Summary: 1. Two pictures of dead faith: Deserted saints & Devilish spirits (vs. 15-20). 2. Two pictures of living faith: Abraham & Rahab (vs. 21-26). Abraham: Followed God; Put his future in God’s hands; Put his family in God’s hands.
Christianity Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Part 6: Is Your Faith Alive?
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 18, 2012
*Is your faith alive? -- This is an extremely important question, and James helps give us the answer.
1. He helps us first of all, by giving us 2 pictures of dead faith.
*In vs. 14, James asks: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” In other words: “Can that kind of faith save him?” -- Can dead faith save him?”
*The obvious answer is: “No,” and James gives two pictures to prove his point.
 In the first picture we see deserted saints.
*That’s what James shows us in vs. 15&16, where he said:
15. If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
16. and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
*How much good do those empty words do? -- They do no good at all.
*Words are important, but actions really do speak louder than words. And our words without action are worthless and dead. So in vs. 17&18, James says:
17. Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
*James McHenry told the story of a woman who went shopping in New York City some years ago. There she noticed a young boy shivering in the cold November weather. His face was pressed against a store window, looking at a pair of shoes.
*She asked the boy what he was doing out in the cold, and he replied, “I was asking God to give me a pair of those shoes.”
*She glanced down and saw that his shoes were falling apart. So this kind, Christian lady wrapped her arm around the boy and led him into the store. She picked out several pairs of socks and asked the clerk to bring a pair of shoes like the boy wanted. In a few minutes, he was walking around in his new shoes.
*She paid for everything, turned for the door and said, “You’ll be lot more comfortable now.”
-Then the little boy looked up at her and asked, “Are you God’s wife?” (1)
*No. -- She was God’s child, with a living faith that would not desert a little boy in need. That’s the kind of living faith we all need.
*Is my faith alive? -- James wants us to know, so he gave us pictures of dead faith. The first picture showed us deserted saints.
 And the second picture shows us devilish spirits.
*We can see them in vs. 19, where James said: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble!”
*The devils also believe, and tremble. Do the devils believe in Jesus Christ? -- Absolutely. In Mark 1:21-27, Jesus and His followers:
21. . . went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
22. And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
23. Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,
24. saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!"
25. But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!"
26. And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27. Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him."
*Then we find the story of a pitiful man who was tormented by so many demons that they called themselves “Legion,” and a Roman legion could have as many as 6,000 men. Listen to account from Mark 5:1-13.
1. Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.
2. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3. who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains,
4. because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.