AF-S83-081405 James E
Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ Sermon #83, 8-14-05
James the Just, á÷eÖé! Ya ăqôb, Jacob, Ija>kwbov, James
James 2:14-17 ~
NASB: 14What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
Someone claims to have Christian faith, i.e. I am a Christian. Yet, the lifestyle of that person is not in agreement with the confession, can that confession of faith save the person?
It is a rhetorical question, the Greek word for, "not," is mh>. It is in effect an emphatic no!
Why? I mean Paul says we are saved by faith alone. Actually right here James is saying the same thing. It's faith he is saying saves a person, but it is genuine faith and not some intellectual part-time faith. James is simply saying that if we really have saving faith there will be physical evidence as a result. If there is no evidence then there is no real faith.
The confession with our mouth that saves us must be real or we are just playing at religion,
There is no such thing as, "Super Christians!" You either are or are not.
Verses 15&16 give us an example. The brother or sister is part of your congregation and has a need that you recognize and can meet. Instead you say well let's pray about that right now. You feel better about yourself because you're such a great Christian when really you've simply made a way to selfishly keep your stuff.
James' point is not really about that though. His main point is that our thinking/believing/confessing of anything is of no real value unless we truly mean it and of course if we do then we will do more than half measures.
Verse 17 summarizes, if faith is not accompanied by action it is useless.
23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24“You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26“You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.
27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28“So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
James 2:18-20 ~
NASB: 18But 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.” 19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
A punctuation problem: It starts with the word, "BUT." So it is contrary with the previous statement, not in agreement. 17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
James starts off by saying that in response to my statement some hypothetical person may argue that some Christians have faith and some have works.
1 Corinthians 12:3-7 ~
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
**We are in James instead of 1 Corinthians because we must be mature in order to use the gifts correctly.
The idea is that some people justify their erroneous behavior by wrongly appealing to Scripture or other orthodox teaching.
James blasts that notion by saying show me your faith without evidence. Now, I'll show you saving faith which of course produces an effect.
There are varieties of Gifts, but all true gifts are manifestations of God through imperfect saints. We must be mature and really know who God is and who we are in relation to Him to be better vessels. We must fully realize the Gifts are not for us or about us!
Verse 19, He uses a Jewish phrase to indicate a correct understanding of who God is. Then says that, that knowledge and confession of the mouth does nothing!
Even the daimo>nion, can do the same. They know who God is and they are more than willing to confess that knowledge, and not just God, but the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.
Luke 8:27-31 (part) ~
27aAnd when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; 28Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” 30And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. 31They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.
1 Corinthians 12:3 ~ Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917) Beware of worshiping Jesus as the Son of God and professing your faith in him as the Savior of the world, while you blaspheme him by the complete evidence in your daily life that he is powerless to do anything in and through you.
DUP - James 2:18-20 ~ Slide
What are you willing to accept? What will you believe? Will you humble yourself and learn Truth?
Do you genuinely want a relationship with God through Jesus with the Holy Spirit living in you?
James 2:21-26 ~
21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Paul talks about the same incident to say Justification is by faith alone, but it is obvious that if Abraham had said to God, "Look you know me and you know I'll do whatever You ask, so I won't actually do it and I'll still be righteous."
What if God said I'm not going to do anything for you, I'm not going to send Jesus or the Holy Spirit or the Apostles or the Bible, but know I love you and would do all those things.
What if I said, "I'm going to let the airplane fly itself, just realize that I know how to do it and I would do it, but that should be enough. My absolute willigness to fly the plane should be sufficient, right?
John Calvin: “Faith alone justifies, but the faith which justifies is not alone.”
The last verse says something else besides capping James' argument.
When a living thing dies the body is dead, but clearly the essence that animated that body is no longer present.