Fight Fake Faith
Satellite if you're familiar with Red Hills, you're wondering why I'm up here. My name is Dan one of the pastures here, but there are lead Pastor. Brandon is normally the one who brings the message and he's kind of been doing a staycation not here this week. And that's why he's not up here. And we continue to try to model Red Hills. After what we see in the New Testament what we don't see the New Testament is a bodies of Believers that are centered around one person. I'm & Sew at I appreciate Brandon's willingness to allow some other is best to come up here and and do our best not only to make him look good but also to i m line ourselves up with the Bible, so that's why I'm up here. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share something with you today, and I'm going to see if I can get my phone actually to control these slides. So we'll see if that works or not. Show it is Memorial day tomorrow. And so I wanted to start off just thinking about that. One of the things we've talked about is that the difficulty of we as Christians taking the cultural things that we encounter and making sure that they align with Christ and when we think of something like Memorial Day, which was established after the Civil War to honor those that had fallen in defense of the nation, if you think about Civil War at some of those people fell for very very admirable motives some of them fell defending some things that today we would say, that's not okay and yet we still look to those who have fallen in the service of our country and say, hey, let's take a day and memorialized salmon and we have to ask ourselves is that the right thing to do on the one hand we have to be careful because it is easy for us to put our allegiance to a nation and have that Allegiance be in front of God I put on the other hand. It's a very very beautiful thing for us to take a moment to reflect on those who gave everything and one of the things I think we ought to be thinking about tomorrow is the fact that the reason we value so much that those soldiers soldiers Sailors Airmen and Marines who have given their lives in defense of our nation. They were modeling something that that Christ said was the greatest love that we would be willing to lay down our lives for our friends. And so as you take time tomorrow, I hope you do to appreciate the Liberties that that lives at your ad for us do so thinking about the fact that we are appreciative of the fact that that God's that Christ set the example of laying down his life for others and and it's worth are taking time to appreciate those who have done the same thing for us. And so so hope you have time tomorrow to take some folk. Fish on Memorial Day and that actually connects in real well with our lesson today, but I'm going to ask if we can just take a moment and prayer first. Thank you so much for the fact that you have given us something to work through and workout today. I got to ask that your skirt would be speaking through me I ask that your spirit would be opening minds and hearts to hear the truth about what it means at 2 work for you and what it means to be secure in your grace Lord. We thank you for those that remind us of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us and we want him to be at the center of everything that's done today. And we ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
Try as we as we connect up James to this idea of Memorial Day at what we're talking about. Today is is fighting fake fake fake and if you think about what it means to give your life in battle at one of the reasons, we appreciate that so much is because it is impossible to be faking it when you're losing your life. There's something inherently recognize that a when you put on a uniform and you're actually willing to sacrifice yourself wearing that uniform you are committed to the cause that uniform represents. I remember hearing the story 7 years back about a guy that was impersonating Navy naval officers. He was getting all kinds of perks and benefits. He said he was part of the Advance Team for the the aerial demonstration team the the Blue Angels and two people would put them up and treat him at all kinds of drinks and free lodging and food and all this other stuff. Well, it turns out that the guy had never Ever been in the Navy he was faking it the whole time and they eventually found him and sent him to jail for it. But you think about the difference between him and somebody standing next to him. He standing there pretending like he was somebody that sacrifice or at least risk himself and Naval Aviation and standing next to a guy who really did it everyday. That's a big thing. There's a big difference even though they sound the same. They look the same. They're dressed the same. One of them is putting it on the line and one of them is not and that's the idea that we're kind of digging into today as we think about these verses verses that Nancy just read for us as we talked about fighting fake fake show. I want to focus on what I think it is probably the biggest tension that we have in as we consider these words from James. When he says faith faith apart from works is dead. He is saying something there it is. He is saying something that if we only take that and we take it out of context that we're going to end up in a bad spot. If we just read that were that sentence Faith apart from works is dead. And he actually says that the number of times will end up thinking that my Christian face is all about what I do and we don't want to sit there that's a dangerous place to to stay show. Let me throw two different verses that for you. I want to send it set a contrast before you here with Ephesians 289 with some of you will know but this is like a Hallmark verse for those that know the Bible because it tells us that are that are salvation is dependent upon grace alone. Okay, that's not the result of Works. Nobody can boast at our salvation. In Christ is a free gift you take that and then you put it against this idea that Faith apart from works is dead that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone James 2:24 and it appears there's a tension right? I got over here. Hey, it's free Grace and I got over here then I know you got to work for it. Okay, how do we reconcile those two things were going to tend to do is say if we was really looking at fusions were going to say what I do doesn't matter price did it all so I can lie cheat steal do whatever I want because I said a prayer and now I'm going to heaven because of what he did praise the Lord It's All About Grace, or I can take the other side of it and I can just read James and I can stay man. I'd better get to it. I do not pray enough today. I did not read my Bible enough today. I didn't help the poor enough today. I have not done enough. I have got to work harder. Both of those two things. I just sit in front of you are wrong. So I challenged today is to work our way through that and figure out what's right. Here's what I hope to do in the next few minutes is Ted to work through these three questions. When what's the relationship between works and Faith number to do my Works show that I have a saving faith and then number 3. What if my Works don't show that I have a saving Faith show. That's how what kind of go through the rest of your time here. When we talk about the relationship between Works in face. Here's the big idea. Is that my Works prove that my faith is genuine and it's kind of like the whole at dying for your country thing as same kind of ideas that when I put myself out there with action. I am showing you what I actually believe okay my Works pruvit my faith is genuine now in context James has been talking through in chapter 1 and chapter. Beginning of chapter 2 a whole bunch of Jews. Okay. He says rain in your tongue look after orphans and widows don't show favoritism love your neighbor and he finishes up in verse 13 and chapter 2 talking about the fact that Mercy triumphs over judgment and so he's been saying do-do-do-do now, he says Mercy triumphs over judgement and now he goes into this discussion that faith without works is dead. And so the context of what he's doing is he saying I've been telling you to do all this stuff when he says Mercy triumphs over judgement he saying but it's not about you doing because God's Mercy is the ultimate thing and now he kind of qualifies that or clarifies that and says, wait a minute. You're Works what you do do actually matter guy works prove that your faith is genuine. Show em if we if we think about that in terms of what we read in these next few verses in James at these are some of the things that he says as we go through what Nancy red there. He says what good is it? My brother's if someone says he has Faith but it does not have Works in verse 17. So I'll also Faith by itself. If it does not have works is dead verse 28. Do you want to be shown you foolish person that Faith apart from works as useless and verse 26. So also Faith apart from works is dead. So we have this continual reinforcement that your Works matter and so as we enter this question about the relationship between faith and works. I want to focus on two kind of definitions one is Faith. What does it mean to have faith and in this kind of Faith we're talking about here is the kind of face that is a trusting belief that we're not just talking about simple. Hey, I get it but we're actually putting our trust in where there's the example that James uses Envy. 19 he says look demons know that God exists and they shut her so it's no big thing. If you are I say hey God exists. I get it. That's not the kind of face were talking about we're not talking about simple belief. We're talking about the kind of belief that actually puts our trust somewhere demons are not going to heaven. Okay, so just simply saying yes God exist. That's not the kind of belief were talking about what's not cut the kind of Faith we're talking about when we say faith apart from works is dead were talking about the kind of faith that actually involves Trust. Here's what it says in Hebrews 11:1 now Faith is the Assurance of things hoped for the conviction of Things Not Seen. There is a conviction that goes beyond simple belief that says I am have moved from just knowing or trusting that something is actually out there to actually saying yes, I will act on the fact that I believe this is true. Okay, there's a kind of a story that I used to like. I used to be an Airforce pilot. And so this connected well with me a pilot and a pastor both passed away on the same day and they go to heaven and they show up in heaven and that that Pastor walks in and everyone's like K & A pilot walks in and there's cheers trumpets confetti a 21-gun salute everything like that. Okay, and the fastest like what's going on here and he needed somebody goes another humility is important here, but I spent my entire life up in front of people telling them about God and that guy just flew people in the guy who says yeah, you did a great job when you were up there preaching people thought about God good on you, but when Hempfest over there was flying people really prayed.
Maybe maybe I should go back to flying.
So here's the thing is there is a belief that makes you pray makes you do things when you actually trust that it will make a difference K show. I thought maybe that was me. All right voices in my head. We're talkin about a a face that involves trust. That's the idea and then let's talk about what works is. Okay, that works are not just anything. I do works are actions that show Trust.
If you think about what examples James uses in this text, he talks about Abraham Abraham who was old who was unable to have kid the time that God set up game showed up and said I will make you the father of Nations Abraham. It says in Genesis 15 believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness and later on when God said Abraham sacrifice your son Abraham said, yes, sir. I will do that God stopped in before he had to do it. But Abraham was moving forward in faith understanding a God had made a promise and gaybraham said yes, I will do that. Okay, what's that teach us about what it means to have a work or a deed that shows Faith. We're talking about things that are unnatural or things that are hard. It doesn't show a whole lot of faith. If I say to you. Hey, be nice to your nice neighbor. It shows a tremendous amount of faith. If you say hey, I'm going to be nice to my neighbor who hates my guts who always calls me name who's always mean to me always gossips about me, but I'm going to I'm going to be kind to that person because that's what price is called me to do. The other example to James uses is Rahab in verse 25 Ray had this prostitute if you want to look it up in Joshua to you can find the full story. But so she allows some Israelite spies to come in and protect them at Hazard to her life. That is once again showing that her trust in God as the one who will conquer ultimately Jericho is very very significant Joe as we talked about Faith Christian belief and works actions that show trash we have to kind of connect those two things up. I think Brandon may have actually use this illustration before but there's a guy named The Great blondin and back in 1859. He strung a Cable across Niagara Falls 160 feet off the water is almost a quarter mile long and he walked back and forth across and he was a tightrope Walker right and walk back and forth across that he carried step across here in a wheelbarrow across it and and history tells us that when he came back with a wheelbarrow there's a huge crowd on the on the shore or on the edge of the the the falls and he said hey, do you guys believe that I could carry somebody across the falls in this wheelbarrow and everyone says, yes, definitely. We just seen you walk back and forth like seven times and he said who wants to get in?
Yahoo got in Nobody, okay, and that's what we're talking about this idea that faith and works. They distrusting belief is connected to actions that show that we actually do believe
We are right now engaged in a place where we as a congregation as a church have a decision to make a face challenge if you will as we talked about wedding churches and I just remind you that on June 5th. We're going to have a meeting here at 6:30 to talk about that in depth. But as we talked about that, this is what that means. If this congregation commits to follow God and plan to church somewhere guaranteed. It's going to cost us a lot of money cuz it will require resources to do that almost guaranteed like 99% guaranteed. It is going to cost us friendships. Okay, not that we will not become friends. But some of the people in this room right now will stop being members of Red Hills and start being members of some other Church sometime in the next couple years. That's what happens. We will have friendships that they kind of separate apart because we hear this call from God if we Call from God. So this is a perfect example about how faith in actions are totally tied in together. If we say we have faith in God, we think we hear him calling Ash to to start a turn someplace else in southern Utah and we go but the cost is too great. Then we are really saying I don't really believe that following God is the number one thing OK challenge course and of course, we all have things like that. Yeah in our personal lives. Here's what I want you to do. I had asked you to go ahead and pull out a quarter or some kind of coin and I was going to use this illustration. I was thinking about it this week and I was like, I'll just tell everybody hate reaching your your pocket and pull out a quarter and no I'm not going to take it from you. Okay, but then it occurred to me that everybody uses debit cards now and why you might not have that. Okay. So if you have one pull it out, cuz then every time you pull out a quarter, you'll remember about God and works and Faith, but if you don't have one yet. I'm kind of an oversized quarter day. And here's we're trying to answer this question. What is the relationship between faith and works right show if you think of a quarter, what is the relationship between heads and tails? If you have a quarter legal tender in the United States, you had both heads and you have tails let's say that heads represents what I say about my faith. And I say tails represents what I do with my face, so if I come up and I say there's somebody else or just to myself I have faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior then if I flip the coin over I will always have Deeds that show that that is true because these two things are completely related to each other. You can't have one without the other if I have this I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. And my wife doesn't reflect it. What do I have? Fake money counterfeit money it is not worth anything. Okay. So when we talk about the relationship between faith and works were talking about two things that are completely interrelated another way to think of it is this way works never save but the saved always work because if you are saved you have become you have two sides both speech and action another way to think about it. So I movie this week. It was really helpful in this is if you think about faith is being kind of the route than a fruit that is created is your works. Okay, and you can't have healthy faith without producing fruit. If you're not producing any fruit, then you have no faith and it doesn't work the other way around K. Deeds do not produce Works. Do not produce Faith. Okay, that's kind of the relationship between faith and works. The bottom line. Is that a true saving Faith always? Produces works that glorify Jesus and that leads us to this question number to do my work show that I have a saving faith that isn't super important question to ask and what I'm going to tend to do if I'm not careful cuz I'm going to ask the second question up here. How much do I have to do to be faithful enough God? What do you want me to be doing so that at the end of the day I can lay my head on the pillow and say yes. I know that I'm going to heaven that second question is a wrong question to ask cuz what it is tsums is that my Works produce Faith or my Works produce salvation. And if you think back to the Ephesians 2:8, it's by Grace. We've been saved through faith asked. How much do I have to be or how much do I have to do to be faithful enough if we're asking that question, we don't understand what it means to be saved by grace, but we should ask this question. Can I really know that my faith is real and the answer is is absolutely yes, if you're sitting there wondering or if you've ever wondered like I have many times. Do I really know Jesus? Am I really going to be eternally in heaven with him the answer you can absolutely know if that answer is yes or no K. It is possible to know if you have a real face and this is a whole nother sermon, which I'm not going to do right now you can clap but here's what I'll say is if this is bothering you if you want to dig in deeper to it open up the book of 1st John a short letter towards the end of the New Testament and it is basically a kind of a Christian litmus test a test to say, hey John actually says I'm writing you nice things so that you may know that you have eternal life. Okay. So if you want to dig in deeper do that, but here's where I want us to leave us right now, cuz one of my fears we actually prayed about it earlier today is that somebody would walk out of here after me being up here at the library for a while and say hey, I'm not sure. If I guess I got to work harder in order to get to heaven because I'm not sure that my work show enough Faith. Okay, and that would be a huge mistake. I want you to think about as yes that question is do my work that I have a saving Faith. First off Works can take time to appear. There's a story in the Bible about a thief on the cross who who at the last minute as he's dying with Jesus. He says remember me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus says today you'll be with me in Paradise that Thief had no time to do anything like serve the poor or lead a Bible study or do a personal devotion time or something like that. He was dying. Can I get Jesus says you're going to be with me. Okay. So if you're looking at your your own life and you're like, hey, I'm not sure I see that much as two question of how long have you been following Jesus? Okay. Don't just automatically go. Hey, I should look like Billy Graham gay. You shouldn't do that, too. What about the fact that you as an unsaved person may look way better than me as somebody who just committed my life to Christ because you started out a lot nicer a lot better-looking a lot everything right? So it's not a matter of us comparing us with the Joneses. It's a matter of us saying hey do I see evidence that Christ is working in my life and the way that we can probably best answer that is to add to answer these three questions as you ask yourself. Do my Works demonstrate a saving Faith ask yourself. Do I have a different relationship with Jesus Christ and I had before I said that prayer Do I think about him or do I care about him? Or does he enter into my brain at any time? Other than when I'm about to get in a car crash? Okay, if the answer is yes, that's a great indication that you have been graced by God to have your heart changed and you have a Saving Face is my relationship with others different. I've got a good friend who's a Believer who grew up and really racist circumstances hardcore racism against people of different cultures different colored skin, and he now struggles but he speaks Words of Life about people who have different cultures and different skin colors. Why because she's come to know Jesus as his Lord his relationship with others has radically changed if we have is Saving Face over time our relationship with others will radically change. Some of us very quickly. Some of us will take a little bit longer is my relationship with sin different if we had enough time. I could tell you probably 20-30 a hundred stories of places in my life personally where the day before I gave my life to Christ. I was not bothered by many many many since the day after I get my life to Christ. I still wasn't bothered by them, but I'm greatly bothered by them. Now why because God was doing a good work in me. He was changing my heart. Hey, you're asking yourself to my work show that I have a saving faith. We want to ask that trusting that we are not looking to see if we're working hard enough, but we're asking has God done something in my life. And I told you I was a little concerned that I'm a mess this up. So I wanted to give you a visual picture of what it means to be in right relationship with God. We tend to think that a saving Faith makes us maybe I should say the enemy tries to plan our brains that a saving Faith makes us acts perfect, but it's actually not true. Okay. So watch this and I think it might communicate better than I can.
Jet drugs can take Sean Gilliland. Don't look straight when I sent it to me as any challenges. He doesn't bullshittin win this war of mine.
I've seen that video. 20 * 9 still get choked up.
When we ask this question, what about my Works? We're not asking questions are Perfection. We're not asking questions or performance. We're asking a question of whether we have entered the race, whether we have done what we can do and whether our father is coming alongside us and is carrying us towards the finish line that he is guaranteed that we will cross. So that's that's the perspective we should have when we were When were thinking about this question of do my Works show that I have a saving faith? That ultimately is a question between you and God but here's what I want. You folks, don't you asking? Hey is it's about trust it's about change. It's not about performance or quantity, which is what the enemy always tells us to ask. So that's why you ask that question and you end up here. What if my work don't show that I have saving faith and I say no my Works do not show that I have saving Faith. Okay, the natural thing that you're going to do is you've looked at. You're you're saying I got faith and you have asked a question. Do I have anything on this side? And you go and I do lots of sight eyes. Do you stop for the church? I'm a nice to my neighbors, but I never do anything that hurts. I never do anything. That's hard. I never do anything when God is actually making it unnatural or difficult. Okay, then you go. I what's a natural thing you're going to do. You're going to pull out your pen and you're going to draw some kind of thing on the back and say hey, you know what? I'm good now, right? Que. No the worst thing we can do when we say hey, wait a minute. It seems like I'm showing myself short. It seems like my work's do not line up with my speech worst thing we can do is try harder. Okay, cuz this is not the problem. Our problem is not if if I don't see Works in my life, I don't have a work problem. I have a faith problem and I have to go to the face and get that. Otherwise. I'm just putting on extra layers of religiousness and I'm not getting any closer to Christ. Okay, so important for us to understand. So how do we do that? I've got three recommendation for you're sitting there going. Hey, I'm worried about this. Even if you are a Believer and you know that you have faith but there's some place in your life where you go. I know that I'm keeping got it back over here. Here's what I'd suggest for you first asked. What do you really believe this whole time we've been talking about Jesus and it all comes down to the fact that do we understand that he Died for us that we are helpless without him. That he came to Earth lived a sinless life willingly went to the Cross paid the price so that Justice would be served and we could be forgiven of everything and that he promises us life eternal and life abundant. Do I understand that do I believe that do I believe that was really to do true. Do I know that if I put my faith in him that all of my eternity can be changed? Okay, ask that of God ask that of yourself. And as you do that cry out to God when I said we don't want to try to add more works. We don't have a strong arm our way into heaven we go to the Lord who has offered us life and say God you do that change in me. Jesus said no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws them and I will raise them up on the last day so we cannot say hey God. I got this now. I'll do the Staff now you respond. No we go to God and say God. I realized that I need you. You start the change in me and when you do that guaranteed because this is God's will for all of us is that we would not perish but that we would have eternal life. Okay, he will ask you to do something that will require you to respond. That's why James has been talking to us about this. Okay, cuz this side. Requires us to say yes to God and it's hard Joe if you're sitting there and you're like, hey, I'm not sure where I stand with this. Don't let this day or this moment pass realize that this is everything. I'll tell you that I was spent say probably 12 years in church in and out of churches believing that I was right here. Okay, when in reality, this is what I had and it wasn't until God graciously open my eyes to say. Hey, wait a minute. You got nothing on the back side that I was actually able to come to know Jesus and it has made all the difference in the world. So that's what I want to leave you with today Faith apart from works is always dead. Because faith in Jesus always changes us. All right, and so if you're sitting there and you're like, hey, I'm looking at my life and I see what God has been doing praise him cuz he has said you have eternal life and nothing can snatch you out of his hands. That is an amazing thing. You have nothing to worry about in the big picture of things and that is if you're sitting there and you're like hey, I'm not sure I come up strong on this. I think I need to do something to respond to God. I will be up here after the service. Brian will be back there the next steps table. Don't let the day pass. Even if you're just wondering about it. Even if we just have a conversation and set up a time to to talk later in the week. Don't let the moment pass When God says hey, you know what? I want you to have a real face cuz I want you to have a saving Faith because my son makes all the difference in the world.