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Show Me Your Faith      James 2:14-26      Aug. 09, 2009

 

Introduction              

       How will people know we are Christians? We can tell them and if we do they probably will watch us and take notice of our words, ways, and works. John the Baptist told the Pharisees, “Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance” (Lk 3:8). Concerning false prophets Jesus said, “You'll recognize them by their fruit” (Mt 7:16). He also told us, “let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16). So if someone says, Show Me Your Faith, we will be doing as Jesus told us to do as we allow our works to be seen glorifying God.


 

1.   Show Me Your Faith As A . . Practical Faith. 2:14-16

       A. Practical Faith Will . . Save Sinners. v 14

              14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can his faith

       save him?


       B. Practical Faith Will . . Satisfy Shortage. v 15-16
              15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them,

       "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, but you don't give them what the body needs, what good is it?


       A practical faith saves sinners and satisfies shortage by demonstrating more than words. A faith that only brings forth words is not the kind of faith that saves. A saving faith produces works to match the words it speaks. If, as in the text, someone comes to us and needs clothes and food and we only say be warm, and eat well, it does not help at all. It does not satisfy shortages. Real faith gives food and clothing. The person who claims to have saving faith but does not help people with legitimate needs hurts the cause of Christianity.


 

2.   Show Me Your Faith As A . . Provable Faith. 2:17-18

A. Provable because it is not . . Alone. v 17

              17 In the same way faith, if it doesn't have works, is dead by itself.

 

B. Provable because it has . . Accomplishments. v 18
{18} But someone may well say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."


       To show our faith we must do something that others can see. These kinds of works will be seen inside and outside the church. I think too many limit their works to something done inside the church building. You have seen the sign, “enter to worship, depart to serve.” That is what James is talking about. If we truly have faith it will not be alone. We will be able to share some of the accomplishments the works of our faith produced. As Paul said, “for it is God who is working in you” (Php 2:13 HCSB). Did you know “good works” in a spiritual sense can only be done by a Christian.


 

3.   Show Me Your Faith As A . . Philosophical Faith. 2:19-26

A. Philosophical Argument One Demonstrates: . . Intellectual Faith. v 19-20
19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder. 20 Foolish

       man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless?


       B. Philosophical Argument Two Demonstrates: . . Illustrated Faith. Vv 21-24

1. Illustrated in . . Abraham. 2:21-24

                     21 Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

              22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. 23 So the

              Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness,

              and he was called God's friend. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 

              2. Illustrated in Rahab. 2:25-26

                     25 And in the same way, wasn't Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the

              messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead,

               so also faith without works is dead.


       Christian faith contains more than intellectual faith. It is intellectual but as James tells us even the demons have that kind of faith. Christian faith illustrates itself in good works. Throughout this book James uses illustrations to enforce the points he makes. He gave the illustration of Abraham and the works he did. I really like the words of Abraham as he said, “The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we'll come back to you (Ge 22:5 HCSB). Then James uses the illustration of the works performed by Rahab as an act of her faith. In our church we are sending some people to Colorado to help churches out there in survey work and witnessing in their towns. We would send more but many say, “we couldn’t do that.” This lesson says, Show Me Your Faith. Amen? Amen!