Summary: Faith without works is dead faith.
October 7, 2012
Text: James 2:14-26
Title; James Part 4 – Faith That Moves Mountains
Today we continue in our series from the book of James. I want to begin by turning over to Mark 11. James instruction to us today is about faith. It’s the same thing that Jesus talked to his disciples about in Mark 11 and commended others for in various other passages. He often spoke about great faith in people and here in Mark 11 Jesus had just said something to a fig tree – He cursed it – and now His disciples notice that the tree is withered. Mark 11:22-25, 22“Havefaith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
How many of you know that there are all kinds of faith. Many believe that Jesus was a real person who walked on the earth. They have never seen Him, but yet they believe that He existed. That requires a certain type of faith. It doesn’t do you any good but it is faith nonetheless. Others will even admit that Jesus came to earth as the Son of God to take away the sin of mankind. That is another level of faith. And still others are willing to take the next step and confess that they are sinners and need Jesus in their lives – and that’s saving faith. But what Jesus says in Mark 11 and what we will be talking about from James is still a different type of faith. “Have faith in God…” Jesus said, “and you can move mountains.” But what Jesus says and what we will see in James is that just having faith is enough to get you saved, but is it enough to move mountains. No, What James tells us today is that you can be saved but if your confession does not line up with your actions you may be in for some trouble in your life.
As we continue our study in James I want to ask you to consider where your faith is
Read James 2:14-26
I believe this is God’s Word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…And I appropriate it to my life today…
I. TRUE FAITH STIRS ACTION… 4What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? First of all when James speaks of faith what is he talking about? Here he is speaking of saving faith. And the message he has is that if what you consider saving faith includes no change in your life to the point that you are doing something for the lord, then you need to stop and check your faith. It may not be real faith. Real faith is trusting God, believing God, who you can’t see, and expect Him to work through your life so that others can see Him. 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? I want you to see something here. James is not saying that faith is all about supplying the needs of the needy. It is important for Christians to be willing to do that but that is not what James is saying here. He is using verses 15-16 as an example, comparing that kind of mindset with one who claims to have faith but does not do anything with it. 7In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. The Greek word translated “dead” comes from the root word that means “corpse”. When you go to a funeral visitation and wait in line to share your grief with the family, what is the first thing that comes out of many of our mouths? “Oh, don’t they look good!” Yeah, they may look good, but its is just a body lying there. There is no life. It no longer has any value. Confessing faith without having accompanying actions – well let’s say you might as well just go ahead and pray over it and bury it. There may be some fond memories of the relationship you had in the past with that faith, but if there is no action with it, it’s dead. Our faith is a direct product of the One in whom we put our faith. My faith is in God. That’s what Jesus said isn’t it? “Have faith in God”. One of my favorite verses concerning faith comes from Luke 1:37. The angel Gabriel is talking with Mary and telling her about Elizabeth’s pregnancy and how it would seem impossible in the natural realm. But look at what the angel says, 37For nothing is impossible with God.” Look at the word “nothing” in that verse. It is actually three Greek words put together. NOT + ANY + … and the last word may be a surprise to you. It is the Greek word rhema, which refers to the spoken word. Not anything you say is impossible with God. Now how can you get your faith to that level? The first thing you have to do is to know God’s will for every situation in your life. Is it God’s will that you not be sick? Is it God’s will that you prosper? Is it God’s will that you be witnesses for Him? Is it God’s will that you be filled with the Holy Spirit? 1 John 5:14-15, 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. By looking at those two verses we can really begin to see that when we pray according to God’s will, it is impossible for Him to do nothing. It goes back to whom your faith is in. I can’t get over this sickness. Nothing I try is working? Really? Who is your faith in? It doesn’t look like I’ll ever be able to get caught up on my bills. I need a better job. Really? Who is your faith in? Have faith in God Jesus said.