This book of James, keeps us focused and on track:
A Faith that Produces Works.
“God always works with workers and moves with movers, but He does not sit with sitters.” – Reinhard Bonnke
This says God is busy with those that are busy with God.
Psalm 145:18-20 – 18”The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy”.
James 2:18-19 (NIV) – 18 “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.”
A Faith that does not produce works is not only false, it is also futile* (Vrugteloos – Nutleloos)
James’s challenge – “Show me your Faith without your works, and I will show you my Faith by my works.”
This two letter – one syllable word “BY”* translates in the greek as “Out of”
*Show me your faith without your deeds “I’ll show you my faith “BY” my works.”
James was saying that our works emerge “OUT OF” our true Faith in Christ.
NB! Paul confirmed this in:
Ephesians 2: 8-10 (NIV) – 8“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith –9and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. OUR SALVATION
10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us
to do.” OUR RESPONSIBILITY
We do good works, because we are Christians – NOT to become Christians
James and Paul spoke about a Faith that works
Christian Good works are vital to our personal growth and development and effectiveness.
Titus 2:14 (KJV) – 14” Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem, us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Clearly God’s purpose for us was certainly to Do Good Works!
The biblical definition of “good works” is not merely “good deeds.”
Biblical “good works” encompass* (insluit) every aspect of our thinking and conduct before God.
The Christian’s good works are rooted in Christ.
Colossians 1: 9-10 (NIV) – 9”For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”
Paul says: “Fully pleasing Him or to please Him in every way”
It means pursuing the goal of pleasing the Lord in everything you do, in all areas of your life.
Jesus commanded us:
Matthew 5:15-16 (NIV) – 15”Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
What is the light? It is our fruitful works.
Christ is the Root – Good works are the Fruit.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) – 15”Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Your Faith must produce fruitful works you will not need to be ashamed of.
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (NIV) – 16”All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking*, correcting and training in righteousness*, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
*Rebuking – reprimand, sharp disapproval of your actions or behavior.
*Training in righteousness – Preaching is not going to fix your life. ( although it is important) You fix you by obeying the word.
Notice: where we get our teaching, correcting, training and rebuking from, to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Titus 2:14 (NIV) – 14”who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
The proper Nature of “good works” is not to please ourselves but, to please Christ.
1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV) – 11”Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
How committed are you to have a Faith that produces works?
Will you refresh your Faith before God and rededicate your life to Great works…..
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV) – 58”Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Galatians 6:9 (NIV) – 9”Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”