Week 5 Small Group (Wednesday). Focussing on James 2:14-26
James provides us with three examples of people showing their faith through good deeds:
Brothers and Sisters. James begins by calling on God's own people. This is to us - His Disciples. When we see those who are in need, without food or clothing, (James asks), how do we show our faith? By wishing them well, or through physical action? Action that actually provides food for their hunger or clothes to keep them warm.
Abraham (Genesis 22). Abraham put his faith into action by showing God that he was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac. God rewarded Abraham by telling him to sacrifice a ram instead. In doing so pointed the way to mankind's salvation through the true Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
Rahab (Joshua 2 & 6) Rahab put her faith into action by saving two spies from being captured. God reworded Rahab by sparing her and her household.
Through these examples we are to be moved from having intellectual agreement and belief in one God, to showing this faith through our deeds. God wants us to be transformed. For our conduct to be transformed, not just our thoughts. If life remains unchanged, can we claim to truly believe? James writes "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead".
The Apostle Paul supports this through Galatians 5:6. Faith is to be expressed through love. Whether this is in loving service or good deeds, it is showing and acting upon our faith. These verses do not however support works-based righteousness. Salvation is not because of, or a substitute for faith, but rather are a result of, or verification of, our faith in Christ.
Paul, powered by the Holy Spirit, writes in Galatians 2:16, that we are not justified (saved) by doing the works of the law. In Romans 3:28 he write that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. These confirm that we are saved through grace. James point is that a faith that doesn't generate good deeds is a faith that's dead. ☠️
Can we think of a time when faith has truly cost us as Disciples?
We need to show that our commitment to God is real, and we show this through loving service. Loving service being the verification of our faith in Christ. 💪💪🏼💪🏾
Keeping the thinking going…
Over the last week or so, can you think of a time when your actions didn't match your beliefs in Jesus? If so, ask God for forgiveness and the change you and to make you more like Him.
Conversely, when did your actions match your belief? When did you live out your faith through loving service? ❤️