Show don’t tell (Sunday sermon notes from James 2:14-18)

James is the book of the Bible that declares, “Show me the fruits of your faith.” Can faith save a man who does not have works? Even the devil believes in God. In other words, salvation is not just walking down an aisle and praying a prayer one time.

1. Our faith is to be powerfully demonstrated to others by the works that we produce. Even though we are not saved by the deeds of the law, a genuine faith will produce works. There is an apparent contradiction between Romans and James. Romans is written from God’s perspective, whereas James is written from the sinner’s perspective. Whereas God can see our faith, man cannot. Man can only see what we do and say. Therefore, our works are a testament to our faith. When we are transformed, we don’t think the same, do the same, or talk the same. When God gets on the inside, it manifests itself in good works. It is one thing to declare you are a believer, quite another to demonstrate.

2. The “in-reach” of a church is as important as the “outreach.” We believe in serving the community and sharing our faith. This is outreach. But our outreach is nothing without loving those who are already in the church. In the church in Acts, they sold their possessions to help those within the church who had need. They met in small groups (went from house-to-house to fellowship and break bread), and the Lord added to the church daily. The entire emphasis of the NT is the local church. There are no big shots or insignificant people who attend the local church. Everything is level at the foot of the Cross. Faith without works is dead. This means your faith is “alone.” Your faith is alone if there are no works. If someone as big as God lives on the inside, you cannot keep it a secret from others.

3. Man-made religion achieves salvation by works. The gospel achieves works as a result of salvation. We don’t work to get Jesus; we work because we have Jesus. We should always continue to grow spiritually. That you grieve over your sin is proof of God in your life. It is natural for Chistians to produce the fruit of a believer. It is natural for us to live as children of God. Don’t we want authentic relationships? The local church of Jesus Christ is called to authenticity, humility and genuineness.

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