Summary: Hopefully this sermon will explain that faith moves us to do good works. It also shows that it is our actions that count not just things we say and we should evaluate our spiritual lives regularly
When I worked for the City around this time of year we started working on our budgets. We would evaluate all of our training programs and try and increase spending in the programs that worked and phase out those that didn’t or weren’t absolutely necessary.
Businesses do it all the time they evaluate where they have been, where they are now and try and look at where they are headed or which direction they need to go.
It’s important for us to look at our lives also , when I look at my life and begin to evaluate it I can see that I have come a long way in my spiritual journey , but I also see that I have a long way to go. I see that I’ve made some good changes and I also see that I still have some work to do and more changes to be made.
We all see people living out their lives, and we see those that struggle with their spirituality and it seems as if they believe they are powerless to change their situation and they continue to remain Luke-warm in their faith which causes them to become frustrated and disappointed. The problem is they just aren’t living into their faith. I believe to live fully into our faith it takes some work and some effort on our part.
I’m gonna ask you to do a little something this morning, you don’t have to do it right now but when you leave today , sometime today or over this coming week I want you to really look at your life and evaluate where you are spiritually. Maybe you will be satisfied with your spiritual growth over the last year, maybe not. You may decide that you haven’t really felt the Power of the Holy Spirit working in you like it should, or that you just aren’t living in to all that you can be for Christ. My hope is that this message today can help us all struggle less and grow more spiritually by joining together Faith & Works to help us become more than we can be on our own.
READ TEXT James 2:14 – 26
Saying that Faith and faith alone is all we need to live out our lives for the Kingdom is like saying all we need is a car to get where we want to go , or that all we need is a light bulb to illuminate the darkness. We all know that we also need fuel to power the car, and we need electricity for the light to work.
In our text today James seems to be saying that we need a little extra something with our faith to make us all that we can be. Faith without works is like a cart without a horse.
If you want to experience faith that is dynamic and life changing , if you want to experience a spiritual life that is on fire , and powerful , and growing you are going to need to put a little effort into your spirituality. If you want to ramp up your faith life add in a few good works to the mix. Our faith should move us and drive us to do some work.
James tells us that if our faith isn’t accompanied by works our faith is essentially dead. Now don’t get confused here James isn’t saying that our faith in Jesus doesn’t save you, He isn’t saying that works will get you into Heaven, he isn’t saying that at all. What He is saying is that your faith in Jesus Christ which brings us to Salvation should be accompanied by some good things happening in our lives that we cannot contain within ourselves.
If your faith leaves you feeling void and meaningless, if your faith doesn’t seem to sustain you spiritually and it isn’t making a difference in your life that people can see, if your faith isn’t making a real difference in your life, and you don’t see and feel any spiritual growth then maybe it’s time you start to do a little something about it. Maybe it’s time to add a little work to the faith that you have.
Faith and works go together like a Moon Pie & RC Cola, Peanuts in your Coke, Peanut butter & Jelly or as Forest Gump would say Peas & Carrots. What good is a faith that isn’t going to move us to be the hands and feet of Christ?
Now some of you may be thinking like a friend I used to work with, when I would talk about works and the things we should be doing as Christians or ask what his church was doing about the less fortunate he would always without fail quote Ephesians 2: 8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith – and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God – Not by works, so that no one can boast. Anybody ever heard that verse or used that verse to justify not doing something or maybe just to justify why you may not be reaching out to others. Anybody ever heard or read this and thought that Paul was contradicting what was written in James 2:14 If a man claims to have faith with no works can such faith save him?