III. Instructions on Faith. James 2:1-26
A. Empty Faith. James 2:1-7
Our faith in Jesus leads us to have a relationship with believers and especially so as members one of another in church. This relationship involves us in fellowship which is based on our faith. We must protect this fellowship from bias – as the Lord did.
The Lord has given us here a method to measure our faith, and with that evidence, we may know our own hearts and minds. Others may measure our faith from the actions manifested out of our hearts.
Do we have empty faith? Partial faith? Full faith?
There is no doubt that we show partiality at times –
But partiality should not be shown based on position, economics, popularity.
Let’s look at the warning this morning – how to measure our faith –
1. The conduct of faith. The pattern of conduct is the Lord Jesus Christ. James 2:1
a. The character of God is declared in His Word –
Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
b. The conduct of the child of God is prescribed in His Word –
1). In judgment.
Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
2). In fellowship –
The Lord taught that believer’s should give of themselves without respect of others or expecting a recompense, an equal return.
Luke 14:12-14 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
3). In service –
Mark 6:7-10 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
The conduct of the believer serving the Lord is not dependent upon material goods or gain. The conduct of the audience, hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ, should not be influenced by material goods or gain! The message is central – what is the message?
Paul set it forth simply –
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
How may we or others described our faith based on our conduct?
2. The conflict between faith and the flesh. James 2:2-5
a. Faith will accept the person – a soul in need of the Saviour.
The sign in front of the church in North Carolina – “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. Underneath that Scripture was this statement “You catch them, God will clean them”!
b. Flesh applauds the presentation –
The personality, the position, the power.
1 Samuel 16:7 “…for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
c. Faith delights in the will of God. James 2:5
God is no respecter of persons. A man saying that he is “in Christ” cannot be faithful to the Lord and be a respecter of persons.
This is contrary to the character of God.
John 6:38-39 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
3. The condemnation of their actions. James 2:6,7
They did not manifest faith in the Lord through their actions.
The Lord will reward the faithful – the question is –
Do we have faith in His promise?
Do we trust Him for our future?
We know very little about the actual kind of life we will have with the Lord.
Many would rather have a reward now in order that they control results, generally desiring satisfaction or pleasure.
Some may ask “What if I receive a reward and there is nothing for me to redeem it on that I want”?
1000RM Aeon voucher and the only store is Parkson!
Is our faith empty? Do we trust the Lord that He truly is sufficient in this life and the life to come?
Do we look at our lives and say that we trust the Lord but a little networking for the future does not hurt?
That is EMPTY FAITH!
We should determine today to see people as the Lord sees them. Will we submit to Him in faith?