James 2:14-26

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. KJV

I. THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THERE MUST BE WORKS OF OBEDIENCE.

  A. Faith without obedience cannot save (James 2:14).
  B. Faith without obedience is of no value (it just doesn’t get the job done).
1. It doesn’t feed the hungry (James 2:15-16).
2. It doesn’t purify the life of the Christian (Ephesians 5:11; I John 3:3-10).
3. It doesn’t teach the gospel of Christ to the lost (John 15:1-6; II Peter 1:8).
a. The pattern for preaching the gospel was established by Jesus Christ –
  “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, uttermost parts of the earth” (Ax 1:8).
b. How would Jesus’ will have been accomplished if brethren had not carried it
  out? (Acts 7:59 – 8:4).
4. It doesn’t provoke our brethren to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24-25).
C. Do you believe in God? Great! So do the demons! (James 2:19).
D. Two examples of working faith:
1. Abraham (James 2:21-24; Genesis 22:1-19)
2. Rahab (James 2:25; Joshua 2:1-24).

II. WORKS OF OBEDIENCE MUST BE ACCORDING TO GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS
  (ROMANS 10:1-3).

A. The Jews sincerely served God according to an outdated standard of conduct (the law of
  Moses), but not according to God’s then current standard of righteousness (the law of
  Christ).
1. Compare this with the belated attempt to enter the land of Canaan after the
  Israelites had first disbelieved the report of the two faithful spies, Joshua and
  Caleb (Numbers 13, 14).
B. Many denominational people today reject God’s righteousness in exactly the same way be
  seeking justification according to the outdated standard of the law of Moses.
1. Back in the late 1970's the State of Kentucky passed a law which required the
  posting of the ten commandments in classrooms throughout the commonwealth of
  Kentucky.
a. That law was subsequently challenged in the courts.
b. Who do you suppose sponsored this bill, or lobbied for it?
C. Many of our own brethren reject the righteousness of God when they abandon the simple
  new testament plans for the work and worship of the church in order to make a big splash
  on the religious pages of the country’s newspapers.
1. Compare God’s plan for organizing the church (Ephesians 4:11-16).
D. We abandon the righteousness of God when we choose materialism rather than godliness
  as an outlet for all our creativity.
1. Few want to study the Bible seriously.
2. Few want to do the menial tasks which need doing.
3. Few want to “use hospitality one to another.”
4. Few want to teach the lost.
5. But man want to criticize those who are working.
6. And, many want to practice religion by proxy, rather than by personal effort.

Closing thought:

What would the church be like. . . .
 if every member. . . .
were just like me?
I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day:
the night cometh, when no man work.” (Jesus – John 9:4).

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