New Testament.” Study and apply its wisdom, guidelines, and concrete principles to your everyday life. By God’s grace, seek to live in righteousness and peace in all that you think, say, and do.

Action James Invites

2:1ff My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

3:2ff For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

4:1ff Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?

4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

4:11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.

4:13ff Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell.”

4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

5:1ff Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!

Love all people regardless of social or economic status. Love others the way Jesus loves you, unconditionally.

Guard your mouth. Speak carefully, realizing that words have the power to wound and to cause division and strife. Use words to bless, encourage, and bring life to others.

Understand that pride, insecurity, self-centeredness, and lust are often the underlying source of disagreements. Humble yourself before God and others, and He will give you grace.

Submit to and obey God. Resist, stand against the devil, and he will flee.

Speak well of others; bless them with your words.

Acknowledge your total dependence on God in all you say and do.

Be faithful to do the good God shows you to do. Do not commit the sin of omission.

Do not allow riches to corrupt you, but use wealth to honor God.

Truth James Teaches – Cultivating Dynamic Devotion

James makes clear the principle that we cannot serve two masters. We cannot say we love and serve God and then live ungodly lives. Wholehearted devotion to God, expressed practically through good works, is the kind of life to which the Book of James calls us. Take time now to rededicate your heart and life to loving, following, and obeying Jesus.

Action James Invites

1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

3:16–18 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Confidently place your full love in God. He is always reliable because He never changes. Every gift He gives is good and perfect.

Choose to devote yourself fully to God rather than to your own selfish and worldly desires. Devote yourself to the Lord, and godly wisdom and righteousness will begin to grow in your life.

Truth James Teaches – Pursuing Holiness

The Book of James challenges all believers to live holy lives. Jesus died for our sin, not so we could go on sinning, but His death set us free so we have the power and freedom to choose not to sin. We are to live in holiness because we have been made holy by grace through faith in Jesus. Live in the joy and freedom of holiness.

Action James Invites

1:12–16 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires.

4:8–10 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Understand that temptation to sin is not from God. Sin begins with unholy desire and lust, which, if allowed to continue, produces sinful behavior. Sin, allowed to grow, will lead to death. Respond quickly to conviction of impure attitudes, thoughts, motives, and wrong behavior. Confess it and ask for forgiveness. Diligently pursue a holy thought life and lifestyle.

Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. When you are in His presence, do not be surprised if you are convicted of sin. Embrace conviction; its purpose is to free you from sin. Embrace sorrow over sin; it leads to repentance and forgiveness. Humble yourself and God will lift you up.

Truth James Teaches – The Walk of Faith

Faith is to be expressed through good works. Faith is not simply an idea separate from real life. Rather, faith is to produce in us right living, right motives, right thinking, and right relationships. Our good works confirm that faith is alive and active in us. Seek to live your faith daily in practical ways.

Action James Invites

1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials

1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

1:19, 20 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

5:7ff Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.

5:14ff Is anyone among you sick?

Let joy reign when you are surrounded by trials and tests.

Know that tests and trials will result in endurance and patience.

Patiently endure trials, knowing that the result will be maturity, a faith that lacks nothing.

Freely ask for wisdom. Be assured that God will give it in abundance.

Understand that anger can lead to sin. Listen and think before you speak. Do not allow your temper to flare quickly. Keep anger under the control of the Spirit.

Let your faith be evident to all by your good works. Demonstrate your living and active faith through your good works. Don’t cling to a faith that doesn’t produce good works.

Wait patiently in faith for the coming of Jesus. Pray for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit on the church.

Pray for the sick with faith, anointing them with oil. If you are sick, call the elders or pastor of your church to come and pray for you.

Put Your Faith to Work with the NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible

This is just one of many features in the NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible. This resource is also available with the NIV translation. Stop by our store to learn more or to purchase this resource!

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