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Scripture Reading: James 1:2-8
Faith at Work (1)
1. Faith is at the center of our life as Christians, Jno 20:30-31; Eph 2:8.
2. The New Testament teaches us the kind of faith that pleases God, Heb 11:6.
3. The Epistle of James: Faith must work; it must produce; it must be visible.
a. Verbal faith is not enough, Lk 6:46.
b. Mental faith is insufficient, Jno 12:42-43.
c. True faith provokes action in our lives, or it is not sufficient faith! Gal 5:6
4. James is an epistle of action: faith at work.
I. FAITH ENDURES TRIALS, Jas 1:2-11. “Trials come and go; faith meets them head on and develops endurance.” (James Intro., NKJV, Nelson)
A. The Discipline to Remain Joyful, Jas 1:2; Jno 16:22, 33.
1. Faith looks beyond the moment to eternity, 2 Cor 4:16-18.
2. Testing of faith produces patience, 1:3-4.
B. The Discipline to Continually Pray for Wisdom, Jas 1:5-8.
1. Humility to admit our lack and need, 1:5.
2. Faith to ask God for wisdom, 1:5; Prov 2:6-9; Psa 119:98.
3. Faith that God answers, 1:5; Prov 8:17; 1 Jno 5:14-15.
4. Ask in faith without doubt, 1:6-8. Not double-minded (faith).
C. The Discipline to Know that Possessions Test Faith, Jas 1:9-11.
1. The poor brother: Glory in exaltation of Christ, Lk 1:52; 1 Cor 3:21-23 (Eph 1:3; 2:6).
2. The rich brother: Glory in humiliation of Christ, Phil 3:7.
3. “The Cross of Christ lifts up the poor and brings down the high. It is the great leveller of men.” (A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures)
II. FAITH UNDERSTANDS AND ENDURES TEMPTATION, Jas 1:12-20.
A. The Blessing of Resisting Temptation, 1:12.
1. Approved: Tested, tried and shown to be genuine, cf. Rom 5:3-4.
2. Crown of life, 2 Tim 4:7-8.
B. Temptation is Common to Us All, Jas 1:13-16; 1 Cor 10:12-13.
1. God is not the source of temptation, 1:13.
2. Temptation: Internal (his own desires), External (enticement), 1:14.
3. Outcome of yielding to temptation: Sin and death, 1:15.
4. Warning, 1:16. Faith at work knows the danger of temptation to sin and looks to avoid it by:
a. Remembering the gifts of God, Jas 1:17.
b. Remembering our birthright, Jas 1:18.
c. Controlling the heart (willing, not wrathful), Jas 1:19 (Col 3:8).
d. Produce the righteousness of God, Jas 1:20 (Tit 2:12).
III. FAITH OBEYS THE WORD OF GOD, Jas 1:21-27.
A. The Person of Faith Lays Aside Sin (moral filthiness and naughtiness, malice) Jas 1:21; 1 Pet 2:1; Col 3:5-9.
1. Faith does not find pleasure/fulfillment in the sinful things of the world, Eph 5:6-11.
2. Deliberate decision of faith to meekly receive God’s word and implant it in our heart to be saved, Rom 12:2.
B. The Person of Faith is a Doer of the Word, Jas 1:22; Matt 7:21-27.
1. Vanity of hearing and not doing, Jas 1:23-24.
2. Blessing of doing the work, Jas 1:25.
a. Must remember, cf. 2 Pet 1:12.
b. Must combine knowing with doing, cf. Jno 13:17.
C. The Person of Faith Lives Pure Religion, Jas 1:26-27.
1. Here is one who thinks he is religious (fears God) due to “the external observances of public worship, such as church attendance, almsgiving, prayer, fasting” (Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek, 55-57, cited by Robertson, op cit.).
2. Doer of the word practices pure and undefiled religion:
a. He inspects the needs of the weak and helps (compassion, kindness, love), cf. Micah 6:6-8.
b. He inspects himself and guards (keeps) himself from sin (2 Cor 13:5). Matt 6:1-4
1. Faith is put to the test every day.
2. Faith (at work) overcomes the world, 1 Jno 5:3-4.