Authentic Christianity Message Series

AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY

Part 3 – Real Christianity Does More Than Talk
James 2:14-26

May 3, 2020
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor

 

 

INTRODUCTION

James 2:14-18  What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  (NIV)

 

1. TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN.

A. James says in this passage:  Faith alone cannot save you.  A person is saved by works, not just by faith.

B. Paul teaches the exact opposite than James.

1. Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

2. Romans 3:20   For nobody can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what his law commands…

C. What looks like two men opposing each other is really two men as partners standing back-to-back fighting a different enemy.

D. If you’re saved and you know it then your life will surely show it.

E. Paul is defending Christianity from people trying to earn their way to heaven by doing good deeds.

F. James is defending Christianity from people trying to fake their way into Heaven by going through some religious motion without really having a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.

 

2. ONLY A FAITH THAT CHANGES OUR BEHAVIOR IS REAL FAITH.

A. James 2:14   What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

B. Matthew 7:21  Not everybody who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ is going to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

C. James 2:15-16  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  (NIV)

D. Real faith is more than just sympathy.  It does something about it.

I John 3:17  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

E. Real faith is more than just right beliefs.  (James 2:19)

1. James 2:19  You believe that God is One. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

2. Real faith is not just believing in a set of facts about God.  It is letting those facts change how we act.

 

3. THERE IS AN ALIVE FAITH THAT CAN GET YOU INTO HEAVEN AND CAN KEEP YOU GROWING AND CLOSE TO GOD.

A. Abraham is a perfect example of a person who had an alive faith.

James 2:21-24  Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.   23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. (NIV)

B. Rahab is another example of a person who had an alive faith. 

James 2:25-26  In the same way, was not even Rahab considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (NIV)

C. Our changed life is evidence that we have truly accepted Jesus as our Savior.

D. Romans 10:9  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (NLT)

E. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.