Summary: This morning we are going to examine how we should “Show and Tell” our faith. It is not about how much we know, but in how much we show.
Show & Tell
Scripture Reference: James 2:14-20
Preached at Mount Zion Baptist Church on July 1, 2018
Delivered by Rev. John Daniel Johnson
When my oldest daughter was in Pre-K, she brought home a flyer from the school advising us of an upcoming event at her school. The event was “Show and Tell.” She had to bring a particular item from home to the school that means a lot to her and tell the class why this item means so much to her. My wife and I were really excited about this for our daughter and we were in her room trying to find something special for her to take to school. That’s when it happened. Our daughter walked into her bedroom and asked what we were doing. We then told her about the event that was happening at school. We told her that tomorrow she was having “Show and Tell” at school. The saddest look came on her face. Tears started streaming down her cheek and she began crying uncontrollable. She ran out of the room and buried her head into the couch. Worried, we followed her and asked what was wrong. She continued to cry and tell us that she didn’t want to go to school the next day. When asked why, she replied, “I don’t want to go to school and show my tail.”
Unfortunately, because my daughter didn’t understand what “Show and Tell” was, she didn’t know how to react. It was her lack of understanding that caused her to be confused, freeze up, and full of fear. However, we sat down with her and explained what the event was. She then ran into her room, grabbed her cherished item, and ran back into the living room to explain why it was so important to her.
Many believers are like that. They have no clue what the Word really says, so when the opportunity presents itself for them to show how to be a true believer, they freeze…they become confused…they become filled with fear. But this morning we are going to go back to Word of God and discover our true calling as disciples of Christ. Right before Christ ascended back into heaven, He gave us a task to accomplish. He advised us that as believers we to have a daily “Show and Tell” until His coming again.
To paraphrase what the Holy Spirit is saying through this text, "Faith plus nothing equals nothing." In verse 17 and again in verse 20, and in verse 26, James refers to this kind of faith as dead faith. What God is saying here is that people with dead faith will always substitute words for deeds. They want you to believe they they are true believers by their speech. They want you to believe what they say instead of what they do. However, our God is saying that faith will always be seen by our works, not our words.
In the Book of Matthew, John the Baptist speaks of this idea also. Remember the biblical account of John the Baptist when he baptized the Lord, Jesus Christ. As John was there baptizing in the Jordan River, the Pharisees and Sadducees approached the river. Immediately, John spoke to the crowed (many these “religious” men) and stated in Matthew 3:7-9, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ In order words, John was telling these men, that they shouldn’t count on salvation just because of who they are, but should know salvation because of a transformation in their life.
Our Lord, Jesus Christ spoke of this idea also. In Savior states in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” In other words, once a person is truly a born again believer they will illuminate good works, and these works will be seen by the world. Not simply talking about our faith, but faith demonstrated.
Then Christ adds to this idea in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” What Jesus is saying is that it is not the “Sayers” that enter the Kingdom, but those that are “Doers.”
Again Scripture adds in John 2:23-24, “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men…” Scripture tells us that they believed in His name! So why did Jesus not commit to them? Because Jesus knew that their faith was not genuine.