Faithlife Sermons

"You Even Lift, Brah?" How's Your Spiritual Fitness?

Faith and Works  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are commanded to work-out our faith; unfortunately, this command is often disregarded and we are satisfied with simply following a spiritual diet. James commands us to not be just hearers of the Word, but doers. If you are a faithful partaker of a spiritual diet, but you don't work out your faith, James says your faith is dead!

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Outline of

1:1-18

1:1 - Standard Greeting
1:2–18 - Comfort, reassurance, and exhortation to respond to the trials in the right way.

Outline of

1:1-18

1:19-20

1:19-20 - Hear, listen, and accept Spiritual Truth
Listen to what the Word of God says
1:1 - Standard Greeting1:2–18 - Comfort, reassurance, and exhortation to respond to the trials in the right way.
§ To hear him out.
Listen

1:19-20

Hear out the Word of God
Listen to what the Word of God saysHear out the Word of GodResist anger toward the message of the Word of God
Accept
Resist anger toward the message of the Word of God

1:21

1:21

Be spiritually prepared for the message of the Word of God
Be spiritually prepared for the message of the Word of GodReceive the message with meekness

1:22

Receive the message with meekness
Hearing the Word is essential, but not sufficient.

1:22

Hearing the Word is essential, but not sufficient.

1:23-25

1:23-25

Use the Word of God for self-correction.God’s blessings can take on many forms, including trials that are meant to help us grow.
Use the Word of God for self-correction.

1:26-27

1:26 - Foreshadowing of what is addressed in chapter 3. 1:27 - Introduction to what is addressed in chapter 2.A constant, daily striving for sanctification (27b).Serving others in selfless love (27a).
God’s blessings can take on many forms, including trials that are meant to help us grow.

1:26-27

1:26 - Foreshadowing of what is addressed in chapter 3.
When’s the last time we checked our spiritual vitals? Is our faith a dead faith, or a living faith? How can we know?

Theology behind faith and works

1:27 - Introduction to what is addressed in chapter 2.
A constant, daily striving for sanctification (27b).

What it’s not saying

Salvation requires works -9Romans 3:27-28· Take Abraham for example:o :3o :6o · What it is sayingo James in these verses is not contradicting Paul. Paul, in and , is explaining how the sinner is justified, given a right standing before God; James, on the other hand, is writing about how the saved person proves that salvation before others. People have no right to believe that we are saved if they do not see a change in our lives. A sinner is saved by faith, without works (), but true saving faith leads to works (). Being a Christian is not a matter of what we say with the lips; it involves what we do with the life.
o Serving others in selfless love
Serving others in selfless love (27a).

When’s the last time we checked our spiritual vitals?
Is our faith a dead faith, or a living faith?
How can we know?

Theology behind faith and works

What it’s NOT saying

Salvation requires works
Ephesians 2:8–9 AV
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.
§
Romans 3:27–28 AV
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Abraham as example:
, ,
Romans 4:3 AV
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
o
Genesis 15:6 AV
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
o
Romans 4:18–22 AV
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

What it IS saying

James in these verses is not contradicting Paul. Paul, in and , is explaining how the sinner is justified, given a right standing before God; James, on the other hand, is writing about how the saved person proves that salvation before others. People have no right to believe that we are saved if they do not see a change in our lives. A sinner is saved by faith, without works (), but true saving faith leads to works (). Being a Christian is not a matter of what we say with the lips; it involves what we do with the life.

Practical Application behind Faith and Works

How is your Spiritual Fitness?

o In other words, “You even lift, brah?”
For a weight lifter, there are two key components:
Proper nutrition
Proper exercise routine
Spiritual fitness works the same way!
You have to be both a hearer AND a Doer

How would you classify your faith?

According to James, a true, living faith is one that produces works.
If your faith is not producing works, something is wrong!

To what extent are you working out your faith?

What do the fatherless and the widows both have in common?
They are the most vulnerable
They have nothing to offer in return for your service
Do we determine how we work out our faith based on what’s in it for us?
God doesn’t need a superhero Christian for service to him
He doesn’t need an eloquent speaker
He doesn’t need a seminary educated person
He doesn’t need somebody who has been a Christian for at least 10 years
It is God that worketh in us
God’s will
God’s plan
So what do we have to do?
We have to yield ourselves to Him.
Are we giving God enough to work with?
Are we giving God enough to work with?
Is what we are giving God prepared to be used by Him?
Is what we are giving God prepared to be used by Him?
Is what we are giving God prepared to be used by Him?
Is what we are giving God prepared to be used by Him?
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