May 7, 2017 “Living convictions Despite Circumstances & Consequences”

Walk Thru The Word for Today:  James 2: 14 – 18 ESV

14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

17So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.

Walk Thru The Word for Today:  James 2: 20 – 26 ESV

24You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

 Message Map:  James 2: 14 -26 

“Living Convictions Despite Circumstances & Consequences”

  • A WORKLESS FAITH HAS NO STANDING BEFORE GOD
  • Faithful Works provide evidence of salvation
  • the foolish fail to live by even the faith that demons demonstrate
  • Abraham’s and Rahab’s faithful works Demonstrated their justification & righteousness

 Faith without Works is useless & Has NO STANDING BEFORE GOD

James 2: 14 – 18 14 What good (advantage, gain, profit, help, usefulness) is it, my brothers, if someone says (makes a baseless claim) he has faith (belief) but does not have works/deeds.  Without works faith is no good, useless, = faithlessness!   17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead, lifeless.

Talk is cheap before God, and w/o obedience we are demonstrating we have not moved to a settled conclusion that we are resting on Christ for salvation.

 Faithful works are evidence of salvation

James 2: 14  Can that faith save (heal, preserve, rescue) him? (Matt 7: 21-23)

Without behaviors that provide evidence of salvation, we are unsure of the genuineness of our conversion,and we indeed we are believers whom God has rescued from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions of Heaven’s safety.

Matt 7: 21-23 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.

Demons Believe & Know it’s about works, so they try to trip up our walk

James 2: 19 You believe that God is one (a unique individual, a singular whole, consisting of 3 manifestations who are united); you do well. Even the demons (fallen angel evil spirits) believe (are persuaded of Who God Is) and shudder (are aroused to bristle and tremble with fear)!

We should believe at least as accurately as demons do because which of the following attributes are true of them

  1. No demons are atheists; they know God is real
  2. As fallen angels they know God is their Creator
  3. They are subject to Christ in the Gospels and now.
  4. They know our effectiveness relies on “works of faith,” so they work to keep us from obeying God. (Eph 6:11-16)

Eph 6:11-16

11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;

James 2:19 – demons believe, so they work to mess up our walk –

Ephesians 6: 11 -16 tells us that demons do which of the following:

  1. 11scheme against us.
  2. 12wrestle against”
  3. 13withstand us with evil
  4. 14 attack “truth, and righteousness”,
  5. 15undermine and prevent our readiness to share the gospel of peace.
  6. 16 hurlflaming dartswhich are mental projections, and intrusive thoughts and to inflame our sinful passions

16In all circumstances  take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;

The shield is a metaphor for a heavy Roman shield that was large enough to provide full protection from attack.  The shield consists of faith that results from our complete trust in and reliance upon God’s Word, which The Holy Spirit motivates us to believe, receive and act upon.

The foolish fail to live works of faith

James 2: 18 & 20 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show (point out to) me your faith apart from your works, and I will show (demonstrate, exhibit and make known to) you my faith by my works.

20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish (empty of moral content, vain, ineffective, worthless, false, unreal, pretentious, hollow) person, that faith apart from works is useless?

Useless means “idle, lazy, thoughtless, unprofitable, injurious, and that from which no profit is derived.”

Friends follow God with Faithful works 

James 2: 21 – 26 Both Abraham & Rahab were justified (properly, approved by God’s legal, authority) by works (what, by the grace of God, they followed through to do). Abraham when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar, and Rahab when she received the Israeli messengers.

22Faith was active along with their works, and faith was completed  (perfected) by his works (perfected works are behaviors that carry out & complete the inner motivations, intentions, purposes and workings of the Holy Spirit);

23and the Scripture was fulfilled (accomplished – because we are living epistles, 2 Corinthians 3:2 “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men”) that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend (dearly loved and prized, personal, intimate, trusted confidant) of God.  (God’s someone dearly loved and prized, personal, intimate, trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection.)

Faithful Works are Evidence of Spiritual Life!

26For as the body apart from the spirit (God’s breath that animates) is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead (unresponsive to life-giving influences).

The Law of Liberty Is Not Lawless

The Law of Liberty is not lawlessness.

James 2: 12-13 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

13 The Law of Liberty Is Not Lawless

James 2: 12-13  THE LAW OF LIBERTY is …

  1. the mosaic Law, which Christ came to fulfill (Matt 5:17)
  2. frees us to omit what has no bearing on our salvation & righteousness
  3. freedom to receive God’s promises given through the prophets.
  4. the privilege and power to obey God’s word by keeping the 10 Commandments & living out the Be-Attitudes. (Matt 5: 2-12)x
Loving God Most Means Letting God Liberate Us So Christ Is Reflected Through Us Click To Tweet

LET’S PRAY:

Dear God, please work within us to make us the type of people in whom You can manifest the fullness of Your Holy Spirit to conform us to Your Image that improves our status as citizens within Your Kingdom of Heaven,regardless of our circumstances and what we think the consequences may be!

To view the recorded message, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1vjsSk1vcg