Summary: To help the people to have a better understanding between faith and works.
Title: Can you have faith and works?
Theme: To help the people to have a better understanding between faith and works.
Text: James 2:14-26
James 2:14. What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
What better way to answer the question of faith than by asking a question. A question of great concern. What profit is there to a man who says that he has faith and not works? Can this faith save him?
There has been many conflicts that has been made over the book of James. Some believe that James and Paul is in conflict on the subject of faith. Some even go on to say that the book of James was written as a rebuttal to the soft teaching of Paul on works. These very people even say that James contradicts Paul’s teaching on faith.
I believe that this is not true. I believe that in these two great men we see two men working toward the same goal and that is the salvation of all.
As I have heard,"Paul and James do not stand face to face fighting each other but they stand back to back, fighting opposite foes."
In the New Testament times there seems to be two extremes, notice these extremes have not changed. On one side there were those, especially in the Jewish realm, who kept every part of the law. We see this in the many reactions to Jesus teachings by the different religious groups. We also see it today in those people who believe that by their good works they will make it to heaven. And because of this group Paul had to combat these heresy ideas. So he penned verses like,
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
and Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
He is not saying that there is NO works after faith but what he is saying that we are saved and only saved by faith in Jesus Christ and not by keeping of the Law.
This brings us to the second extreme. It was that there would be no deeds after belief in Christ. The works of the life does not matter. It is useless and mundane. Here is another popular argument of todays people. I ask people are they saved and they say well I believe in Christ. They never show it by their life but they believe. James says this is not true. True faith is shown by works. What profit is this true faith if it is not continued by the works of the individual? Is the faith that you have real. Paul writes in,
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.
What is the profit?
Parable of faith
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?
It is like a brother who comes to us in need. He may be naked and hungry and thirsty. If we say to him," Brother I will pray for you." What does it profit him. Although prayer is good he wants physical things. He wants food not words. Not even words of encouragement. This what Jesus meant when he said in,
John 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one
1John 3:17 NASB But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
So the love of the father and the love of Jesus Christ is shown by how we treat our brother and if we don’t treat our brother well then we must examine ourselves to see if the love of our father is there.
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith
without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Out of faith comes works. Without faith there is no works. Without works there is no faith. We are told by Jesus to bear fruit.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.