Summary: #10 in the Book of James Series continues with teaching concerning the relationship of faith and works in our salvation.
#10 Faith and Good Works Go Together
The Book of James Series
By Pastor Jim May
There was a man in England who put his Rolls-Royce on a boat and went across the English Channel to the mainland to take a vacation. While he was driving around Europe, the motor on his car quit running. He cabled the Rolls-Royce people back in England and asked, "I’m having trouble with my car; what should I do?" They simply answered, “Do nothing. We will be there shortly.” The Rolls-Royce company flew a mechanic over! The mechanic repaired the car and flew back to England and leaving the man to continue his vacation trip.
As he drove along the man wondered just how much that little repair was going to cost him. When he got back to England, he wrote to Rolls Royce and asked how much he owed them. He received a letter from the office that read: "Dear Sir: There is no record anywhere in our files that anything ever went
wrong with a Rolls-Royce."
In a way, this little story gives us a picture of justification by faith.
Did Christ finish His work? How dangerous it is to join anything of our own to the righteousness of Christ, in pursuit of justification before God! To do so would offend Jesus and make it appear as though his work was not complete and his price of death upon the cross was not enough. We dishonor the power of His shed blood when we try to do anything to earn our justification.
He will be all, or none, in our justification. If He has finished the work, what need is there of our additions? And if not, to what purpose are our works and efforts? Can we finish that which Christ Himself could not complete?
Did He finish the work, and will He ever share the glory and praise of it with us?
It is a hard thing to humble our pride and learn to rest upon Christ alone for our righteousness. God humbles the proud by calling sinners from their own righteousness and causes us to come to Christ for our justification.
The necessity of accepting the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross as our only means of salvation and obtaining the new birth is vividly portrayed in the life of George Whitefield. At 16 he became deeply convicted of his sin. He tried everything to become acceptable to God. He fasted for 36 hours twice a week. He prayed formal prayers several times a day and almost starved himself to death during Lent, but all of this just left him feeling more miserable than ever.
Then by God’s grace he met the great Evangelist Charles Wesley, who put a book in Whitefield’s hand that showed him from the Scriptures that he must be ’born again’ or be eternally lost. Finally, Whitefield understood that he had to trust in Jesus Christ. He believed and was both forgiven and changed. After he became a preacher, he spoke at least a thousand times on the subject, “You must be born again. He learned that lesson the hard way and never forgot it.
Tonight we are continuing our study of the second chapter of the Book of James. The rest of this chapter is also a continuation of the teaching that James gives us concerning the relationship of faith and works in the life of a Christian.