Faith and Works

James 2:14-17

James 2:14-17

  • [14] What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?
  • [15] If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
  • [16] 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?
  • [17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
  • Read complete chapter here: www.biblegateway.com
Hand Drawn picture of Jesus with text James 2:14-17
Faith and Works

James 2:14-17, often misunderstood is the focus of this week’s post. He is believed to be the 1/2 brother of Jesus, is not contradicting Paul. James is not saying that faith and good works are the way to God. Some even profess that James is saying that only good works will get us to heaven. That is not so!

The Jewish council and Christians were listening to James, explaining that everyone can be saved by faith alone.

But then he takes it one step further. James says that once saved, our hearts should be changed as we are totally a new being. And then to the group surrounding him, James asks a question. Can anyone be authentically saved if we are not following it up with good works?

Be the extension of Jesus Christ here on earth.

We are to be his hands and feet and a servant to others. If Jesus is actually in us, then we should be growing in love every day and if we are growing in love, then it ought to be showing in how we live and how we treat others.

James gives us an example. If for instance, someone has a need of clothes or food, etc. we tell them to “trust in the Lord”. Then, perhaps we say “I’ll pray for you, go in peace”. How then, has that helped the persons situation?

James wants us to understand that as Christians, if we do not follow up our salvation with works, then chances are, we have not really become a new person in Christ; have we?

Did we really accept Jesus into our being or did we just say some words and not truly believe with our hearts?

I suggest the message James was trying to get across was; if there is some way we can actually help others and don’t, do we genuinely have salvation? Or perhaps we just have a worthless faith?

Picture of body of man hammering. Text reads James 2:14-17
Faith and Works

My Prayer for James 2:14-17

Jehovah – Tsidkenu, Father, The Lord of Righteousness

I ask in the name of Jesus that I have the kind of faith that James was talking about here. Yes, I have accepted Jesus by faith but now Lord, I ask that you allow me to grow in that faith the way you intended.

By “serving” others the way Jesus did, will show that I am growing in my faith. Lord, it’s my desire to grow in you every day, to please you by my works, to honour you and to give you all the glory.

In the name of The Lord Jesus Christ, my Saviour. Amen

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”

Martin Luther

Building Up a Spiritual Church 1 Peter 2:4-5

Justified by Faith

Galatians 3:11-14

Justified by faith

  • [11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
  • [12] And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
  • [13] Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
  • [14] That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
  • Read complete chapter at: http://www.biblegateway.com
hand drawn picture of Jesus with text Galatians 3:11-14
Justified by faith

Definitions:

Justification

  • Jesus saves from guilt or penalty of sin. We become “just” or justified when we accept Jesus into our lives.
  • Faith in Jesus Christ makes us “perfect”. However, this could not happen until Jesus finished his work on the cross.

Paradise (also known as Abraham’s Bosom)

  • Sheol is a place for the dead. it is divided into two sections. They are named: hades and paradise or Abraham’s bosom)
  • See also Luke 16:19-31.
  • A place (of blessings) in Sheol, for those faith believers of God, during the Old Testament times.
  • Because Christ had not been born and crucified, he was not able to take their sins. This meant they could not go to heaven, into the presence of God, at that point in time.
  • After His death, Jesus went to paradise (also called Abraham’s Bosom) and took the Old Testament believers to heaven.
  • God would never send believers in Jesus Christ to paradise again.
  • Because, paradise is no longer open.
  • Every person (with faith in Jesus), from then on, will immediately be in the presence of The Lord, upon death.

Law

  • The Law is God’s instructions concerning the moral, social, and spiritual behavior of His people found in the first five books of the Bible.
  • Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

Gentile

  • The modern definition of a “gentile” is: “relating to the nations at large, as distinguished from the Jews.”
  • In North America, that there are generally three groups of religion. That being Jews, Christians and Gentiles.

Faith

  • A belief and trust and loyalty to God.
  • Belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion.
  • Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.
  • God has always been looking for faith in him, not merely law keeping and doing good works.
  • Faith in Jesus is what gives us salvation.

In the Old Testament era, many of Abraham’s people were justified. God forgave the people of their sins, when they took sacrifices to the temple.

  • By the shedding of an animals blood, the people became justified.
  • Because, they had faith in God, they got into paradise.
  • They went to paradise so Jesus could justify them after his crucifixion. See Hebrews 11:39-40

However, many people continued to live only by the law of the priests and Pharisees.

  • The non-believers (unjustified) people of the Old Testament era did not receive salvation.
  • The law requires unwavering obedience, which man cannot do!

Christ bought us with his blood.

The Bible tells us that once Jesus was crucified on the cross everything changed. Our faith today must be in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Even though Christ was sin-free, he bore our sin and was crucified, on the cross (tree) in our place. He suffered what he did not deserve and died to take away our sins.

We will not be saved by the law. Nor will we be saved by doing good works, or animal sacrifice or by being a descendant of Abraham. In other words, we are saved by our faith alone. That is, faith in Christ Jesus!

Picture of a steeple being placed on a church.  Text reads Galatians 3:11-14
Justified by faith of God’s Promise to Abraham

My prayer for Galatians 3:11-14

Almighty God,

Thank you for sending your only begotten Son to earth to become our Saviour.

Good works and obeying the law do not save us. Furthermore, because we are sinners, no amount of living by rules and regulations could atone for the times we fail. No one on this earth would ever make it to heaven, if that were the path.

Saved by faith, believers then do their best to live by your guidance and moral rules. Once saved Christians show their love for you by doing good works.

All believing gentiles are now included in the promises you made to Abraham.

Furthermore, many people of all nations are now accepting you, as their Saviour.

And most of all Father, thank you that you have given all people an easy way to come to you – through faith and a personal relationship in the LORD JESUS CHRIST, our Redeemer.

Thank you that everyone who declares Jesus as Lord, has true faith and asks for forgiveness of sins, can join your family for eternity.

In His holy and precious name, I pray, Amen

PSALM 34: 1-6 in adoration category