Summary: Faith is more than a mental understanding of God and his good things, it is action.
1There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: 2a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. Ecclesiastes 6.1-2
1. Injustice is prevalent – First Century and before – Today
2. Sin (of injustice) cripples our effectiveness
a. Neutralizes our impact/nullifies our influence
b. A problem comes between theory and practice
c. Disconnect from what we say we believe (scriptures) and what we do
d. Comes from – wrong views of God; making grace cheap; do not make the efforts to know God and learn his word
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1.19-21
1. Red Flag: Anger (applies to other passions, too)
2. Avoiding anger and behaving as we believe observation and intentional action
I. Activate Our Hearing (1.19)
Two little girls were starting out to play. One insisted on going quite a distance away from her house. “Why do you want to go so far away?” the other asked. The first little girl said, “So that if my mamma calls me I won’t hear her.”
Some kids don’t want to hear their parents, but listening is not a problem of youth only. We ALL have this problem at times. We are selective in our listening. We only hear what we want to hear or only listen to certain people. ARE YOU LISTENING?
A. We Measure Ourselves by Yeshua (Jesus) as Revealed in Scripture
1. Do we hear God as Yeshua did?
2. Shema (Greatest Command) – Deuteronomy 6.4-9
4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
3. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1.22
4. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7.21
B. Reasons for Preaching and Teaching
Justin Martyr (early 2C) – early community of God’s actions when they came together:
On day called “Sun Day” believers gathered in one place [day of Helios – Greek Sun god]; writings of apostles or prophets read; then when reader has ceased, the President instructs to imitation of these good things; pray; bread and wine and water brought; President in like manner gives prayers and thanksgiving; people say amen and distribution to each; to those absent a portion is sent by deacons; give according to what they see fit; President gives to those in need – widows, orphans, sick, in bonds, strangers, etc.; but Sun Day is when we hold common assembly because it is the day when God changed darkness to create world; Yeshua rose from the dead. Yeshua was crucified before the day of Saturn and appeared to disciples on day of the Sun.