Faith IS Action

James wrote this from a place of love to help people come to ‘True Faith’. One of the enemies of True Faith is being satisfied with ‘Good Intentions’. In 12-15 years of leading the Jerusalem church: he had seen action & intention, James had seen the real deal and he had seen the fakers.

James 2:14-26

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?

  • Again James is calling to account those who declare themselves ‘Christian’
  • All Show & No Go / All Talk & No Act
  • I pray none of us will be that person…
  • What is the kind of faith that can save anyone?
  • Must ‘Saving Faith’ move you to act?

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?

  • ‘You See’, we are responsible for what God brings us into contact with
  • An example of ‘Good Intentions’ without ‘Good Actions’
  • Have you ever been the object of this kind of ‘Care’… Not care at all

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

  • James is defining / God is defining FAITH
  • What gives our faith life is the action it produces

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.”

  • Biblical Faith, can’t help but be ‘Shown’ by the life one leads
  • True Faith is not a matter of intention (the road to perdition is paved with…)

19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. 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?

  • There is a difference between claiming faith and ‘Living Faith’
  • A belief in the reality of a All Powerful Creator is not Faith that saves
  • It is the faith in God that is expressed in the laying down of your life in trust

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. (perfect)

  • Previous actions were mixed…this time Abraham’s actions were 100% faith
  • His faith enabled him to Act. His Actions ‘exercised’ his faith

23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

  • God is not looking for us to have ‘theoretical’ faith, but to act in reality
  • What he knew about God he acted on, and by acting God grew his faith

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, so also faith is dead without good works

  • Two examples both listed in Hebrews 11 (both ends of the ‘food chain of faith’)
  • Was everything in Rahab’s life as it should be?
  • When given the opportunity to act on faith in God,she did
  • Good works are as essential to faith as breath is to a body…
  • Lack of breath PROVES a body is dead…our actions PROVE our faith is Alive!

Application Questions:

How do you honestly evaluate your ‘Faith’ as being a ‘Saving Faith’?

Does your faith drive your actions or do your actions drive your faith?

When have you acted because you believed God no matter what? What happened?

How do you define ‘Belief’? Do you have beliefs you do not act on?