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Scripture Reading: James 2:14-20
Faith at Work (2)
1. James 1: Faith at work endures trials and temptations by properly evaluating the temporal nature of this world and the eternal weight of glory. The faithful person recognizes the grace of God, controls himself by putting away sin and practices pure religion by being a doer of the word.
2. Faith that does not work is faith that will not save.
3. James 2: Faith only is a most pernicious doctrine and very full of error!
I. FAITH DOES NOT HARBOR PREJUDICE, Jas 2:1-13.
A. Faith and Favoritism do not Coexist, Jas 2:1-9.
1. Partiality (respect of persons): “has respect of the outward circumstances of man and not to their intrinsic merits, and so prefers, as the more worthy, one who is rich, high born, or powerful, to another who does not have these qualities” (Thayer).
a. Outward judgments (conclusions) are often wrong, 1 Sam 16:6-7.
b. Peter was taught this necessary lesson as the gospel spread to Gentiles, Acts 10:34-35.
2. Partiality is the unrighteous judgment against others and against God’s law, Jas 2:1-4; cf. Jno 7:24; Jas 4:11-12.
a. The law of Moses commanded righteous judgment and justice, Lev 19:15.
b. Israel was taught it is sin to despise your neighbor, Prov 14:20-21.
c. NT: “Do all things without partiality”, 1 Tim 5:21.
3. Partiality is against God’s chosen purpose, Jas 2:5.
4. Partiality dishonors the poor (object of the partiality), Jas 2:6 (Rom 12:9-10).
5. Partiality does not change minds, Jas 2:7.
6. Partiality fails to love neighbor as self, Jas 2:8-9.
B. Faith does not Rationalize and Minimize Sin, Jas 2:10-13.
1. Sin, left unattended, brings death! Jas 1:15-16; Rom 3:23
2. Sin happens both by commission and omission, Jas 2:11; 4:17.
3. Judged by law of liberty, not the partiality of others, Jas 2:12 (1:25).
4. Judged by judgment we give, Jas 2:13; Matt 5:7; Lk 6:37-38 (Gal 6:7)
II. FAITH IS AT WORK WHEN IT OBEYS GOD, Jas 2:14-20.
A. Many Kinds of Works in the NT: Some Approved as Righteous, Some Opposed as Sinful, Eph 2:8-10. (http://www.bibleanswer.com/works_1.htm)
B. Faith without Works (of Faith) will not Save the Soul (Heb 10:36-39):
1. Is of no spiritual profit – cannot save, Jas 2:14-16.
2. Is alone and dead, Jas 2:17.
3. Is unseen, Jas 2:18.
4. Is held by demons, Jas 2:19.
5. Is barren and fruitless, Jas 2:20.
6. Is not complete, Jas 2:21-22.
7. Is not accounted for righteousness, Jas 2:23.
8. Cannot justify, Jas 2:24-25.
9. Is dead, Jas 2:26.
a. Obedience (works of faith) is necessary to be saved from past sins: Believe (Jno 6:29); Confess faith (Rom 10:10); Repent (Acts 2:37-38); Baptized (Acts 22:16).
b. Works of faith essential to remain true to Christ, Eph 2:10; Gal 5:6.
III. FAITH IS MADE COMPLETE IN OBEDIENCE, Jas 2:21-26.
A. The Faith of Abraham was Perfected by his Obedience, Jas 2:21-23.
1. Justified (declared righteous) by works, Jas 2:21.
a. He obeyed by faith, Heb 11:17.
b. He trusted God would keep His word to him, Heb 11:18-19.
2. His faith was active in his obedience, and his obedience resulted in a faith that pleased God, Jas 2:22; cf. Gen 22:12.
3. Obedient faith was counted to him for righteousness, Jas 2:23.
-(Gen 15:1-6 – Believed God’s promise of an heir, and his obedience showed his trust in God to keep His word! That is the kind of faith that is counted for righteousness by God!) Friend of God
B. No Doubt: The Faith that Saves is the Faith that Obeys, Jas 2:24-26.
1. Justification by faith only is false! Jas 2:24 (Heb 5:9; Lk 17:10)
2. Rahab is an example of being delivered from death because she acted on her faith in the true God and helped the spies, Jas 2:25.
3. Death is an example of lifeless, dead faith, Jas 2:26.
-Faith without works (of faith, obedience) is dead.
1. God has given us good works in which we must walk, Eph 2:10.
2. If we treat anyone as unworthy of our attention (God’s) and to think that we can be saved with a faith that does not obey God, then we have forfeited God’s mercy for condemnation (2:13).
3. Let us rather be those who put our faith to work and be friends of God!