Summary: A sermon depicting the importance of faith and how a true saving faith will be shown by works.

Have Faith, Will Work

James 2:14-16


Faith is certainly an essential element in the Christians life for without faith it is impossible to please God. Look at Hebrews 11:6 which says “but without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to must believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Another reason why faith is an essential element for a Christian is because we are saved by faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: “ We are to live by faith as we as we walk through our lives. God instructs in this in II Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight:” On faith do we place our salvation and on faith should we place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who we can not see with our earthly eyes but who we can feel in our hearts. We must understand that whatever we do apart from faith is sin. Romans 14:22-23 states “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. “

So faith is essential to the life of a Christian. It is the foundation upon which our lives are built. If our foundation is weak it will crumble during the trials and tribulations we face. We need to build up our foundation, solidify it with the study of Gods word, which is the cement that supports our house. We need to shore our faith up with prayer which is the rock found in the cement of our foundation. Then we can apply God’s teaching to building up our spiritual life, which is the house that sits upon our foundation. A weak foundation causes a weak house to fall; a strong foundation will withstand the battering of the storms in our life.

It is important to realize, however, that there are different kinds of faith, but only one that is truly “saving faith”. In James 2:14-26, we find James discussing the different kinds of faith, with an emphasis upon that faith which saves the soul. Beginning in verses 14-17, we notice the first kind of faith. We might call this kind of faith Dead Faith.

Dead Faith

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Look, here James is pointing to people who know the correct vocabulary for prayer and they know sound doctrine. They can even quote the correct verses from the Bible. But when it comes time to meet the words with action they drop the ball. They can talk the talk but they can not walk the walk.

They have an intellectual faith. In his or her mind they know the doctrine of salvation. But they have never really submitted themselves to God and trusted in Jesus for salvation. They don’t believe there is a need to do God’s work. Any time the church wants to do something they are always against it. They know the right words, but they do not back up their words with works for The Glorification of Jesus.

Can this type of faith save? No! Three times in these passages James emphasizes that faith without works is dead. Is James saying that it takes both faith and works to bring about salvation no? No. God says that we can do nothing to earn our salvation. The only way is to have faith in Jesus Christ. What James is stating here is that a true saving faith is going to create a desire to do God’s work. You will be looking for where you can serve. Any declaration of faith that does not result in a changed life is a false doctrine. It is a dead faith. Dead faith is counterfeit faith and it lulls the person into a false confidence of eternal life. Do you have that kind of faith? You do if your walk does not measure up to your talk. You do if your works do not measure up to you words. God tells us to judge by the fruits that are produced. What type of fruit are you producing. Does your walk match your talk. I fully believe that no one can come to Christ by faith and be the same man he was before.

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Leron West

commented on Sep 10, 2006

Thank God for using you for these words. It helped confirm the direction of thinking for this text. God bless you.

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