Sermon No: 128504-Active Faith



SERMON TOPIC: Active Faith

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 9 January 2022

Topic Groups: FAITH, JAMES, SALVATION

Sermon synopsis: James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, Go in peace; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 

Active Faith.

James 2:14.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? 

Can such faith save them?

Active Faith.

James 2:14-26.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, Go in peace; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 

Active Faith.

James 2:14-26.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 

Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend. 

Active Faith.

James 2:14-26.

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Active Faith.

1 Kings 4:1-7.

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves. Elisha replied to her, How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?

Your servant has nothing there at all, she said, except a small jar of olive oil. Elisha said, Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 

Active Faith.

1 Kings 4:1-7.

Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side. She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her, and she kept pouring. 

When all the jars were full, she said to her son, Bring me another one. But he replied, There is not a jar left. Then the oil stopped flowing.  She went and told the man of God, and he said, Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.

The Five Solae of the protestant reformation.

The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged from the Protestant Reformation intended to summarize the Reformers' basic theological principles in contrast to certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church of the day.

"Sola" is Latin meaning "alone" or "only" and the corresponding phrases are: 

The Five Solae of the protestant reformation.

Sola Scriptura: by Scripture alone.

Sola Fide: by faith alone.

Sola Gratia: by grace alone.

Solus Christus: through Christ alone.

Soli Deo Gloria: glory to God alone.

According to Martin Luther, justification by faith alone is the article on which the church stands or falls.

Sola fide, the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Sola fide is the Christian theological doctrine that distinguishes most Protestant denominations from Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and some in the Restoration Movement.

The doctrine of sola fide or "by faith alone" asserts God's pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith alone, excluding all "works".

The Five Solae of the protestant reformation.

All mankind, it is asserted, is  fallen and sinful, under the curse of God, and incapable of saving itself from God's wrath and curse. But God, on the basis of the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ alone (solus Christus), grants sinners' judicial pardon, or justification, which is received solely through faith.

The big difference is that some see faith as been passive, merely receiving Christ and all his benefits, while others believe that faith is active, and that genuine faith is accompanied by action.

Sola fide, “Faith alone” is foundational to Protestantism, and distinguishes it from other Christian denominations.

Historic Protestantism (both Lutheran and Reformed) has held to sola-fide justification in opposition to Roman Catholicism especially, but also in opposition to significant aspects of Eastern Orthodoxy. Protestants exclude all human works, except the works of Jesus Christ, which form the basis of justification.

In the General Council of Trent, the Catholic Church stated in canon XIV on justification that

"If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that by this faith alone absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema (excommunicated)."

The problem is that in trying to convey to people that they cannot work for, or earn their Salvation, that it is a gift offered by God in His Grace, the impression has been somehow created, that work or Christian service is not important, and that it is an optional extra for those who would like rewards in heaven.

The problem is that in trying to convey to people that they cannot work for, or earn their Salvation, that it is a gift offered by God in His Grace, the impression has been somehow created, that work or Christian service is not important, and that it is an optional extra for those who would like rewards in heaven.

James 2:14-17 warns us that a faith that is not displayed by works is a DEAD FAITH.

Faith and works.

Active Faith.

Hebrews 11:6-7.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

Active Faith.

Hebrews 11:8-9.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 

By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.

Active Faith.

Hebrews 11:17-19.

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 

Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

Active Faith.

Hebrews 11:30.

By faith, the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.

Active Faith.

Hebrews 11:32-34.

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies

Active Faith.

Hebrews 11:35-39.

There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 

They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith.

Jesus told the rich young ruler to do something.

Luke 18:20-24.

You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, ..do not steal, do not.. all these things I have kept since I was a boy he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come follow me. When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.

Jesus told the rich young ruler to do something.

This rich young ruler wasn’t told to believe something, he was told to do something.

His obedience in doing what he was told would have demonstrated that he believed and had faith in Jesus, but instead he decided to put his faith in his wealth and possessions.

Jesus didn’t have to tell Zacchaeus to do anything.

Luke 19:7-10.

Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.

Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house.

Jesus didn’t have to tell Zacchaeus to do anything.

Zacchaeus had faith and it was an active faith that was demonstrated by what he did.

He was going to give half his possessions away and then make restitution to those whom he had defrauded.

Works are evidence of repentance.

Matt 3:7-8.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptising, he said to them:

You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Works are evidence of repentance.

Acts 26:20.

First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.

Salvation is not attained by works.

Ephesians 2:8-10.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Works do not produce Salvation, Salvation produces works.

Are we justified by faith (Romans) or by works (James)?

Romans 3:20.

Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight.

Romans 3:28.

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Romans 4:3.

And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.

Romans 4:5.

But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.

Romans 5:1.

Therefore, having been justified by faith.

Are we justified by faith (Romans) or by works (James)?

James 2:24.

You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

James 2:26.

So also, faith without works is dead.

Which is it? Are we justified by faith or by works?

Does the Bible Contradict Itself? NO!

James is examining two kinds of faith: One that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive.

Works are evidence that we know God.

Titus 1:16.

They profess that they know God, but in works they deny him……

1 John 2:3,4.

We know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commands. Whoever says I know him but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in that person.

Faith leads to action

If you are in a high rise building and someone knocks at your door and tells you that the building is on fire, you believe them only if you run for the fire escape and not if you say, “I believe you” and then you go back into your flat and carry on with your normal routine.

Faith and works.

Justification by faith alone has been opposed by Roman Catholicism, which says that a combination of our faith and good works provides for our justification.

One impetus for this understanding has been Rome’s fear that the doctrine of justification by faith alone would encourage people to live immoral lives.

Rome fears that this doctrine might lead some to think that the casual acceptance of Jesus without any change in one’s life is the kind of faith that justifies.

Faith and works.

In order to meet such objections, the Protestant Reformers were careful to outline the biblical definition of faith in their writings.

True faith always leads to a changed life.

The definition of biblical faith given by the Reformers showed that faith is not merely a casual acceptance of Jesus, faith has three essential aspects: notitiaassensus, and fiducia.

nōtitia: notice, acquaintance (KNOWLEDGE)

assēnsus: agreed with, assented to, approved (BELIEF)

fiducia: trust, faith, confidence, credit (COMMITMENT)

Faith and works.

Ascentia is the mental assent, the mental acknowledgment of something's existence.

The demons acknowledge and believe that God exists.

James 2:19.

You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

Can this faith justify? Can the dead faith that someone has, which produces no change in a person and no good works before men and God, be a faith that justifies? Absolutely not, it is not merely enough to say you believe in Jesus.

Faith and works.

Fiducia is more than mental acknowledgment.

It involves a trust in something a giving over to it, a complete believing and acceptance of something.

This is the kind of faith that a Christian has in Christ. 

A Christian, therefore, has real faith and trust in Christ and not simply an acknowledgment that He lived on earth at one time.

Modern day faith.

There is a modern day faith in the church to day, if you can even call it faith, they requires nothing from us.

No contribution, no participation, no sacrifice. If God wants to send missionaries out, He will supply the resources, if He wants people saved, He will make sure that they hear the Gospel. If God wants us to prosper as a church here in Brakpan, God will open the windows of Heaven.

I am not knocking faith and I am not suggesting that we can accomplish anything of Eternal value without the Lord. But is nothing required of us?

Modern day faith.

All too often we don’t even pray, but then we progress to using prayer as an excuse to do nothing. God is looking for “Active Faith”, Faith that steps out and takes risks.

However, if this risk taking is not based on a relationship with the Lord and the prompting of His Holy Spirit, it is nothing more than presumption.

I am of the opinion that the Lord would rather have us try and fail, than sit back and do nothing.

God does the impossible if we do the possible.

The raising of Lazarus from the dead.

John 11:39-44.

Take away the stone he said. But, Lord, said Martha, the sister of the dead man, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days. Then Jesus said, Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? So, they took away the stone.

God does the impossible if we do the possible.

John 11:39-44.

Then Jesus looked up and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me. 

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, Lazarus, come out!  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Even healing requires obedience,remember “Naman”.

John 9:1-7.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him….

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. Go, he told him, wash in the Pool of Siloam So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

Salvation produces works.

Titus 3:5.

He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

That renewal brings about a change of behaviour that is evidence of our Salvation.




IP:Country:City:Region: