Friday, December 23, 2011

Digging Deeper (James 2:21-26

 Digging Deeper 14 James 2:21-26
 This week is a very special week for those of the Christian faith; it is a time of celebration of Christ, not only His birth but who He is and who we are because of who He is. But notice the phrase above, “those of the Christian faith.” When we approach Christmas by faith we see more clearly the impact of the birth of the Christ child!
Now let’s dig a little deeper in God’s Word. James 2:21-22 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected. Abraham was justified by works? Really? You can do something that will justify yourself? The word justify is translated from the Hebrew word “dikaioo” it means to bring out that which a person is. Abraham being justified by works does not mean that because he was willing to sacrifice Isaac that he was given faith, righteousness and a relationship with God. Abraham’s obedience revealed who he was, a man of faith! If someone says that they are a reader but they never read then are they really a reader? Select your example. A person would justify that they are a reader by reading and a man’s faith is justified by his works. There is a difference in saying that Abraham had perfect faith and saying, as the scripture, does that his faith was perfected. We think of perfection as without blemish but we know with a little study that Abraham’s faith was not without blemish (see passing his wife off as his sister, which was a half truth if there is a such of thing, never the less it was a lack of faith concerning God’s promise Genesis 12, 20) This is the point that James is making, just profession of belief and trust in God is incomplete it is not until works of obedience that faith is completed.
James 2:23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. What an amazing title to have “friend of God” Abraham was called a friend of God not because he had faith but because others saw his faith. Verses 24-25 reiterate the same point that works exposes faith. Note again that justification here is simply a revelation of who you are. Works in themselves have no power and really mean nothing if they are not exercised by faith.
James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James leaves no confusion concerning faith and works. A dead body cannot justify life, it does not breath, it does not have a pulse, there are no brain waves, it has no movement it is simply dead. And so is faith, faith that does not work is useless and void of power it to is simply dead. It is not works that save us from our sin, works do not create faith, it is a gift from God. But works are a must in the life of a believer because works justify who we are in Christ. It is impossible for others to see your faith without seeing your works! And works will give you the reputation of being a friend of God!

Now that we have dug a little Deeper what do we believe? 

What do we believe about God? 

1.   God knows we are not perfect but is looking at our perfected faith.
2.   God alone is the giver of faith.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   Our works are a revelation of our faith.
2.   We do not have faith because of our works we have good works because of God’s gift of faith.
3.   Our works reveal that we are a friend of God.

Covenant Church 210 Station Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 395-5800

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