Summary: Last week look at a fundamental aspect of the Christian life, that of our acceptance of others. Favoritism and prejudice are activities not welcome in the church of Jesus Christ. Genuine faith has not place for partiality. So now, today, we continue wi
Do – Be – Do Faith
INTRODUCTION: Last week look at a fundamental aspect of the Christian life, that of our acceptance of others. Favoritism and prejudice are activities not welcome in the church of Jesus Christ. Genuine faith has not place for partiality. So now, today, we continue with James, at what might be called, a second pillar of Genuine Faith – the focused demonstration of our faith directed towards others.
Demonstrative Faith is one of those subjects that all too often falls into the category of, “if I have heard it, I have done it.” An old Evangelist, Howard Butts said this about our tendency to listen, “ Too many churchgoers tend to regard sermon-listening as an end in itself, so much so that sermon-listening may actually be one of America's greatest sins.” Or maybe we can add – one of the Church’s great sins.
SOME THOUGHTS ON GENUINE FAITH
1. CHRISTIANS NEED TO GET OUT OF THEIR STERILE ENVIRONMENT
a. Allowed favoritism
b. Permits workless faith
2. THE CONNECTION OF FAITH AND WORKS
a. ‘What good is it” – literally, “Is it any good”
b. Looking for a “NO” answer in response
c. James is saying that there is no good
3. WORDS DO NOT DISCHARGE THE DUTY OF GENUINE FAITH
a. Works are NOT faith
b. Works are the pulse of faith
i. “I wish you well” – “may you have”
c. Workless faith is worthless faith
2 Samuel 24:24 But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
4. LIVING LIKE BELIEVERS SHOULD LIVE
a. Verse 18 – faith revealed with deeds
Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
b. Living continually with our deeds
c. Living visually through our deeds
5. THE PROBLEM OF DEMONS
a. Demons have an intricate knowledge of God
i. They are fallen angels
ii. They were created by God as angels
iii. They had access to all that heaven had to offer
iv. They were involved in daily activity with God
b. For demons the belief in God only produces discomfort
c. For all of their knowledge of God without the light of Christ the demon is in DARKNESS!
d. James is using the demons to illustrate that just as the demon without Christ is missing something precious, so the believer without the exercise of his faith is also missing precious
In the days of the stagecoach, a man undertook a journey. He was informed that there were first, second, and third-class passengers. However, all the seats on the coach looked alike to him, so he purchased a third-class ticket. All went well for a time and the man was congratulating himself upon having saved some money.
Presently they came to the foot of a very steep hill, when the driver stopped the horses and shouted. "First-class passengers, keep your seats, second class get out and walk, third-class get out and push behind."
What we need in the Kingdom work is third-class passengers. Those who will push! Not first-class, who are contented to sit and look on while the others are working, not second-class passengers who are willing to walk away when real work comes; but third-class passengers who are willing to bear "the burden and heat of the day."
i. Believers need to be willing to embrace the activity of their faith.
ii. Our faith needs to be seen to both believer and unbeliever alike.
GENUINE FAITH IS A REACTIONARY FAITH AND ACTS:
GENUINE FAITH AFFECTS EVERY AREA OF MY CHRISTIAN LIFE:
MY PRAYER LIFE IS AFFECTED BY MY FAITH LIFE – I will pray based upon my faith.
MY PRIORITIES ARE AFFECTED BY MY FAITH LIFE -- I will prioritize based on my faith.
MY POSSESSIONS ARE AFFECTED BY MY PRAYER LIFE – Now whose are they really?
MY PRESUMPTIONS ARE AFFECTED BY MY PRAYER LIFE – What will I trust God with?
6. THE PERSON OF ABRAHAM
a. Had never seen Jesus raise anyone from the dead