Monday, July 11, 2011

James on Faith and Works

James  on  Faith and Works

Jam 1:22 – 28
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural
 face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what
 manner of man he was. 

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can 
faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye 
 give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works
, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 

James vs Paul
At times people look at the words in James and say he contradicts Paul by saying we are saved by 
works. He does not!  We are not saved by works but our faith in Gods grace. 
The truth is they miss the point of James all together.  Look at the whole book as an outline.
 And you will quickly see James is writing to CHRISTIANS about Christian living. 

        The Second Symbol
The cross is the great symbol of Christianity.  On steeples atop churches, covers of hymnals, 
lids for communion ware and lapel pins on Sunday jackets, it stands an awesome reminder 
of all that Jesus suffered. 
Jesus spoke of the cross as a symbol of Christian dedication. 
"Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Mar_8:34).
But Jesus also used another symbol for Christian commitment.
"Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me...My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Mat_11:29-30).
 The yoke is a wooden harness tying two animals together to pull a load. 
Yokes are not usually painted on church buildings, or printed on the covers of Bibles,
 or worn as ornaments on neck chains.  Maybe they should be.
 The yoke as much as the cross is a symbol of commitment to Jesus Christ.
       Paul W. Powell, in The Complete Disciple elaborates:
"The cross and the yoke symbolize for us the two different aspects of commitment.
 The cross is an instrument of death, 
the yoke is an implement of toil. 
The cross is the symbol of sacrifice; 
the yoke is the symbol of service.
 The cross suggests blood; 
the yoke suggests sweat ...
to be committed to Jesus Christ means that we are ready for either the yoke or the cross."

The first point I want to make is that James and Paul both give Faith as our salvation. 
We know from the bible that God is Holy and no sin may come before Him. 
 We know to that we all have sinned. 

Sin, ALL SIN, is to disobey GOD. 

We list actions we call sins, but they are all things God said are sin. 
We have disobeyed Him and Fall short. 
We from within our selves we cannot undo sin or come before God. 
 A Holy God is Just and sin must be judged and punished. 
There is a debt to be paid. 
 A Holy God is also Loving and to love and save us 
HE stepped out accost eternity and
 was born in a stable,
 worked as a carpenter, 
 taught us how to live,
 and went to the cross to pay the debt we could not pay, 
This is Grace. Freely offered to all who will receive it.  
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1   
 Our hope of His mercy and evidence of His gift is FAITH. 
 Our Faith in Gods Grace is salvation.

James uses the word Faith to express all the act of salvation and being saved.
I will say that again:
James uses the word Faith to express all the act of salvation and being saved  

It is like this:  Look at James 2:18  
You have  faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works,
 and I will show you  my faith by my works 
Now I will read it another way, a way that expresses what James Was saying.
You profess  salvation, and I have service to God: show me your salvation without
 your  service , and I will show you my salvation by my service.

Christian living is what James is discussing.
Not HOW TO BE SAVED, but HOW TO LIVE a Christian life. 

        God's Model
A shipbuilder steps out into his yard and looks around him. There are the vast skeletons
of ships just started; there are others advancing to completion. But there is nothing in the
 scene that is working.  The big hulls are at present not sea worthy,  good for nothing. 
A thousand hammers are tapping in discord. The ground is strewn with wood and metal.
 Yet the owner stands content amid the imperfection. He never thinks of even doubting
the process he beholds. In his mind he carries the ideal of a perfect ship, and he justifies
 the imperfect ships by imputing to them that ideal. God is like that great shipbuilder.
 The ideal man exists in His mind. He has the blueprint; man is like the ship being built.
 When God looks at it He does not despair, because He knows what He can do with the 
imperfect man.

  WE are a work in progress each day hour by hour we grow.  We learn to be Christian. 
There are NO WORKS in BEING saves that is by Gods Grace.  

My second point is this and it is very important!
There are works in Christian Living. 
 There are things God said DO.
 And sin, all sin is to disobey God.        
 What He said DO NOT  DO, and WHAT HE SAID DO!
In first John we are told we can know we are saved if we 
1. Keep my commandments.
How are we to keep His commandments if we do not  Study to show thyself approved unto
 God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.    2Ti 2:15  
Can you explain the Trinity,  or  The nature and attributes of God.  God is The Old Testament
 “I AM”  the Eternal Spirit Essence, not bound by time,  All of eternity is PRESENT before 
him all the time. Can you explain Gods for knowledge how he knows.  There is no shame in
 not knowing, many do not, the shame is in ever stopping trying to learn.

2.  Love the Brethren  that is   Care for the family of God,
We as Christians are responsible for the Physical, emotional, and Spiritual well being of all 
our church family.  Missions starts on the seat right beside you, right in front of you. 
DO not worry about the world until you have looked at and cared for the mission field 
God has put right before you.  Can you teach and comfort the children of God in your life,
 in your care.  Do you and the church family KNOW Gods word. Are you moving toward
 being disciples for Christ.  

The church is a family, is the family of God.  We Must together put God first and learn 
His ways , learn to serve Him.  Become disciples all caring for and teaching each other
 Gods word and will..

Another work we MUST do is Prayer, Praise, and suffering.
 Can you,   Do you come to the alter of God with the power of your faith and offer petitions
 that you believe He will hear.
Then take answered prayer to the glory of God in thankful praise.  
Do you own the name and cross of Jesus were ever you go and suffer the ridicule of the world
 as a witness for Him. 
Paul said:
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation
 to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 
Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. 
The just shall live by faith. 

Heb 11:33  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises,
 stopped the mouths of lions, 
Heb 11:34  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were 
made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 
Heb 11:35  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting 
deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 
Heb 11:36  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and 
Heb 11:37  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword:
 they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 
Heb 11:38  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains,
 and in dens and caves of the earth. 

How do you stack up beside these?

There are many things we as Christians are responsible to DO.  God will hold us accountable 
for doing what He said DO.  This is what James is saying.

Jam 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 

In these verses James is saying There is more to BEING a Christian than just saying I have 
Faith and have been saved.  When we are saved there are actions we MUST TAKE. 
We live within it set of rules and commandments God gave for Christian Living. 
These are not suggestions we may follow if it fits with our lifestyle.  We are to be
 changed and live a life of service. 

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your 
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of
 your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

I am sure James would say in fact I think it is what he says here,  
A person that comes and hears the word preached every week and puts some money in the
 plate then feels I have done what Jesus requires of  me. 

 IS NOT saved. 

 The King of kings,   Lord of Lords
The creator of the world and of us, 
Came to earth  to pay the debt of sin,
 he did not come part of the way 
He did not pay part of the debt.  
He suffered, He gave: His Blood, His Life, TO Pay the debt in full.

For this Love So Great,  I owe Him all.
 All I have,  All I am , All I will be, All I can do   MY ALL IS HIS.  

If the church could stop looking at what others think and who will get the credit for what we do, 
The Church could reach the world with this message of Love and grace. 

You want to reach this community for JESUS?
You want to reach the world, for JESUS?

It will take selfless souls at the alter, committed to giving Jesus their ALL. 

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