Faith Without Works

 

*   (James 2:19-26 NIV)  You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. {20} You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? {21} Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? {22} You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. {23} 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. {24} You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. {25} 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? {26} As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

The works/deeds begin with repentance, which means we decide to avoid sin rather than embrace it. It means we will live according to the commands of God, the law of God, the Ten Commandments. For we know the law is holy.

*   (Rom 7:11-16 NIV)  For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. {12} So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. {13} Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. {14} We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. {15} I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. {16} And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

Sin is the transgression of the law. The law is holy and sin is unholy.

*   (1 John 3:4 NIV)  Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

Salvation cannot be earned but it does require obedience. God by grace made the way for our salvation by the death of our Lord Jesus. But grace is not a license to continue in sin.

*   (Rom 5:20-21 NIV)  The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, {21} so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:1-2 NIV)  What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? {2} By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Grace does not save us it simply allows us to be saved.

*   (2 Cor 6:1 NIV)  As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain.

*   (Jude 1:3-4 NIV)  Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. {4} For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

*   (2 Cor 4:3-9 NIV)  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. {4} The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. {5} For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. {6} For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. {7} But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. {8} We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; {9} persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Who is the Father of lies? Who is the father of the liar?

*   (John 8:44 NIV)  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Who wants to seduce the Bride of Christ, the Church, with cunning fables?

*   (2 Cor 11:2-4 NIV)  I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. {3} But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. {4} For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

*   (Mat 24:5 KJV)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Obedience is a Work of Faith.

*   (Mat 19:17 NIV)  "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

And notice here that pretty good is not good enough. Just as one lie makes you a liar, so one sin makes you a sinner.

*   (James 2:8-11 NIV)  If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. {9} But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. {10} For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. {11} For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

Constant vigilance is the price of freedom. Vigilance is a work of righteousness!

*   (2 Cor 11:13-15 NIV)  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. {14} And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. {15} It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

*   (Mark 7:6-9 NIV)  He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. {7} They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' {8} You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." {9} And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

But if… (Lev 26:14 NIV)  "'But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands…. The, “but if,” refers to a series of works required of Israel to receive God’s blessing. All of them are works of righteousness. Let’s take a look. Now, remember what James 2:20 tells us!