Summary: Part 1 of our James sermon series on Bona Fide Christian living

Bona Fide

A study of James

Genuine Christian living

Part 1




“The Greatest Ever”

In today’s world we are slammed with claims of greatness

From the TV commercials selling hair care products to cars

To Magazine and internet ads claiming life transformation


Wealth and Prosperity

Just buy this or use that

And you will find everything that you are looking for

These messages just seem to leap out at us

The claims are that these products can change our lives

They are new and improved

We can have cleaner clothes

More friends

Whiter teeth


The acclaim of thousands

More confidence

And with these claims come the claims of


The good life they call it

Having just finished what seems like a year’s long battle for the Whitehouse

We know that talk is often cheap

Politician’s promises often fade faster than the morning dew in August

And so do many of the claims of greatness from the TV and magazines

We as well as the unbelieving world here other claims as well

“Jesus is the answer”

“Believe in God”

“Follow me to church”

Unfortunately many making these claims

Are guilty of negating them with their actions

You see they profess faith in Christ

They “say” God is the answer

But their lives and their actions do not show this faith

They have the right answers

But they contradict the gospel with their lives

The Book of James is written to show us a blue print to genuine Christian living

I like to call it “Bona Fide”

Several times in the movie Oh Brother Where art thou

The term Bona Fide comes up

He’s Bona Fide the Warby Girls say to Everrret

But you ain’t Bona Fide

I looked up the word Bona Fide in the dictionary

The first meaning is genuine; real.

The second---sincerely; without intention to deceive.

Both of these definitions are a good fit when we are talking about


Bona Fide

Christian living

Walking the walk

Talking the talk

Showing Jesus in our


Our Actions


Our Words


Not being Bona Fide

Damages the cause of Christ

Think about those claims on the TV and in the magazines

When the products that they are selling don’t live up to the claims they make

They are labeled as fake






The brother of Jesus

Not the Apostle James the brother of John

Not the fisherman

Not the Martyr who was the first of the Apostles to be killed for Christ

But James

The son of Joseph and Mary

The half Brother to Our Lord

With real energy writes a letter to the believers

Let me give you a little detail about their present circumstances

They are under sever persecution

They have lost friends





They need encouragement

They need direction

So James addresses the issue of Bona Fide Christian Living

Over the next several weeks we are going to dig deep into his writings

We are going to look at What Characteristics a Bona Fide Christian Should possess

We are going to look at

Genuine or Bona Fide religion

Genuine or Bona Fide Faith

Genuine or Bona Fide Wisdom

It is my prayer to show you how to apply God’s word to your lives

And to help you grow as you do that

And it is my prayer that as you grow

People will look at


Look at the Church

Look at Jesus

With true expectations of Realness

Of Genuineness

Of Bona Fideness

Please open your bible to James Chapter 2

I Know I am skipping ahead just a bit

But I believe for the introduction to this Great book this verse

Puts the book of James in a Nut shell for us

James 2:18

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

We talk a lot about Grace

We talk a lot about salvation by faith

Not by works

And James is not contradicting these teaching in any way

What he is saying is our good deeds

Should be evidence of our salvation

The salvation we received by faith

Deeds are the product of our acceptance of grace

The product of the Newness that comes from Jesus

Remember last week we discussed newness

How Jesus gives us a new life when we accept his salvation

And how he gives us a new nature when we apply him to our lives

And how he gives us a new freedom by taking away the power and the punishment of sin in our lives

It is that newness

That should produce the good deeds that James teaches us about

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