Summary: When your faith is put on the spot it’s never too late to try again your faith.
It’s Never Too Late To Try Again
Text: James 2:17-26
Vs. 17, Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
(So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
Vs. 18, Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
(But someone will say (to you then), you (say you) have faith, and I have (good) works. Now show me your (alleged) faith apart from any (good) works (If you can) and I by good works (of obedience) will show you my faith)
Vs 19, Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
(You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder (in terror and horror such as make a man’s hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin!)
Vs 20, But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
(Are you willing to be shown (proof), you foolish (unproductive, spiritually deficient) fellow, that faith apart from (good) works is inactive and ineffective and worthless?)
Vs. 21, Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
(Was not our forefather Abraham (shown to be) justified (made acceptable to God) by (his) works when he brought to the altar as an offering his (own) son Isaac? Gen. 22:1-14)
Vs . 22, Seeest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
(You see that (his) faith was cooperating with his works, and (his) faith was completed and reached its supreme expression (when he implemented it) by (good) works.)
Vs. 23, And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
(And ( so) the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) God, and this was accounted to him as righteousness (as conformity to God’s will in thought and deed), and he was called God’s friends. (Gen. 15:6; II Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah41:8).
Vs. 24, Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
(You see that a man is justified (pronounced righteous before God) through what he does and not alone through faith (through works of obedience as well as by what he believes).
Vs. 25, Likewise also was not Rahab, the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
(So also with Rehab the harlot --- was she not shown to be justified (pronounced righteous before God) by (good) deeds when she took in the (spies) and sent them away by a different route? (Joshua 2:1-21.)
Vs. 26, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
(For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from (its) works of obedience is also dead.)
Tonight, I bring this message to you of what God has been speaking to me over the past four months. I truly believe that you will be blessed as what God has for me in my life can be something for you in your
life if only you choose to receive it tonight.
Just to summarize the scriptures I just read to you, James (who is the brother of Jesus) then moves to evaluate Christian faith itself. As we learn from the scriptures in James 2 vs. 14-26., It is right to be concerned with speech and actions, for a “faith” that exists as mere intellectual assent is no faith at all! Only a faith which produces works, as Abraham’s and Rahab’s faith produced works, is a real faith. Surely the actions of these two demonstrated that God was justified in declaring Abraham righteous. And Abraham’s justification was demonstrated and completed by his works of faith.
In James 2:14-17 we find that there were Good Intentions. James compares faith without works to expressions of sympathy without giving any help. The latter is totally useless. In the same way a “faith” that exists without works has no value at all. James is not comparing faith and works, but two different kinds of “faith”.
In James 2:18 we learn that Works prove a person has faith. The verse is better rendered “one person has faith; another has deeds.” Neither is right, for faith cannot be demonstrated apart from deeds.
In James 2:19 we learn that Intellectual acceptance is not faith. Demons believe God exists. And they shudder. So that kind of faith is not saving faith.