Faithlife Sermons

Three Types Of Faith

The Epistle of James: A Call to Spiritual Maturity  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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James 2:14–26 NASB95
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Faith is fundamental doctrine in the Christian life
the sinner is saved by faith -
the believer must walk by faith -
Without faith it impossible to please God -
Whatever we do apart from faith is sin -
Key issues:
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 identifies three kinds of faith, but only one of these is true saving faith.

Dead Faith

James 2:14–17 NASB95
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

Faith is “dead” when “words” are used as substitute for “works”

Example: “God in peace, be warmed and be filled”
Real faith responds to needs in acts of love and compassion.
Note - food and clothing are basic necessities

Faith is “dead” when “knowledge” is not accompanied by works

Example: a person who have knowledge of biblical doctrines but do not practice them
Real faith acts on the knowledge received from God.
Noah built an ark -
Abraham obeyed the call -
Real faith has works because it is alive.
Note:
Knowledge is not wrong. It is a necessary component of our salvation.
1 John 5:20 NASB95
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Demonic Faith

James 2:18–19 NASB95
But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

Demons have faith!

What do demons believe?
they believe in the existence of God
they believe in the deity of Christ -
they believe in the existence of a place of punishment -
they believe that Jesus will judge at the right time -

Faith is demonic when “emotion” replaces “action”

Real faith is “shown” in works, not in emotion.
Example of emotional faith:
when believers are touched and stirred by a sermon, or a need, or a circumstance, but does not act on the Word afterwards.
when believers are touched by
Note:
Emotion is not wrong. It is important that we feel the reality and power of God’s Word.

Dynamic faith

Dynamic faith is faith that is real, faith that has power, and faith that manifests in a changed life.
James 2:20–26 NASB95
But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Dynamic faith is based on God’s Word

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God -
Faith receives the implanted word -
Faith is only as good as its object. No matter how much faith a person may generate, if it is not directed to the right object it will accomplish nothing.

Faith is dynamic when it manifests into action.

Dead faith touches only the mind; demonic faith involves both the mind and the emotions; but dynamic faith captures the mind, emotions and the will.
The mind understands the truth.
The heart (emotion) desires the truth.
The will acts upon the truth!
Note: “works” mentioned in Scripture
the works of the law ()
the works of the flesh ()
wicked works ()
dead works ()
“good works” - results from dynamic faith.

Faith is dynamic when it manifests into action.

Abraham “offered up” Isaac on the altar
James 2:21–24 NASB95
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
James 2.21-23
Habakkuk 2:4 NASB95
“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.
Habakkuk 2.
Note - “live” implies action
Hagar “received” the messenger of Joshua.
James 2:25 NASB95
In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
James 2.2
Hebrews 11:31 NASB95
By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
Note: “received” and “welcomed” imply action
Joshua 2:3–13 NASB95
And the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them, and she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. “It came about when it was time to shut the gate at dark, that the men went out; I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them in the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued them on the road to the Jordan to the fords; and as soon as those who were pursuing them had gone out, they shut the gate. Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. “When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. “Now therefore, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”
Joshua 2.3-
Notice Rahab’s “dynamic faith”
She “knew”
Joshua 6:9–11 NASB95
The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets. But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!” So he had the ark of the Lord taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.
Joshua 2:9–11 NASB95
and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. “When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
Joshua 2.9
Joshua 6.9-11
“I know...” (intellectual faith)
“ your terror has fallen on us...” (emotional faith)
“when we heard… our hearts melted.. no courage remained..”
Joshua 2.12
Joshua 2:12 NASB95
“Now therefore, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth,
“I have dealt kindly with you...” (dynamic faith)

Dynamic faith captures the whole person.

Dead faith touches only the mind; demonic faith involves both the mind and the emotions; but dynamic faith captures the mind, emotions and the will.
The mind understands the truth.
The heart (emotion) desires the truth.
The will acts upon the truth!
Note: “works” mentioned in Scripture
the works of the law ()
the works of the flesh ()
wicked works ()
dead works ()
“good works” - results from dynamic faith.

Conclusion

James 2:26 NASB95
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Works is to faith as spirit is to the body.
the spirit animates the body.
works is the animation (manifestation) of genuine, dynamic faith.
Dynamic faith is the real faith that brings forth fruit fo the glory of God.
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