Faithlife Sermons

The Not-For-Profit Faith

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Proposition: We are saved by faith alone, but when we have faith that is alone then questions are raised. If we profess faith in Jesus, but our lives are unchanged, then what proof is there of conversion? Is it our goal to try to keep that old life we lived before we gave our life to Jesus? The value of a faith that is alone pales in comparison to a faith that produces good works.

Introduction: Why would James ask such a question?

  • There is no conflict cause by the doctrine that teaches we are saved by faith and not by works.
  • There is conflict caused by those who merely ‘say’ they have faith, but have no works.

I. Do Works Add Value to Faith?

    • A.    Does a profession of faith determine the possession of faith?
    • B.     What are works and what role do they play in the faith?

II. Different Types of Value

    • A.    Sentimental Value
    • B.     Occupational Value
    • C.     Fair Market Value

III. Determining the Fair Market Value of “Works”[1]

    • A. What does it cost to produce?
      • I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20)
    • B. How unique is it?
      • I am the way, the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
    • C. How quickly do your buyers need what you are selling?
      • And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11-12)
    • D. What is the replacement cost?
      • For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)
    • E. Is it a fad item or an item that people will be highly passionate about?
      • Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” least any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)
    • F. Is this a one-time deal or something that will continue on into the future?
      • And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

Conclusion: Possession is 9/10 of the law.

    • If you actually possess something, you have a stronger legal claim to owning it than someone who merely says it belongs to him or her.[2]
    • if you have something, it is difficult for other people to take it away from you[3]


[1] I took these questions from this web site

[2] is nine-tenths of the law

[3] ibid

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