Summary: The fourth of six on James. Not all faith is powerful. There is a faith that fails. There is a faith that is worthless. James says that faith without works is dead. The deeds we do are the natural outgrowth of our faith. If there are no deeds, no wo
Faith that Fails
Not all faith is powerful. There is a faith that fails. There is a faith that is worthless. James says that faith without works is dead. The deeds we do are the natural outgrowth of our faith. If there are no deeds, no works of the flesh, then there is no real faith because real faith works.
Friends in High Places
It is important to have friends in high places
Jam 2:23 CEV This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, "Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him." That’s how Abraham became God’s friend.
It really is true that it isn’t just what you know… It’s who you know that counts
One Faith Fails – One Faith Works… It makes us God’s Friend
The Faith that Fails
Is arrogant, religious, worthless, dead. Yet, it has the appearance of life and is often mistaken for the faith that saves.
The Faith that Fails …is a faith that is cultural
It is the way of our family. We go to church. It is our religious duty. We are Catholic; We are Presbyterian; We are Lutheran; We are Baptist; We are Pentecostal; We are well, you fill in the blank. It really doesn’t matter because it isn’t personal. It’s cultural.
Those who are raised culturally are those who graduate HS and then attend a state college where their faith is rocked and their beliefs shattered by the first intelligent agnostic they meet.
The Faith that Fails … is a faith that is seasonal
It is expressed in seasons of distress and grief. It is seen in the religious seasons of Christmas and Easter. It is seen in the seasons of loneliness and weariness. It’s a faith in God that is dependant on the moment and the need.
The Faith that Fails … is a faith that is nominal
Nominal faith is merely a label. Actually it is a mislabel. When you hear of the difficulties between the Protestants and Catholics of Ireland I would submit that what you see is a battle between two groups of thugs. One group mislabeled Protestant and one mislabeled Catholic.
The Faith that Fails … is a faith that is minimal
Some have faith but only the minimum. They want just enough to get by. Too much would mean commitment, change, challenge, compassion and cost. Rather than getting too caught up and carried away it is far better to have the minimum amount of faith to keep God off their backs and still do what they want to do.
The Faith that Fails … is a faith that is sensible
The final faith that fails is a faith that is “sensible”. You can think of it as a faith that is much like a fire extinguisher. It’s there, in the corner, behind the cans of corn and tomato soup just in case there is a fire. Just in case it’s true. It never hurts to be ready.
These faiths fail. They are religious and they are lifeless. They do not work and are not esteemed by God. In fact, this is the faith of the lukewarm and unacceptable. Religious faith is dead.
But let us speak of the faith that works. It’s different. It Works. It is alive and real. It is a faith that is filled with vitality and enthusiasm. In fact, the root of enthusiasm is a compound word that comes from “Theos” or God. God in us = enthusiasm!
This faith is not dead – it works!
The Faith that Works
The Faith that Works … is a faith that is hospitable to rich and poor alike
Jam 2:1 CEV My friends, if you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, you won’t treat some people better than others.
We are all the same in God’s family. (2:1-9)
It is a faith of all and for all. It makes no difference who you are whether rich or poor; good or bad; black, white, red, or green; officer or enlisted; suburban resident or inner city dweller; patriarch or prostitute. Faith that works does not draw lines where God does not draw lines. It favors no one and accepts every one.
The Faith that Works …is a faith that is merciful
Jam 2:12-13 CEV “Speak and act like people who will be judged by the law that sets us free. Do this, because on the day of judgment there will be no pity for those who have not had pity on others...”
The only way we gained our salvation and acceptance is by the mercy and grace of God. (2:10)
We have no right to look down on others because they aren’t like us or they don’t have the same sins we do! There is no judgment of others for wrongs they do while we over look our own.