Summary: We have a LIVING FAITH! A living faith cannot be compartmentalized. It screams from the depth of our soul that God is living and Jesus Christ is raised from the dead. It shakes our conscience and demands that we know the God who is alive in our own so
THE VITAL SIGNS OF AN ENERGIZING FAITH!
INTRODUCTION: What is it that motivates a Christian? What is it that turns a person from darkness to light? From the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God? Is it not when our eyes are opened and we are given ears to hear and we believe on Jesus Christ? What is it that moves a saint of God? Habakkuk said in chapter 2 verse 4 that “the just shall live by his faith.”
Paul repeats that battle cry in the clearest dissertation of salvation this world has every seen. He says in Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
He says in again in Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
FAITH is the energizing principle of the Christian life.
What makes us different than the Spaniards we are going to reach. Their’s is a DEAD FAITH! It is a faith that is compartmentalized to some distant part of their person. It might affect them when diversity comes, or even around religious holidays. BUT WE HAVE A FAITH THAT ENERGIZES EVERY PART OF OUR BEING. We have a LIVING FAITH! A living faith cannot be compartmentalized. It screams from the depth of our soul that God is living and Jesus Christ is raised from the dead. It shakes our conscience and demands that we know the God who is alive in our own soul.
It is a faith that literally inhabits us in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit. John states this plainly in his first epistle, chapter 5 and verse 10 “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” We have the energizing Person of faith within in us!!
An energized faith can overcome all obstacles and literally turns the world upside down! John say that “whosoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Do you see that FAITH is the energizing principle of the Christian life? This energizing faith holds many, many qualities, but this morning we are going to look at FOUR from the first chapter of the book of James.
Please turn your Bibles to James chapter 1. Our text will come from verses 1 through 12. While you are turning there, I would like to share with you a the story of a man who knew the principle of energizing faith.
The most important figure of the Reformation was a monk by the name of Martin Luther. He was born in 1483, and died at the age of 63 in the year1546. Luther was a man full of self-doubt, guilt, and worry. In his early 20s, Martin Luther was nearly struck by lightning while crossing an open field during a storm, which led to his vow to become a monk. As a young monk, the corruption of the church, the debauchery of priests, and the power of the Pope disturbed him, disgusted him, and depressed him. He did everything possible to appease his anguished soul: from climbing the 28 stairs of the famous Scala Sancta to going to regular confession, but for all the vigils and fasts and penances, he still felt empty, accursed, and worse.
Why did he not experience the assurance of salvation? Why did he still feel so rotten in spite of all efforts to please God? Why was his soul at war and peace so illusive? The dramatic turning-point of Luther’s life occurred when he was sitting alone in his study at Wittenberg. His eyes fell on a passage from the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. It says: "the just shall live by his faith." He couldn’t believe his eyes, he couldn’t contain himself, or keep to himself the simplicity of God’s ageless path of salvation: faith in God. That discovery changed the course of the church, the course of Western civilization, and the course of history. So on October 31, 1517 Luther nailed his famous Ninety-five Theses onto the door of the castle church at Wittenberg, 60 miles from Berlin that resulted in his excommunication from the church, the start of the Reformation.
What was it that changed the course of history? It was not a new doctrine! It was the preaching of the faith alone in Christ alone. It was the truth that faith is ALIVE! It is energized—it is LIVING!
Let us read James 1:1-12 James mention of “faith” in his opening sentence (vv.2-3) makes it clear that, for James, faith is central to the Christian life and is its true energizing principle. For James, there can be no vital Christianity apart from a living faith. James is concerned that faith is more than mere profession.