Summary: If people are saved through faith, we must understand God's definition of faith!
If you look at the front of the Bulletin, our Scripture of the Week is Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
God of course is talking about Christians saved from the eternal judgment of God because of sin. According to Ephesians 2:8-9, how does salvation happen? We can note 5 things from this passage:
- it is by grace (charis – undeserved favor)
- through faith
- but not from one’s self
- a gift from God
- not by any work by a person (not earned)
We will be learning about faith this morning from our passage from James 2. Before reading, I would like you to write down your answer to this question: What is faith?
Open your Bibles to James chapter 2….. Before reading our passage, let us together pray our commitment to God’s Word…. The Letter by James is a great example of noting Biblical Principles because if we don’t note the principles, women do not have to listen to what James wrote; of course God meant to teach both men and women through James.
Read along with me v14-26….
What can we summarize from v14-17?
- A person can have faith but it can either be dead or alive!
- Faith that is alive will act on that faith!
And what can we note from v18-20?
- faith is a belief!
- demons can have faith (a belief) but not act on it
- people can have faith but not act on it (What’s a real example of this??)
People can say they believe in God but then never really consider God in their life!
And in v21-26, God gives examples of real faith:
- Abraham believed in God and did what God said!
- Rahab believed in God by what she heard and sided with God’s people!
- Real faith will result in taking action with that belief!
- Justification from God only comes from real faith!
Justified means accepted as righteous (acquitted)!
And so, what Biblical principles can we apply to our lives today?
First of all, let us note that this Letter by James was addressed to Christians (have professed to have faith in Christ).
1. Christians can have “dead” faith!
2. Faith cannot be “blind”, it has to be a belief on something!
And so, when someone comes to you and say all you need is faith, we should ask them, but faith on what?
And God tells us in Romans 10:17…. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
True faith comes from what God says!
3. True faith (which justifies you before God) is taking action based on belief in what God says!
God tells us in His Word that we are to remember what Jesus Christ did for us through partaking of bread and drink. Communion is a faithful thing to do!
But before we do that, let us quietly pray and answer to God 2 questions:
Do I have blind faith or real faith in Jesus Christ and His Word?
Do I have faith that is alive or dead? Am I really living my life for Jesus Christ?