Scriptures: James 2:14-26, Titus 1:16, Matthew 5:15-16
The only thing that works to bring human beings into a relationship with God is faith. If you are going to connect with God in a personal relationship you have to do it by faith. The book of James helps answer two questions about faith: Is it real? and How do you know? We are told in the beginning of the book that James was writing primarily to Jewish people--specifically Jewish Christians. He was writing to people who had grown up in a religious tradition that taught them that it wasn’t faith in God so much that gained you a relationship with God, but it was good works and keeping the law. They assumed that since salvation was all by grace, through faith, they just assumed that all you had to do was claim to believe in Jesus and then you could live any way you wanted to and do anything you wanted. Good works were absolutely unnecessary for anything. In this message, Dr. Merritt unpacks the balance between salvation by faith, and how our good works, while unnecessary for salvation, present evidence of a life lived by faith.
"You can do a lot of good work and a lot of good things without faith. There are a lot of people and organizations in this world who do things for other people, but they have no connection to God whatsoever. The presence of good works does not prove the presence of faith, but the absence of good works points to the absence of faith." --Dr. Merritt
Keywords: grace, faith, works, salvation, howstuffworks.com, half-brother, Jesus, James, commands, obedience, obey, Paul, Abraham, Rahab
Pastors Edge provides Bible preachers and teachers with ready-to-use resources and materials based on the preaching of Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, GA and host of the international broadcast ministry Touching Lives.