Bible Text: James 2:14-26
James 2:14-26 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? …For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Salvation is the Result of Grace Through Faith
The Bible teaches us that we cannot earn our salvation. No one is saved by good works; but then we don’t want to have cheap grace: We need to commit to Jesus as our Savior and our Lord. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
What does it mean to be saved?
The problem: we define “being saved” as if there is a minimum requirement to gain entrance into heaven.
Three Principles of Faith
Commitment: essential to faith
Change: clear evidence of faith
Confirmation: faith without works is lifeless faith
A MATURE Christian changes the way they live, think, and feel (2:18). They live for Jesus FIRST and all else second.
Matthew 21:18-19 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, may you never bear fruit again! And immediately the fig tree withered up.
James is about a CHANGING life that reflects faith and obedience that is actually being lived out!
James 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Real FAITH believes IN Jesus rather than believing ABOUT Jesus.
We need to learn to TRUST in the PERSON of our faith, not in the QUALITY of our faith.
James 2:15-17 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Depart in peace, be warmed and filled. Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Action is the fruit produced BY living faith. If there are no positive behaviors, then the professed faith is dead, not real.
Faith is not just a matter of saying the right words — it must also be accompanied by REAL MEANINGFUL action.
IF others hear us speak about faith, THEN they must also see us act out that faith.
James 2:18 But someone will say, you have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
Faith cannot be demonstrated apart from action.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Abraham is the Champion of Faith
James 2:21-23 Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.
The MAJOR POINT – HE DID AS THE LORD TOLD HIM!
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.
Rahab a Woman of Faith
James 2:24-25 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
Faith and Deeds are LIFE to our Bodies and Spirits
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also:
This is a powerful word picture that faith is just like a dead body when it has no works!
We have God’s Word; the Holy Spirit; the Church.
We have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We have been accepted, forgiven, and loved by God.