Summary: James continues the warning against having a lifeless, dead faith by reminding us that even the Adversary and his legion believe in God but do not obey him in proper actions.
1. Johnny Carson Exorcist Joke
When the movie, “The Exorcist” came out, Johnny Carson was the host of the Tonight Show. My very favorite joke he told was about the movie. He asked Ed McMahon, “What happens if you don’t pay your exorcist?” Ed repeated the question and said, “I don’t know.” Johnny replied, “You get repossessed.”
2. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? James 2.18-20
3. Ya’akov (James) continues illustrating proper faith – that it is active, not passive
I. You Believe “God Is One”
"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, ’Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?’" ~ Quentin Crisp (actor/lector/Gay activist)
1. Central creedal statement of practicing Jews
2. Recited at least twice per day
3. Begins with “HEAR” – Obey, not mere acknowledgement
1. Fits with the Context of chapter 2 – partiality; caring for the needs of others
2. Fits with the pure religion of James 1.27
II. You Believe with Demonic Faith
A. Satan and His Demons Know the Words of God
1. Adversary of God and Man – Job 1-2
a. Liar – John 8.44
Sons of Sceva (?) – Acts 19.10-20
3. Categories of Temptation – 1 John 2.15-17
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
a. With Yeshua (Jesus) – Matthew 4.1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ And
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
b. Yeshua (Jesus) quotes Torah to Resist with the Power of the Word
Overcoming locked gates, tall fences and snapping dogs presents a challenge for us meter readers in rural Oklahoma, where we are required to read all meters: no estimates are allowed. One time a co-worker succeeded in getting past a particularly vicious watchdog tied to a chain that was long enough to give him sway over the entire back yard and driveway. Later, the man was questioned by his superior: "How were you able to get past that watchdog? The customer is curious."
"That’s easy, boss," the meter reader replied. "I parked on his chain."
c. First Adam did not resist – James 4.7 (resist devil and he will flee)
d. Second Adam Did Resist –