Summary: 7th part on the book of James - we should not only know what t believe but how to behave
TOPIC: FAITH IN ACTION
Text: James 2:14-26
(ILL. Trust Him Fully - An old Methodist preacher once offered this prayer in a meeting: "Lord, help us to trust Thee with our souls." Many voices responded with a hearty, old-fashioned "Amen!" "Lord, help us to trust Thee with our bodies," he continued. Again the response was a vociferous "Amen!" Then with still more warmth he said, "And, Lord, help us to trust Thee with our money." Not an "amen" was heard in the house, except that of an impoverished old lady.)
This morning as we continue our series regarding A Life that Makes a Difference, we will study this truth about faith and works, what is the relationships of this two and how our faith become dynamic and not dead, genuine and not counterfeit or phony?
Let’s open our Bible in James 2:14-26 (read). Let us pray! Our text treat the ever-present problem of those in the church who profess to have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yet at the same time show no evidence of sincere devotion to Him and His Word. From our text we can see important truths regarding active faith or genuine faith.
1. THE MEANING OF TRUE FAITH
In Hebrew 11:1 the author gives us what faith is, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Because it is sure and certain it should naturally flows from us actions, which are faith in actions, otherwise it is not genuine faith. (ILL. What Does It Mean to Believe? - Many years ago now, when John G. Paton first went out as a pioneer missionary to the new Hebrides Islands, he found that the natives among whom he began to work had no way of writing their language. He began to learn it and in time began to work on a translation of the Bible for them. Soon he discovered that they had no word for "faith." This was serious, of course, for a person can hardly translate the Bible without it. One day he went on a hunt with one of the natives. They shot a large deer in the course of the hunt, and tying its legs together and supporting it on a pole, laboriously trekked back down the mountain path to Paton’s home near the seashore. As they reached the veranda both men threw the deer down, and the native immediately flopped into one of the deck chairs that stood on the porch exclaiming, "My, it is good to stretch yourself out here and rest." Paton immediately jumped to his feet and recorded the phrase. In his final translation of the New Testament this was the word used to convey the idea of trust, faith, and belief. n" Stretch yourself out on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Act_16:31).)
Saving faith is always a living faith that does not stop with mere confession of Christ as Savior, but also prompts obedience to Him as Savior this faith in action or faith that is evident by our works, our obedience to Him and His Word. Thus obedience is an essential aspect of faith. Only those who obey can believe, and only those who believe can obey v. 24. Romans 1:5, “Through Him and for His name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.” James Faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition God requires for salvation. Faith is not only a profession about Christ, but also an activity coming from the heart of the believer who seeks to follow Christ as Lord and Savior. Faith means firmly believing and trusting in the crucified and risen Christ as our personal Lord and savior. It involves repentance and it includes obedience and personal devotion and attachment to Jesus Christ that express itself in trust, love, gratitude and loyalty. It is a personal activity of sacrifice and self giving directed toward Christ. I want to note that there is no contradiction between Paul and James with regard to the matter of saving faith. Normally Paul emphasizes faith as the means by which we accept Christ as savior (Roma. 3:22). (ILL. Ours to Obey, His to Make Way - A pilot was having trouble bringing his plane down to land. From the control tower, he was given instructions. "But there is a pole there," he objected. The answer came back, "You take care of the instructions; we will take care of the obstructions." So with the child of God. In the Word, he or she has God’s instructions. God will take care of the obstructions. It is ours to obey the instructions from God’s Word.)