James 1:27 What is the practical duty of “pure religion?”
James 2: 1-13 Some demonstrate their religion by showing favoritism.
James 2: 14-26 Others demonstrate their religion by saying they have “faith.”
Faith and Works
The root Greek word (meaning faith and believe) is found 14 times in 13 verses. The Greek for (works) is found 12 times. See also 1 John 3: 17, 18. In James 2:15-17 we find the kind of faith described as one that does not have ________________________________________(1). In fact, we find what is sometimes called “The Little Parable.” It is here we learn that faith, without works, without action, is ___________________________(2). Faith is a living thing. Genuine faith is ALIVE, and equals “pure religion.”
To make his point, James gives
Example 1, James 2: 18-20, is called the Diatribe.
This is a discussion between people we have the privledge to listen in on. In fact, Faith without works = knowing God. But even the demons _________________________________(3). So, one who believes, but doesn’t act on that belief is equal to the demons who also believe. However, faith that produces work = Relationship. A relationship will grow and develop based on the interactions between the two involved in that relationship. This proves that Genuine faith is a living, growing thing.
Example 2, James 2:21-25: The contrating Individuals
The holy patriarch and founder of the Hebrew people is ___________________________________(4). He was called the _____________________________(5) of God. Then our attention is drawn to _________________________________(6), a sinful, foreign woman. (James 2:25) In contrast to Abraham, who is a symbol of piety to the Hewbrews, she represented immorality. But even though a harlot in Jericho, her actions demonstrated her faith. God accepted her where she was.
“Abraham was declared righteous because he _______________________________(7) God’s word and joyfully accepted the promise of a Redeemer (Galatians 3:6). the crowning evidence that he trusted God was revealed in his willingness to slay Isaac at God’s command – an act that apparently would have nullified God’s own promise.” (7BC, 523).
Example 3 Genuine faith is likened to a living entity
Genesis 2:7 Dust + Breath (of life from God) = Living soul (being)
Ecclesiastics Living soul – Breath (which returns to God) = Dust.
Or for another illustration, let’s look at a light bulb. It has all the components necessary to light up, but without electricity, it is dead, and has no light. A living soul needs that living connection to God. Likewise, a living faith needs that connection. Once connected, Faith, like the light bulb, will produce light (actions, works).
So, how’s your faith?
answers: 1. works. 2. dead. 3. believe. 4. Abraham. 5. friend. 6. Rahab. 7. believed