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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Real Faith (Study on the Book of James)


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Real Faith:  Faith and Works

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
 
 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”  You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.  But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?  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;  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.  You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. – James 2:14-26
If you ask, 83% of Americans will say they are a Christian.

What is a Christian?  A Christian has real faith.  Christ has reformed their lives and it is obvious that Jesus has changed them.  That is real faith.

Does our lives show that we have real faith?  What is real faith?

Works do not save us, but real faith in our lives will reveal works that honor God.  Our real faith will result in works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
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He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. – Titus 3:5 

 The Question of Real Faith


Our faith is not passive, but active.  Active faith is real faith.  It is seen in trials and temptations.  It is visible in how we speak.  It is all life-relevant.  The results of an authentic real faith is authentic life works.

A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. – Matthew 7:19-21
When there is no fruit, there is no faith.  When someone has real faith, there will be proof.  Evidence is given by fruitfulness.  If your were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian.  Would the evidence be overwhelming?

The Proof of Real Faith


Real faith is:

Not indifferent but involved.

Not passive, but actively engaged.

Not independent, but in partnership.

Not invisible, but displayed

But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? – 1 John 3:17

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Real faith is active, vibrant, and growing.

If Jesus has come into your life, people will know.  It will be visible.

Real faith is not intellectual, but from the heart.

Believing in God isn’t enough.  Even Satan and the demons believe in God.  They believe it so much that they tremble.  They believe in Jesus too.  They believe in the resurrection and ascension.  What they won’t do is commit their lives to Christ.  That’s the difference.

Real faith is demonstrated by not simply being a fan of Jesus but a follower of Jesus.

The Illustration of Real Faith


Abraham – Abraham demonstrated his faith in obedience to God.  God never wanted Isaac’s life but He wanted Abraham’s heart.

Real faith moves, acts, responds, and steps out.

Real faith is active.

“If you’re saved and you know it, does your faith surely show it?”

You'll find all my posts about this study on the book of James here.


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