Summary: We will be looking at a study of Faith that is found in James 1:2–12. This study of Faith in James 1:2–12 will help us understand Faith’s great importance in the Christian life.
James, the brother of Jesus, is the most likely author of this letter. It is obvious that the writer of the letter was a Jew. And there was no other Jew named James that would have fit the time period of the writing of this book (between 50-125 A.D.) that would have been so widely known to the Church by just James than would the brother of Jesus.
James wrote this letter to the Church. Look at the first verse of James 1:
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations.
No matter how one views Israel in it’s ongoing relationship to God, this letter written by James was written to the Church of Jesus Christ throughout the world. The reference “To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations” does not mean that James is writing to only the literal nation of Israel. But He is also writing to you and I (the Church) as God’s chosen people. I say this to be true because of various references in the book that clear it up for me. One of which is James 5:14, “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James is writing to the church.
The book of James is said not to be a book about roots but rather about fruits. In other words its not a New Testament book that speaks about coming to the point of salvation but instead of advancing along the path of holiness once salvation is realized. Did you know that the words Gospel, redemption, incarnation, and resurrection are not mentioned within this book. So, it is a book that is addressed to the Church, to those of us who are grounded in the faith.
We are going to begin this morning by looking at the first chapter of James. We will be looking at James 1:2–12.
We will be looking at a study of Faith that is found in James 1:2–12.
This study of Faith in James 1:2–12 will help us understand Faith’s great importance in the Christian life.
Before we get started let’s pray.
We are hopefully going to understand the importance of Faith within the Christian experience to a greater degree when we leave here this morning.
Before we get into the text let’s first determine “What is faith (Greek: Pistis)?”
Faith is to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance—‘to believe in, to have confidence in, to have faith in, to trust,’
You see, faith is not just belief. I can believe something to be possible but not have faith that it will happen. I believe that it is possible for someone to lift the front end of my car off the ground… but I don’t have faith in any one that I know to do it.
Faith is a combination of both belief and dependence. I believe that it is possible for this church to grow like no other point in it’s history and I am depending upon Jesus Christ to do it. Why? Because I have faith.
Now, let’s talk about faith from our text. And let’s understand together why Faith is of great importance in the Christian life.
First of all Faith is of great importance in the Christian life because…
1. Faith is Valuable
Faith is, what I believe, to be our most valuable of all possessions
Have you ever heard the story about Fred and Edna. This is the couple that went to the air show every year. Fred, the husband, wanted to take a ride in one of the airplanes… and airplane that was used for just that purpose, taking people up in it. He would ask his wife every year, but to no avail. Because the ride cost $50… and she would say, “Fred, $50 is $50.”
So one year, Fred and Edna are up in age and it was at this point that Fred knew that he was not going to get many more opportunities, Fred asks again. And Edna replies, “Fred, $50 is $50.”
This year the pilot of the airplane overhears the conversation. So he says to Edna, “I’ll make you a deal… I’ll take you both up for free if you don’t say one word the whole trip… however, as soon as you say something you have to pay me $50.” Edna said, “you’ve got a deal.”
So they go up into the air and the pilot gives Fred and Edna the ride of their lives. Up and Down, Side to Side, Loop T Loo… he pulled out all of his tricks. But to his surprise the couple made no noise.
He lands the plane and speaks to Fred on the ground… boy I gotta hand it to you… not a sound, not a peep.