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Aging Gracefully part 6

Book of James  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts | Handout
Illustration:
The story is told that the Devil had a meeting with his demons to decide how to persuade men that God was nonexistent. Since they themselves believed in His existence, they wondered just how to do it. One demon suggested that they tell people Jesus Christ never really existed and that men should not believe such fiction. Another demon suggested that they persuade men that death ends all and there is no need to worry about life after death. Finally, the most intelligent demon suggested that they tell everyone that there is a God, that there is Jesus Christ, and that believing in Him saves, but all you have to do is profess faith in Christ and then go on living in sin as you used to. They decided to use this tactic, and it is the tactic the Devil uses even today.
Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.
James 1:22 NIV
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James has mentioned this subject, now he goes into detail.
What kind of faith really saves a person?
What kind of faith really saves a person?
Is it necessary to perform good works in order to be saved?
How can a person tell whether or not he is exercising true saving faith?
James answers these questions by explaining to us that there are three kinds of faith, only one of which is true saving faith.
James answers these questions by explaining to us that there are three kinds of faith, only one of which is true saving faith.

Dead Faith

James 2:14–17 NIV
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
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The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Six: False Faith (James 2:14–26)

Even in the early church there were those who claimed they had saving faith, yet did not possess salvation. Wherever there is the true, you will find the counterfeit. Jesus warned,

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Six: False Faith (James 2:14–26)

Even in the early church there were those who claimed they had saving faith, yet did not possess salvation. Wherever there is the true, you will find the counterfeit. Jesus warned,

Even when the church first started in Jerusalem, there were people who claimed to be saved but were not true followers of Christ.
“Wherever there is the true, you will find the counterfeit.”
Jesus warned,
Matthew 7:21 NIV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
matt
The example James uses here illustrates a basic truth of salvation: real conversion will result in works of love. (v.17)
Too many people reverse this idea and try to gain conversion by performing good works.
The question James asks in v.14 clarifies the issue that intellectual understanding of salvation is not in itself enough.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Six: False Faith (James 2:14–26)

John Calvin, wrote, “It is faith alone that justifies, but faith that justifies can never be alone.”

John Calvin wrote,
“It is faith alone that justifies, but faith that justifies can never be alone.” -John Calvin
James is telling us the is no such thing as mere “intellectual faith.”
“No man can come to Christ by faith and remain the same any more than he can come into contact with a 220-volt wire and remain the same.” Warren Wiersbe

Demonic Faith

James 2:18–19 NIV
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
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James makes this statement in v. 19, apparently to shock his readers out of complacency.
It comes as a shock that demons have faith. They believe:
:
In the existence of God. (not agnostic or atheist)
In the deity of Christ
In His Sonship of God (Mark 3:11-12)
In the existence of a place of punishment (Luke 8:31)
In Jesus Christ as the Judge (Mark 5:1-13)
But the demons do not have a faith that saves, but rather an intellectual and an emotional faith.
They believe and even shudder.
Shudder def. to tremble or convulse from fear or excitement.
But this is not a true faith, a true faith is something more and is demonstrated by a changed life.
James has introduced us to two kinds of faith that can never save the sinner: dead faith (intellect alone) and demonic faith ( the intellect and the emotions).
He closes this section by describing the true and only faith that saves-dynamic faith.

Dynamic Faith

Dynamic Faith

James 2:20–26 NIV
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 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. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
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A girl once asked her Sunday school teacher, "How can I be a Christian and still have my own way?"
Being a Christian involves trusting Christ and living for Christ.
Being a Christian involves trusting Christ and living for Christ.
We receive the life, then we reveal the life.
Dynamic faith is faith that is real, faith that has power, faith that results in a changed life.
Dead faith touches only the intellect.
Demonic faith involves both the mind and emotions.
Dynamic faith involves the will.
The mind understands the truth.
The heart desires the truth.
But
The will acts on the truth.
True saving faith leads to actions.
As demonstrated by Abraham and Rahab.
The mature Christian practices the truth in their everyday lives.

Take this with you...

Was there a time when I honestly realized I was a sinner and admitted this to myself and to God?
1. Was there a time when I honestly realized I was a sinner and admitted this to myself and to God?
3. Do I truly understand the Gospel, that Christ died for my sins and arose again? Do I understand and confess that I cannot save myself?
Did I sincerely repent of my sins and turn from them or do I secretly love sin and want to enjoy it?
4. Did I sincerely repent of my sins and turn from them or do I secretly love sin and want to enjoy it?
Has there been a change in my life and do I maintain good works, or are my works occasional and weak?
Do I have a desire to share Christ with others or am I ashamed of Him?
Do I enjoy the fellowship of God’s people and is worship a delight to me?
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