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BS: James 10

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Demonic Faith

James 2:18–19 NKJV
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
Demonic Faith ()
James wanted to shock his complacent readers, so he used demons as his illustration.
James wanted to shock his complacent readers, so he used demons as his illustration.
When our Lord was ministering on earth, He often cast out demons; and He gave that power to His disciples.
Paul often confronted demonic forces in his ministry; and in , he admonished the early Christians to claim God’s protection and defeat the spiritual forces of wickedness.
It comes as a shock to people that demons have faith!
What do they believe?
For one thing, they believe in the existence of God; they are neither atheists nor agnostics.
They also believe in the deity of Christ.
Whenever they met Christ when He was on earth, they bore witness to His sonship
).
Mark 3:11–12 NKJV
11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.
They believe in the existence of a place of punishment.
They believe in the existence of a place of punishment (); and they also recognize Jesus Christ as the Judge ().
Luke 8:31 NKJV
31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
); and they also recognize Jesus Christ as the Judge ().
and they also recognize Jesus Christ as the Judge
Mark 5:7 NKJV
7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
They even submit to the power of His Word.
().
They submit to the power of His Word.
Mark 5:11–13 NKJV
11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
mk 5 11-12
Turns out that many christians have more in common with demons than Jesus.
Turns out that many christians have more in common with demons than Jesus.
What is the essence of Demonic Faith?
James 2:19 NKJV
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
This was the daily affirmation of faith of the godly Jew.
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (, niv).
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (, niv).
The man with dead faith was touched only in his intellect; but the demons are touched also in their emotions.
They believe and tremble.
Trembeling is an emotive experience NOT a spiritual one.
It is not a saving experience to believe and tremble.
A person can be enlightened in his mind and even stirred in his heart and be lost forever.
This is the problem of the progressive church with their lighting, and emotive music and shallow, feel good messages.
They are propogating demonic faith - their church is filled with people who believe and tremble - but because they have not REPENTED they are not saved.
Luke 13:3 NKJV
3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
True saving faith involves something more, something that can be seen and recognized: a changed life.
James 2:18 NKJV
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
unless you repent….
True saving faith involves something more, something that can be seen and recognized: a changed life. “Show me thy faith without thy works,” challenged James, “and I will show thee my faith by my works” ().
“Show me thy faith without thy works,” challenged James, “and I will show thee my faith by my works” ().
How could a person show his faith without works?
Can a dead sinner perform good works?
Impossible!
When you trust Christ, you are:
Ephesians 2:10 NKJV
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
“created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” ().
Being a Christian involves trusting Christ and living for Christ; you receive the life, then you reveal the life.
Being a Christian involves trusting Christ and living for Christ; you receive the life, then you reveal the life.
Faith that is barren is not saving faith.
The Greek word translated “dead” in carries the meaning of “barren or idle,” like money drawing no interest.
James has introduced us to two kinds of faith that can never save the sinner:
Dead faith (the intellect alone), and Demonic faith (the intellect and the emotions).
He closes this section by describing the only kind of faith that can save the sinner—dynamic faith.

Dynamic Faith

James 2:20–26 NKJV
20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
()
Dynamic faith is faith that is real, faith that has power, faith that results in a changed life.
Dynamic faith is faith that is real, faith that has power, faith that results in a changed life.
James described this true saving faith.
To begin with, dynamic saving faith is based on the Word of God.
We receive our spiritual rebirth through God’s Word ().
Romans 10:17 NKJV
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
We receive the Word and this saves us ().
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” ().
James used Abraham and Rahab as illustrations of dynamic saving faith, since both of them heard and received the message of God through His Word.
Faith is only as good as its object.
The man in the jungle bows before an idol of stone and trusts it to help him, but he receives no help.
No matter how much faith a person may generate, if it is not directed at the right object, it will accomplish nothing.
“I believe” may be the testimony of many sincere people, but the big question is, “In whom do you believe? What do you believe?”
We are not saved by faith in faith; we are saved by faith in Christ as revealed in His Word.
Dynamic faith is based on God’s Word, and it involves the whole man.
Dead faith touches only the intellect; demonic faith involves both the mind and the emotions; but dynamic faith involves the will.
The whole person plays a part in true saving faith.
The mind understands the truth;
the heart desires the truth;
and the will acts upon the truth.
The men and women of faith named in were people of action: God spoke and they obeyed.
Again, “Faith is not believing in spite of evidence; faith is obeying in spite of consequence.”
True saving faith leads to action.
Dynamic faith is not intellectual contemplation or emotional consternation; it leads to obedience on the part of the will.
And this obedience is not an isolated event: it continues throughout the whole life.
It leads to works.
James then illustrated his doctrine in the lives of two well-known Bible persons:
Abraham and Rahab.
You could not find two more different persons!
Abraham was a Jew; Rahab was a Gentile.
Abraham was a godly man, but Rahab was a sinful woman, a harlot. Abraham was the friend of God, while Rahab belonged to the enemies of God.
What did they have in common?
Both exercised saving faith in God.

Abraham

You will want to read and 22 to get the background facts for this illustration.
God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees to lead him into Canaan and to make out of him the great nation of Israel.
It was through Israel that God would bring the Saviour into the world.
Abraham’s salvation experience is recorded in .
At night, God showed His servant the stars and gave him a promise, “So shall thy seed [descendants] be!”
How did Abraham respond?
Genesis 15:6 NKJV
6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Genesis 15:5–6 AV
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
The word counted is a legal or financial term; it means “to put to one’s account.”
The word counted is a legal or financial term; it means “to put to one’s account.”
As a sinner, Abraham’s spiritual bankbook was empty.
He was bankrupt!
But he trusted God, and God put righteous on Abraham’s account.
Abraham did not work for this righteousness; he received it as a gift from God.
He was declared righteous by faith.
He was justified by faith (read ).
Justification is an important doctrine in the Bible.
Justification is the act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of Christ’s finished work on the cross.
It is not a process; it is an act.
It is not something the sinner does; it is something God does for the sinner when he trusts Christ.
It is a once-for-all event.
It never changes or fluctuates except of course in the case of Apostasy.
How can you tell if a person is justified by faith if this transaction takes place between the sinner and God privately?
Abraham’s example answers that important question: the justified person has a changed life and obeys God’s will.
His faith is demonstrated by his works.
James used another event in Abraham’s life, an event that took place many years after Abraham’s conversion.
This event is the offering up of Isaac on the altar ().
Abraham was not saved by obeying God’s difficult command.
His obedience proved that he already was saved.
James 2:22 NKJV
22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did” (, niv).
There is a perfect relationship between faith and works.
As someone has expressed it, “Abraham was not saved by faith plus works, but by a faith that works.”
How was Abraham “justified by works” () when he had already been “justified by faith”? (see )
By faith, he was justified before God and his righteousness declared; by works he was justified before men and his righteousness demonstrated.
Dynamic faith obeys God and proves itself in daily life and works.
Dynamic faith obeys God and proves itself in daily life and works.
Alas, we still have church members today who fit the description given in Titus,
Titus 1:16 NKJV
16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Paul also writes
Paul also writes, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works” ().
Titus 3:8 NKJV
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Paul also writes, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works” ().
, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works” ().

Rahab

His second illustration is Rahab, and the background for her is found in and 6.
His second illustration is Rahab, and the background for her is found in and 6.
Israel was about to invade their Promised Land and take the city of Jericho. Joshua sent spies into the city to get the lay of the land.
There they met Rahab, a harlot, who protected them and affirmed that she believed in what God had said and what God was going to do.
When the men departed, they promised to save her and her family when the city was taken; and this they did.
It is an exciting story.
But in it is one of the Bible’s great examples of saving faith (see ).
Rahab heard the Word and knew that her city was condemned.
This truth affected her and her fellow citizens so that their hearts melted within them ().
Rahab responded with her mind and her emotions; but she also responded with her will: she did something about it.
She risked her own life to protect the Jewish spies, and she further risked her life by sharing the good news of deliverance with the members of her family.
Rahab could have had dead faith, a mere intellectual experience.
Or she could have had demonic faith, her mind enlightened and her emotions stirred.
But she exercised dynamic faith: her mind knew the truth, her heart was stirred by the truth, and her will acted on the truth.
She proved her faith by her works.
It is important that each professing Christian examine his own heart and life and make sure that he possesses true saving faith, dynamic faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
Satan is the great deceiver; one of his devices is imitation.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” ().
Satan is the great deceiver; one of his devices is imitation.
If he can convince a person that counterfeit faith is true faith, he has that person in his power.
Here are some questions we can ask ourselves as we examine our hearts:
1. Was there a time when I honestly realized I was a sinner and admitted this to myself and to God?
2. Was there a time when my heart stirred me to flee from the wrath to come? Have I ever seriously been alarmed over my sins?
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?
4. Did I sincerely repent of my sins and turn from them? Or do I secretly love sin and want to enjoy it?
5. Have I trusted Christ and Christ alone for my salvation? Do I enjoy a living relationship with Him through the Word and in the Spirit?
6. Has there been a change in my life? Do I maintain good works, or are my works occasional and weak? Do I seek to grow in the things of the Lord? Can others tell that I have been with Jesus?
7. Do I have a desire to share Christ with others? Or am I ashamed of Him?
8. Do I enjoy the fellowship of God’s people? Is worship a delight to me?
9. Am I ready for the Lord’s return? Or will I be ashamed when He comes for me?
“Search me, O Lord, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” ().
Psalm 139:23–24 NKJV
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
“Search me, O Lord, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” ().
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