Text: James 2:14-26
· Be Sure You Have The Right Kind of Faith – James 2:14-26
We have been studying the 3 Kinds of Faith which James points out in James 2:14-26. 1) Dead Faith 2) Demonic Fatih and 3) Dynamic Faith. The first 2 which are counterfeit and the last which is true saving faith.
I have brought to your attention that there are two different aspects of justification. First, there is the justification that the Apostle Paul presents -- JUSTIFICATION BEFORE GOD. In the book of Romans he writes – “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:28. Paul is addressing how a man is justified before God and how to obtain salvation.
That brings me to the second aspect of justification which James is addressing -- JUSTIFICATION BEFORE MEN. James is NOT dealing with the means of salvation, but rather its outcome, the evidence that salvation has genuinely occurred! James, is addressing justification before man. He is explaining that true believers live the Christian life. They demonstrate that they ARE saved by their works. He says this in James 2:18 “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.”
As one commentator put it: “James contrasts living faith with what he…described as dead faith (14-20). Saving faith with non-saving faith, productive faith with unproductive faith, godly faith with a kind of faith that is exercised by the demons.”
The first kind of faith we looked at was --
1. Dead Faith (James 2:14-17)
While it is FAITH ALONE that justifies, the FAITH THAT JUSTIFIES IS NEVER ALONE! True saving faith always brings life, and life produces good works! Workless faith is worthless faith. Saving faith produces works. As James says, “…faith, if it hath not works, is dead.” (v. 17). Dead faith is counterfeit faith.
Last week we looked at…
2. Demonic Faith (James 2:18-19)
James 2:18-19 “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
We say that demons have faith! 1) The Demons are Monotheists: They Believe In God 2) The Demons Believe In The Diety of Christ 3) The Demons Believe In A Place of Eternal Punishment 4) The Demons Recognize Jesus Christ As The Judge & They Submit To The Power of His Word!
But, demonic faith is NOT saving faith! They know that Jesus is all powerful and they know that He will one day judge them and they will be damned to Hell! They tremble in anticipation of that.
While the man with dead faith is touched in his intellect, the demons believe and even tremble. They are touched in their emotions. But neither faith saved them. Dead faith will not save. A person can be enlightened in the mind and even stirred in their heart and yet be LOST! Why? Because true faith involves something more: It involves a changed life that can be seen and recognized by others. As verse 18 says -- “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.”
In summary, we see that James has introduced two kinds of faith that can never save the sinner: Dead Faith (intellectual faith) and Demonic Faith (which includes the intellect and the emotions).
Our Focus In This Message Is…
3. Dynamic Faith (James 2:20-26)
Dynamic faith is the only kind of faith that can save the sinner. It is the only real kind of faith! Dynamic faith has power. It results in a changed life!
James’s Description of True Dynamic Saving Faith
ü It Is Based On The Word of God
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:18
We receive the Word of God and this saves us. We read this in James 1:21 “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
We are born again by the Word of God! Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
As you hear about the person and work of Christ and believe that Gospel that Christ died for your sins, was buried and rose again…as you receive Christ as your Savior you are born again! 1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
True, dynamic, saving faith is based on God’s Word and what is revealed about the Savior, Jesus Christ. True faith must have a proper object! When I was in
, there were people who had faith in their idols of stone and wood! No matter how much faith they had in them, these deaf and dumb idols could not help them! They reminded me of what Psalms 115:4-8 says, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. 5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” Haiti
One writer said this – “‘I believe’ may be the testimony of many sincere people, but the BIG question is, ‘In whom do you believe. What do you believe?’ We are not saved by faith in faith; we are saved by faith in Christ as revealed in His Word.”
Saving faith, dynamic faith is based on the God’s Word as recorded in the Bible. Saving faith involves the whole person! Dead faith reaches only the intellect. Demonic faith involves both the mind and the emotions. BUT, here is the difference. Dynamic faith, saving faith involves the mind, the emotions and the will. The heart desires the truth and the will acts upon that truth! That is the second aspect or dimension of Saving Faith –
ü True Saving Faith Leads To Action
You know the truth, you believe the truth and you make a choice of your will to act upon the truth! It begins with believing that you are a sinner, and that Christ died for your sins and rose again from the dead. Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
James is NOT contradicting the doctrine of salvation in any way. He was not dealing with the means of salvation, but rather with the outcome of salvation, that is showing you ARE saved by your obedience to God’s Word and the fruit of good works. These are the genuine evidence that salvation has occurred. Where there is dynamic faith you will always find good works and obedience to God’s Word. James 2:26 says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
James illustrates this point by in the lives of two well-know Bible persons: Abraham and Rahab.