Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

False Faith or Genuine Faith


Published on Do you know the difference between False Faith and Genuine Faith? In this study James urges those who say they are Christians to Walk the Talk! Learn what Genuine Faith looks like

Published in: Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

False Faith or Genuine Faith

  1. 1. Empowered Bible Study MinistriesJoin us on:FacebookTwitterGodTubeYouTube 1
  2. 2. False Faith or Genuine Faith James 2:14-26The book of James is full of precepts showing us how to mature in our Christianwalk. And this weeks study is no different. (Precept = is a commandment,instruction, or order intended as an authoritative rule of action.)Ladies, we are embarking on a portion of scripture that has been a hot topic ofcontroversy regarding Faith vs Works.Lets turn in our Bibles to James 2:14-26.You know, the Great Protestant reformer, Martin Luther actually rejected theepistle of James calling it the epistle of straw in his 1522 edition of the NewTestament because of its teaching of faith and works. He felt it contradicted theApostle Pauls teaching of salvation by grace through faith alone.(Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that notof yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."NKJV)You understand, at the time Luther was surrounded by men who said that goodworks could save you. He knew that God alone could save through faith alone,and his mission was to tell them.Martin Luther and others thought that James suggested a salvation that is wonthrough human effort rather than by the work of Christ on Calvary; and this is farfrom the truth as we will see in this study.For one thing, we know that Scripture does not contradict itself, right. AllScripture is given by inspiration of God as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16; therefore,the writings of James and Paul have but one real Author, The Holy Spirit and theHoly Spirit cannot contradict Himself.Any interpretation of the Word of God which seems to make God contradictHimself is always a failure on mans part to interpret rightly what God had said.We have to remember that any time we are reading scripture; we must read it inthe context to which it was written. 2
  3. 3. Paul and James did not contradict each other, but rather they complementedeach other. - Pauls focus was on the unsaved man and how he might get right with God. - James focus was on the saved person and how he might show his faith and demonstrate the reality of his faith.Remember James starts out in verse one my beloved brethren and again inverse fourteen he says my brethren. He is talking to his brothers and sisters inChrist.James was a man deeply concerned that those who have faith in Jesus Christexpress that faith in an appropriate lifestyle.James teaches that Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone; it isalways attended by good works.Paul taught in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved through faith, and not ofourselves by works, but as you read on in verse 10 he states that good worksmust accompany saving faith.Lets look at that: Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created inChrist Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we shouldwalk in them." NKJVNotice that not only are we created in Christ Jesus for good works, but that Godprepared beforehand those works that we should walk in them.Ladies, the Christian walk is not idle that is why they call it a Walk.2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight." NKJVJames 1:22 "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceivingyourselves"(NKJV)Ladies, we need to walk the talk. We need to be open to the opportunities thatGod sets before us and be faithful to Him.So we have clearly shown that Paul and James are not contradicting each other.Faith brings a person to salvation, and works bring that person to faithfulness.You know, someone has said that faith is like calories, you cannot see them, butyou can see their results. 3
  4. 4. How true is that! As we live our Christian lives ladies, there should be evidenceof our faith resulting in spiritual growth and fruit produced by good works.If we continue to live in our old sinful lifestyle with no change, no repentance ofsin, and no results to show a changed life, then we need to re-evaluate our livesbecause if Christ is truly in you, you will see a changed life, a changed heart, anew person emerge. We should see results and this is what James is saying.Lets read James 2:14-17 "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says hehas faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister isnaked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart inpeace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which areneeded for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does nothave works, is dead." NKJVNow, verse fourteen doesnt say "What is the profit if someone has faith?", butrather "What is the profit if someone says he has faith, but has not works?".James is appealing to those who say they are Christians that they need to walkthe talk. If they are truly Christians, their lives should show it through theirworks.We have faith in a living God, and so if we truly accepted Christ into our heartsthen it cannot help but manifest itself outwardly.If the outside manifestations of faith are absent, we have every reason to doubtthe existence of faith inside.Let me put a face to what I mean:A man once came to a Pastor to ask for baptism. When asked where he hadheard the gospel, he answered that he had never heard the gospel but had seenit. He then went on to relate how he knew a man who had once been an man ofviolent temper. This man had become a Christian and his whole life had altered."I want," he said to the Pastor, "the Power that did that for him".Ladies, if we truly have Christ within us and have truly accepted Christ into ourhearts then our lives will manifest it through a changed life, through our worksfor God.We are to be examples to those who are lost. If we profess to believe in Christ,but keep living in sin, then we need to re-evaluate what we really put our faith in.James goes on in James 2:14 to say "Can faith save him?" 4
  5. 5. Well, we need to clarify faith here. If we take this out of context and we just readCan faith save him? then we would have to say Yes. A true heart-faith in thefinished work of Christ on Calvary saves. Yes faith in Jesus Christ saves.But this is not what James is saying. When we look at the context, James issaying, Can a profession of faith save him? There is a big difference betweenCan faith save and Can a profession of faith save.Anybody can profess to be a Christian, but if that profession of faith is just lipservice, then it is a dead faith. It is not a saving faith. But if that profession offaith is truly a heart changing, life changing experience in the One True God,then and only then is it a true saving faith.The Late Greek scholar Spiros Zodiahties said: Faith which implants Godsnature in the heart of man is a saving faith, and the faith which does not is notsaving faith.Ladies, we need to stop living sinful lives, repent of our sins and fully give ourlives to Jesus Christ. We need to fully trust God in every aspect of our lives andlive accordingly.To illustrate the Christian faith in action, James proceeds to give us an examplein verses 15-16.James 2:15-16 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 andone of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do notgive them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?Notice the language here. James is talking about a child of God in need here, abrother or sister in Christ. If our physical children or parents were in need, wewouldnt hesitate to help them would we, so how can we hesitate to help ourspiritual family.Paul also talks about meeting the needs of our spiritual family in Galatians 6:10"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those whoare of the household of faith." NKJVThe Apostle John is also in total agreement with James. He writes in 1 John3:17-18 "But whoever has this worlds goods, and sees his brother in need, andshuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My littlechildren, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." NKJVWe cannot possibly claim that we have the love of God in our hearts if we do notmanifest it toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.Three times James warns us that faith without works is dead. James 2:17, 20, 26. 5
  6. 6. James 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show meyour faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. NKJVYou can have a fruit tree, but if it doesnt bear fruit it is useless. The same goesfor faith. You can profess to have faith, but if your life does not produce fruit thenit is useless - it is dead.Your faith should be revealed through your works.James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demonsbelieve--and tremble! NKJVJust to say you profess that Jesus Christ is God is not enough, even the demonsbelieve. You have to accept Him into your heart, confess your sins, ask Him tohelp you live according to His will in your life. If you truly ask and believe, yourlife will reflect it.James 2:20-26 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without worksis dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaachis 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 whichsays, "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 byworks, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justifiedby works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.(NKJV)James uses Abraham and Rehab as examples of people whose faith was provedby their works.Abrahams faith was proven to be a true and living faith by his works.Abraham was called a friend of God. He had an intimate relationship with God;he believed God and walked in communion and fellowship with God, followingand living for God. The point is clear in verse 24 as it reads "You see then that aman is justified by works, and not by faith only."Justification is an important doctrine in the Bible. Justification is the act of Godwhereby He declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of Christsfinished work on the cross. It is not a process; it is an act. It is not something thesinner does; it is something God does for the sinner when he trusts Christ. It is aonce-for-all event. It never changes. 6
  7. 7. You can see what James is saying here in verse 24. Just as The great theologianJohn Calvin wrote, "It is faith alone that justifies, but faith that justifies can neverbe alone."True saving faith can never be by itself: it always brings life, and life producesgood works.The person with dead faith has only an intellectual experience. In his mind, heknows the doctrine of salvation, but he has never submitted himself to God andtrusted Christ for salvation. He knows the right words, but he does not back up.Abraham is an example of this.As we see in Romans 4:3 "For what does the Scripture say?”Abraham believedGod, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." NKJVWhich is a reference to:Genesis 15:6 "And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him forrighteousness.” NKJVAnd then many years after Abraham first believed, James shows us that his faithwas tested by God in James 2:21 as he refers to Genesis 22 where Abraham wasto sacrifice Isaac.Abrahams obedience to what God asked him to do was proof that he had asaving faith.Ladies, true faith is a living faith, a faith that works, a faith that stirs a person tolive for Christ in obedience to what we are asked to do. You see that his faith andhis actions were working together.Abraham was not saved by faith plus works, but by a faith that works.A true saving faith obeys God and proves itself in daily life and works.Titus 3:8 "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirmconstantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintaingood works. These things are good and profitable to men." NKJVRahab is James second illustration of a faith that was proved by her works.We read about Rahab in Joshua 2, 6 . She was a harlot that lived in Jericho andat this time Israel was about to invade their Promised Land and take the city ofJericho. Joshua had sent two spies into the city which is where they met Rahabwho ended up risking her life to protect and hide them. 7
  8. 8. Rahab heard about the Israelites God and she believed as we see in Joshua2:11. She didnt just believe, but she acted on that and risked her life to protectthe Jewish spies, and she further risked her life by sharing the good news ofdeliverance with the members of her family.Abraham and Rahab are very different people. Abraham was a Hebrew, thefather of the Israelites a faithful follower of God.Rahab was a heathen Canaanite and as such she belonged to a group of peoplewho incurred the wrath and punishment of God.What was said of Abraham who was at one end of the spectrum was also said ofRahab who was at the other end. They were both justified by an active faith.Their works were evidence of their faith.One indication of the standing Rahab received as a result of her faith is that shewas one of only four women listed in the genealogy of Joseph, the husband ofMary of whom Jesus was born (Matthew 1:4,5)Ladies, saving faith takes the whole person - not just part.- the mind understands the truth- the heart desires the truth- the will acts upon the truthWe all need to examine our lives individually to make sure that we possess thetrue saving faith.2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Testyourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unlessindeed you are disqualified." NKJVAs you examine your life, ask with the psalmist:Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know myanxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the wayeverlasting." NKJVSatan is the master deceiver and he doesnt want you to walk in faith asAbraham and Rahab. He wants to lull you into a false faith.Ask God to reveal in your life areas you need to mature in. If you truly seek Godto know Him personally and to do what He says, if you truly live in obedience tothe scripture then your life will reveal it. 8
  9. 9. Examine your lives, do you desire to do good works as unto the Lord, do youseek to grow and mature or are you satisfied to stay just where you are?Do people see Christ in your life or are you a closet Christian?Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your goodworks and glorify your Father in heaven." NKJVWe are to let our light shine before men, not for men. We are to do good works tobring honor and glory to our Father in Heaven not for our own personal gain.In closing I would like to read you a story that was sent to me about a personwho found themselves inspired by a conversation they had heard on a hamradio.3900 SaturdaysA few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup ofcoffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typicalSaturday morning turned into one of those Lessons that life seems to hand youfrom time to time. Let me tell you about it:-------------I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in orderto listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an oldersounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind,he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was tellingwhom-ever he was talking with something about a thousand marbles.. I wasintrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say....------------ Well, Tom, it sure sounds like youre busy with your job. Im sure they pay youwell but its a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much.Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours aweek to make ends meet. Its too bad you missed your daughters dance recitalhe continued. Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my ownpriorities. And thats when he began to explain his theory of a thousandmarbles.------------You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person livesabout seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but onaverage, folks live about seventy-five years.----------- 9
  10. 10. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the numberof Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick withme, Tom, Im getting to the important part.------------It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail, hewent on, and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundredSaturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about athousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every singlemarble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic containerright here in the shack next to my gear.------------Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. Ifound that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the reallyimportant things in life.--------------Theres nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help getyour priorities straight .------------Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovelywife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of thecontainer. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given alittle extra time.. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.---------It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and Ihope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ,clear and going QRT, good morning!----------You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guesshe gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna thatmorning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the nextclub newsletter-----------Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. Cmon honey, Imtaking you and the kids to breakfast. What brought this on? she asked with asmile. Oh, nothing special, its just been a long time since we spent a Saturdaytogether with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while were out? Ineed to buy some marbles 10
  11. 11. Ladies, the marbles are running out, but it is not too late to live your life to thefullest for Christ.It is not too late to ask Jesus Christ into your heart – it is the most importantthing you need to do; it will affect you throughout all eternity.Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says “To everything there is a season, A time for every purposeunder heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die;” (NKJV)God knows when your marbles are going to run out, it could be today or it couldbe years down the road. The thing is „We Don‟t Know‟.Therefore, we need to live every day to the glory of God! We will all stand beforethe judgment seat of Christ and be held accountable for what we did with theopportunities that God has given us.I want to hear a long with everyone of you, „Well done good and faithful servant‟.I have enjoyed studying God‟s word with you and look forward to being with youagain as we continue our study on the Book of James.Until then,God blessTo view this study and archives on the book of James go to: other Bible studies and inspirational articles go to:Empowered Bible Study MinistriesJoin us on:Facebook; Twitter; GodTube; YouTube 11