Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 10/26/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!
Review Lesson 5
Read James 2:8-26
Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[a] 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
Royal law is the laws given to us by Jesus – “love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
Favoring the rich because of what they can do for us) and ignoring the poor is breaking that law.
10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.”[b] So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.
We cannot decide to keep part of God’s law and not the rest. You can’t break the law, or sin, a little bit.
12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
We are saved by Grace, through faith. But we are also required to obey Christ. God’s Grace does not cancel out our requirement to obey Him.
Only God in His mercy can forgive our sins. We cannot earn forgiveness by forgiving others. But if we withhold forgiveness from others, after being forgiven by God ourselves, we show that we don’t understand or even appreciate God’s mercy.
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts. We do not earn our salvation by obeying God BUT obeying shows our commitment to Him.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[c] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
True faith results in a changed life and involves a commitment of your whole self to God.
21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[d] He was even called the friend of God.[e] 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Abraham was shown to be right with God because of what he did because he believed.
25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath,[f] so also faith is dead without good works.
Rahab demonstrated faith in God’s purpose/plan for Israel.
· What is the difference between having an intellectual agreement with scripture and true faith? Examples?
· Do these scriptures contradict one another? Romans 3:28 “So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.” James2: 24 “So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.”
· If you were on trial for being a Christian, what areas of your life would provide strong evidence of genuine faith?
· What might be a consequence for a believer who is not clear on the relationship between faith and works?
Meditate on and memorize James 2:14