Moses Views the Promised Land - James Tissot

Action Verbs of Faith

Faith is useless if we don't act upon it. Our faith then becomes meaningless thought exercises. James in his sermon to fellow believers instructs us to live our faith actively.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

James 1: 21-25

We can look at sin in the same way. Daily, we are seeded with contempt toward God and toward people in our midst. Mostly we brush off these thoughts and so our conscious is not aware of them. But there are times when we act on those thoughts, and say or do something that hurts others. It is in these harmful action that the deep sin occurs. The thoughts themselves have a corrupting quality, but the action is what can be devastating.

Similarly, faith has an interior quality, but as James points out, it's the outward responses that seals our relationship with God in Christ. Jesus, Paul and others describe our faith as the act of being clothed. We are clothed by our actions in faith. They make up our spiritual appearance—the view that God sees of us. What do these faith responses look like? Let's take a look at Hebrews which lists the action verbs of faith.

Verse Person Verb Object
11:3 Abel brought offering
11:5 Enoch earnestly seek God
11:7 Noah built ark
11:8 Abraham obeyed God
11:8 Abraham went and made his home in a foreign country
11:11 Sarah considered him faithful God
11:17 Abraham offered his son
11:20 Isaac blessed his children
11:21 Jacob blessed his children
11:22 Joseph spoke and instructed God's purpose
11:23 Moses's parents hid their child
11:24 Moses refused align with evil
11:25 Moses chose to suffer
11:26 Moses considered disgrace more valuable than riches
11:27 Moses left home
11:28 Moses kept the sacrifice to keep God's people holy
11:29 God's people passed through difficulties
11:30 Joshua marched around the enemy
11:31 Rahab welcomed
11:32 Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel conquered kingdoms
11:35 Women received their dead who were raised to life
11:35 Others refusing to be released
11:37 Others be put to death because the world was not worthy of them
11:38 Others wandered and lived in caves because the world was not worthy of them

How have you been called by God to seek, bring, build, speak, hide, refuse, march, keep, choose, welcome, bless and offer?