Monday, February 16, 2009

James 2:14-26- Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Christmas break was very busy and there were some issues as to how go about this next post.  I have been debating much over the last couple of months as I have not only done this next passage for my personal devotions, but also preached through it for church in a message titled, "Cruise Control Christianity."  I've finally decided to post the devotions side of this as it flows better with the previous studies, and the sermon was originally published on Metamorpho 1.0 (you can still view it there) and will someday be republished on here with the rest of the old archives from Metamorpho 1.0.

I.                   Faith Without Works (14-17)

A.    What’s the use of it (v. 14-16)?

B.     Can faith be exercised without actually making a change in how I live my life?

1.      According to the passage above (v. 8-13), no.  Obedience is the demonstration of the exercising of our faith.

2.      So, what do we do when we see others who aren’t living out their faith?

3.      This passage isn’t for us to look at others around us and judge their spirituality, let alone try to determine if they are saved or not.  This passage is for us to take a close look at our own lives and examine if we have a heart that is close to God and is living that out in the faith, or if we only have a heart of legalistic righteousness that needs to be made right with Him (either through salvation if that’s needed, or repentance so we can restore our walk with Him).

4.      Now, this thought does not mean we are not still to confront brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in bondage to sin.

5.      In summation, faith -when truly exercised- always results in making change.

II.                The Works are the Exercise of our Faith (17-26).

A.    Obedience to Christ means that we need to make some changes in how we live, speak, think, and act.

B.     Some Illustrations of Faith in Action

1.      Negative-demons-they believe, but they don’t have saving faith unto repentance.

2.      Positive-

a.       Abraham- he obeyed God because he believed that God would do as was promised.  As Abraham exercised his faith, God counted it to him for righteousness.

b.      Rahab- believed the spies report that if she let them go, she and her family would not be harmed.  As she exercised that faith, coming to know Jehovah God as her God, it was counted to her as righteousness.

c.       Body without a spirit = faith without works; you can’t have faith without the works, though you may sometimes have the works without the faith, so that brings us to another question….

d.      What’s our motive for doing what we do?  Is it to satisfy our own conscious, or is to live out the change that God has made in our lives?


1)      Am I exercising my faith and making changes in my life as God shows me to do so?

2)      Am I seeing myself as God sees me through the mirror of His Word and being honest with Him about it?

3)      Am I obeying Christ by living out my faith in the actions of my life?

4)      Do I judge myself before I judge others (pull the beam out of my own eye before I pull a speck of dust out of someone else’s)?

5)      What’s my motive for doing what I do?

6)      Do my actions speak the same as my words?  Am I really as spiritual as I make others to believe that I am?

Unless I obey God, I cannot say that I truly believe what He says is right."