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Summary: In the Christian life faith and works go together like inhaling and exhaling. Billy Graham stated it in these terms: Faith is taking the Gospel in; works is taking the Gospel out." Updated September 2018

A very young boy ... was hurrying ...to catch a bus.

Carrying gifts under his arm, ...he was struggling ...with his crutches.

Suddenly, ...a man bumped into him ... knocking his parcels ......in all directions.

The man then paused ...and scolded the young lad... for getting in his way.

Another gentleman ... seeing the youngster's distress, ... quickly picked up the scattered gifts ...and slipped a 10-dollar bill into his pocket, saying, ..."I'm sorry! ... I hope this makes up ... for your trouble."

The boy couldn't remember... being shown such kindness ... called after him... "Mister, thank you! ...And sir, ...are you Jesus?"

"No," replied the man, ..."but I am one of His followers." (Pause)

If your faith in Jesus ... was put to the test, ...which person ...would you be?

I am sure ...we would All immediately align ourselves ...with the kind gentleman, ...and say... we would help ...the young boy.

Yet, ...maybe the first man ...was hurrying... to also catch......his bus.

Maybe the boy wasn't paying attention ...to where he was going.

In today's world, ...these would both pass... as valid excuses for most people to simply cuss out the poor youngster... and be on their way.

However, ...the Lord holds those that are Believers... those that call themselves Christians ... to a much higher standard.

And James very boldly and directly ...teaches us ...that our faith in Christ ...is to be abundantly more...... than mere words. (Pause)

The book of James... is a pastoral letter ...concerning the attitudes and actions ...affecting the spiritual life ......of the church.

As the leader of the great church, in Jerusalem, ...estimated to be about 20,000 to 30,000 at the time, ...James felt an enormous responsibility ...for the spiritual growth... of Christ's followers.

This epistle ...was written ...to encourage Christians who were suffering because of their faith in Christ, ...and it was circulated ... ...throughout Christendom.

James writing may seem... on the surface ...to contradict Paul's emphasis ... in the letter to the Romans ...of salvation ...by faith alone.

However, ...his letter to the Churches... is simply ...a protest ...against hypocrisy.

Beloved... James is clarifying to the Church ... That a faith in Christ...is a transforming faith... A transforming force.

Salvation by faith ...results in a new person... a new creation.

This does not oppose Paul's teaching...... Beloved...it compliments it!

The two teachings... are the essence... of a full Christian faith ...redemption... and a changed life.

Let us examine this passage more closely. BIBLE 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? END James 2:14

It does not state"...if someone has faith..." His words are "...if someone Says ...they have faith..."

There is ... a Tremendous difference ... remember James is trying to refute those... that have abused the doctrine ......of justification by faith.

Many people ...were undoubtedly professing Christ one day ...and returning to their usual pagan ways the next ...with no evidence of God's grace ...in their lives!

And James uses a very common illustration ...to drive home his point.

Hear God's word: BIBLE 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 ...and one of you says to them, ..."Go in peace; ...keep warm ...and eat your fill," ...and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, ...what is the good... of that? END (Close Bible) James 2:15-16

The answer to his question... "what is the good of that?" ...is obvious ...it is good for nothing... It profits ......no one.

That person ...has done nothing ...to portray the faith...that they claim, ...and the brother and sister ...still remain without food and clothing.

How often ...do we hear of another's situation... and simply say, ..."I'll pray for you"... I'll pray for that?

Beloved... we are called to pray... But we are also called...to action...to do something.

The Apostle John shares this same concern ...in his first letter: BIBLE 17 How does God's love abide in anyone ...who has the world's goods ...and sees a brother or sister in need ...and yet refuses help? ... 18 Little children, ...let us love, ...not in word or speech, ...but in truth ...and action. END 1 John 3:17-18

The Apostle John calls them little Children. Why?

Because they have not moved to an action Faith life ... a life of Faithing!

James then moves on with a rebuttal to his position. (Slow) 18 But someone will say, ... "You have faith ...and I... have works."

We all know ...... people ...that fits this type ...of personality.

They are confronted ...with some tidbit of truth ...and they immediately counter .........with the exception ......to the rule.

There will always be some ...whose worldly wisdom ...blinds them...... to God's truth.

James responds to the eternal skeptic ...with a challenge. BIBLE Show me your faith... apart from your works... and I by my works...... will show you my faith. END James 2:18

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