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James # 7 James 2-18 thru 3-6

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Were going to continue teaching on the book of James so let’s pick up right were left off last time.

I) Let’s start with James 2:15-18.

A) In verse 17 James says, “Faith without works is dead.”

1) Some have taken this verse to mean that there has to be a corresponding action to our faith.

a) For example if someone comes forward at the end of service to have me pray for their back, we’ve taught which is scriptural, to do something that you couldn’t do before, like bending over.

b) We should put action to our faith. If you believe the Word of God then you need to act like you believe it.

2) But that’s not what this verse is saying.

a) James is saying that if we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ then we’ll do something for Him.

b) If Jesus is your Master, Lord, and Saviour, then you’ll do good works for Him.

(i) Those good works might be having a ministry of feeding the poor, working in the Church, street witnessing or something like that.

3) In (verse 18) James continues on that same thought.

a) To understand what James is saying in this verse you have to understand the tone that it is written in.

b) James says it like this, “You have faith, I have works: show me your faith without works and I will show you by faith with works.”

(i) When James says, “Show me your faith without works,” his unsaid response to that statement is “You can’t.”

B) Let’s go on reading with James 2:19-20.

1) In (verse 19) James continues to respond to someone who thinks that they have faith but don’t have works.

a) He says in (verse 19) “You believe in God, that’s great, but even the Devil believes in God.”

(i) And what he’s saying is that how does your faith and believing in God and the Lord Jesus Christ make you any different than the Devil without your works for God.

2) In (verse 20) James goes back to his original statement, “Faith without works is dead.”

C) James 2:21-24.

1) If you read (verse 21) just by itself, it makes it sound like Abraham was justified or saved by his works alone, and that’s not true.

2) In (Verse 22) James reveals how faith and works work together to make a person complete or not lacking.

D) James 2:25.

1) The same is true for Rahab she was justified because of her faith and for works.

a) Now I know that this verse doesn’t say anything about Rahab’s faith.

b) But (Hebrews 11:31) says, “By faith harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she received the spies with peace.”

(i) Rahab was justified by her faith and works.

2) James 2:26.


a) James conclusion on the subject is very clear. Faith without works is dead.

II) Starting in chapter 3 James begins to discuss the tongue or the words we say. He briefly mentioned that back in (James 1:26), but now he goes into it in much more depth.

A) James 3:1.

1) Starting off here in (verse 1) James is apparently dealing with those who were over zealous to teach.

a) Many times people want to be looked upon as someone who is a higher rank in the Lord. And they get the notion that someone who has a pulpit ministry is a higher rank.

b) This is not really the case. We need to respect the pulpit gifts and esteem them highly. But if you’re doing what the Lord has told you to do, then the rewards are the same.

(i) We’re one in Christ.

2) So James instructs the saints not to jump right in and be a teacher of the Word because those who teach the Word have a great responsibility and they will be judged more strictly.

B) James 3:2.

1) Nothing seems to trip a believer more than a dangling tongue.

a) James goes on to say that if we can control our tongue, we are perfect or truly mature and complete because then we are able to control our entire body.

C) James 3:3-5.


1) In these Vs. James continues talking about our tongue and the words we speak, but one thing that stands out to me in these Vs. is how the tongue can change the entire direction of your life.

a) The Bible tells us in (Proverbs 18:21) that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

b) In (Matthew 13) it tells us that words are seeds.

(i) In (Galatians 6:7) it says, “For whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.”

(ii) If you sow evil things or if you speak out evil or negative things that very thing you spoke out is what you’re going to receive.

D) James 3:6.

1) The tongue unless controlled is a very deadly thing.

a) The tongue, being one of the smallest parts to our body, can defile are entire being.

2) In the middle of this verse James says, “The tongue setteth on fire the course of nature.”

a) The Word “COURSE” in this verse would be better-translated “WHEEL.”

b) James adds that the source of the uncontrolled tongue is Hell itself.

3) As that uncontrolled tongue begins to spit out its fiery poison it begins to revolve on that it’ll gaining momentum unless it is made to stop.

a) You probably have been in the conversation before where a fellow employee says a negative Word about working conditions or management when all of a sudden everybody starts complaining, it’s like a wheel gaining momentum getting faster and faster.

III) You might not be able to stop other people from talking about your work or about Church but you don’t have to be a part of it.

A) Our words are seeds and we’re going to reap a whatever it is that we sow.

1) As we already found out that there is death and life in the power of the tongue.

2) Turn with me to one last scripture.

3) Deuteronomy 30:19.

a) Choose life and speak the Word of God over your situation, over our Church, over your spouse, and over your job so you and your seed may live and have the abundant life.

W. O. L. C. C. Thursday, April 09, 1998

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