Archive Page 2

12
May
17

Those Who Teach

Good Friday morning to you! James gives a warning to those who teach the Word of God. They are held to a higher standard. He writes:

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. – James 3:1 (NIV)

The teaching and preaching of God’s Word is so very important to the life of the church and followers of Jesus Christ. Those who handle it must do so with great care. Not only are we to be concerned with the Word itself, but those who hear it and who sit under our teaching. Hebrews says that the Word of God is sharper than a sword. Many have had their faith cut to pieces because the Word was handled incorrectly and wielded recklessly. May God have mercy on those of us who teach. May God give wisdom and discernment to those who sit under our teaching. May we all honor God and obey His Word faithfully until Christ returns.
11
May
17

Dead Faith

James, toward the end of chapter 2, gives two Old Testament examples of faith and deeds going together. First, he says that Abraham was declared right with God because he trusted God and put his faith into action when he was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on the altar. James then writes:

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. – James 2:24 (NIV)

Then, James gives the example of a prostitute named Rahab who hid some Hebrew spies in the Promised Land and was also considered righteous by God because of what she did. James then wrote:

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. – James 2:26 (NIV)

One would normally not compare one of the patriarchs of Judaism with a prostitute, but James does. Why? Because faith and deeds are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other. Don’t settle for a dead faith. Put your faith in God into action by caring for and loving people today.
10
May
17

The Evidence Of Faith

Good Wednesday morning to you! James, after saying that faith without action is dead, has an “argument” with someone who tries to say that faith and deeds do not go hand in hand. He writes:

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. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. – James 2:18-19 (NIV)

The evidence for true faith in Christ is in the deeds that we do in His name. Demons believe in Christ and tremble at the sound of His name. What separates someone from a demon? It is in the faith we have in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. How do we show that we believe in Jesus? It is when we love people – all people – that we demonstrate our love for Him. There are a lot of “good” people in this world who do really nice things, but all of those nice things won’t get them into Heaven. You can do lots of nice things for people, but if you don’t have faith in Christ, you will perish. Jesus said that He is the way and the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. True faith in Christ is what separates a follower of Jesus from someone who claims to be a “good” person. James said it best, faith without deeds is dead. Get out there and demonstrate your love for God today by loving someone in Jesus’ name.
09
May
17

A D.O.A. Kind Of Faith

Good Tuesday morning to you! James, in writing about faith and deeds, gives an example of a fellow Christ-follower who is in need. He says:

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 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? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

We can talk a good game about loving God and loving people, but if our actions don’t match our words, do we really love them? We can say that we believe until we’re blue in the face, but if we don’t put hands and feet to our faith, do we really believe in the One who served and sacrificed for others? If we don’t do something about our brothers and sisters in need, our faith is dead on arrival. In the church, we must not neglect the poor and needy among us. There will be those who struggle and we need to help them. It’s the proof that our faith is more than just talk.
09
May
17

I Can Be A Christian Without Going To Church

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This is the final message in our series, “Fake News & Alternative Facts” and is based on Hebrews 10:19-25.

08
May
17

A Lifestyle Of Love And Obedience

We can make all kinds of claims as believers in Jesus. We can claim that we love God. We can claim that we are followers of Christ. We can claim that we know God. James asks us about the proof of our claims. He says:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? – James 2:14 (NIV)

He asks two rhetorical questions in this verse. First, what good is it if we say we believe, but live like we don’t? The answer is that it doesn’t do anyone any good. Second, is this the kind of faith that saves a person? The answer is no. If there is no evidence of faith in our lives, do we really believe? Following Jesus is more than saying, “I believe.” Following Jesus is a lifestyle of love and obedience. We must do more than simply claim that we believe. We need to live out our faith each day. If we’re not obeying God’s Word by loving God and loving people, do we really believe?
05
May
17

Mercy And Judgment

Since we’re all sinners and lawbreakers, according to James 2:10-11, how should we view one another? Through eyes of mercy. If we are all going to be judged by God, how should we treat each other? Let us treat each other mercifully. This is what James says:

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:12-13 (NIV)

We are not going to help each other get better by  pointing fingers and condemning one another. We’re all working on our own stuff. God is merciful and He will show mercy to those who act mercifully. He will not show mercy to anyone who does not act mercifully. If we want mercy, we’ve got to show mercy. Author Dave Willis says, “Don’t treat people the way they treat you. Treat them the way God treats you.” God treats you with grace and mercy. Go and do likewise.



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