Dynamic Faith, the intellect, emotions, will, and spirit –

 James 2:20-26…20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Dynamic faith is based on God’s Word, and it involves the whole person, body and soul. “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” A  

Dead faith touches only the intellect; demonic faith involves both the mind and the emotions; but dynamic faith involves the soul-mind, emotions/heart, will & spirit. The. mind understands the truth, the heart desires the truth; the will acts upon the truth and the spirit interacts with the Holy Spirit. The men and women of faith named in Hebrews 11 were people of’ action: God spoke and they obeyed.

We receive our spiritual rebirth through God’s Word B. Faith is only as good as its object. We are not saved by faith in faith; we are saved by faith in Jesus as revealed in His Word.  Dynamic faith is not intellectual or emotional, it leads to obedience by the will and spirit throughout life on earth. It leads to good works.

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

James then illustrated his doctrine in the lives of two well-known Bible persons: Abraham C and Rahab D. You could not find two more different persons! Abraham was a Jew; Rahab was a Gentile. Abraham was a godly man, but Rahab was a sinful woman, a harlot. Abraham was the friend of God, while Rahab belonged to the enemies of God. What did they have in common?’ Both exercised saving faith in God and demonstrated their faith by action.

The mature Disciples faith is the dynamic faith of people like Abraham and Rahab, faith that changes a life and goes to work for God.

Henry Luke

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

Notes: A- Romans. 10:17 NKJV; B- James 1:18,21, Romans 3:23,5:8,6:23, 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8-9;

C- Abrahams salvation experience “Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”  (Genesis. 15:5-6). Abraham did not work for this righteousness; he received it as a gift from God. He was declared righteous by faith. He was justified by faith.

Justification is an important doctrine in the Bible. Justification is the act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of Christ’s finished work on the cross. It is not a process; it is an act. It is not something the sinner does; it is something God does for the sinner when he trusts Jesus.

James used another event in Abraham’s life, an event that took place many years after Abraham’s conversion. This event is the offering up of Isaac on the altar (Genesis 22). Abraham was not saved by obeying God’s difficult command.’ His obedience proved that he already was saved. “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did” (James 2:22, NIV).

No humans actually saw Abraham put his son on the altar, but the inspired record in Genesis 22 enables us to see the event and witness Abraham’s faith demonstrated by his works.

D- Joshua sent spies into Jericho to get the lay of the land. There they met Rahab, a harlot, who protected them and affirmed that she believed in what God had said and what God was going to do. When the men departed, they promised to save her and her family when the city was taken; and this they did.

It is an exciting story. But in it is one of the Bible’s great examples of saving faith (Hebrews 11:31). Rahab heard the Word and knew that her city was condemned. She responded with her mind and her emotions, but she also responded with her will. She risked her own life to protect the Jewish spies and by sharing the good news of deliverance with the members of her family. Matthew 1:5 indicates she married into Israel and was in the lineage of Jesus. What grace! Rahab is one of the first soul winners in the Bible.

Rahab could have had a dead faith, a mere intellectual experience. Or she could have had demonic faith, her mind enlightened and her emotions stirred. But she exercised dynamic faith: her mind knew the truth, her heart was stirred by the truth, and her will acted on the truth. She proved her faith by her works.

When you realize the small amount of information Rahab had, you can see how truly marvelous her faith really was. Today we have the full revelation of God through His Word and His Son. We live on the other side of Calvary, and we have the Holy Spirit to convict and to teach us the Word. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). Her faith is an indictment against the unbelief of sinners today.

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 Demonic Faith, the intellect and emotions –

 James 2:18-19…18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

How could a person show his faith without works? Can a dead sinner perform good works serving Jesus? No! But, when you trust Jesus you are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10). Being a Disciple involves trusting Jesus and living for Jesus; you receive eternal life, then you reveal eternal life.

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

When Jesus was ministering on earth, He often cast out demons; and He gave that power to His disciples. In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul admonishes Disciples to claim God’s protection and defeat the spiritual forces of wickedness.

What do demons believe? [1] the existence of God [Job 1:6-12]; [2] the deity of Jesus. Whenever they met Jesus when He was on earth, they bore witness to His sonship (Mark 3:11-12); [3] the existence of a place of punishment (Luke 8:31); [4] Jesus Christ as the Judge (Mark 5:1-13).

The man with dead faith was touched only in his intellect, but the demons are touched also in their emotions. But it is not a saving experience to believe and shudder. A person can be enlightened in his mind and even stirred in his heart and be lost forever. True saving faith involves something more, something that can be seen and recognized: a changed life.

Faith that is barren of works is not saving faith even though the intellect and the emotions are involved.

Henry Luke

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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 Dead faith, the intellect alone #2-

James 2:15-17… 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

Vv.15-17 demonstrates a poor believer coming into a church, without proper clothing and in need of food. The person with dead faith noticed the visitor and saw his needs, but he did not do anything to meet the needs and the visitor went away just as hungry and without proper clothing as he came in! As Believers, we have an obligation to help meet the needs of people, no matter who they may be.

To help a person in need is an expression of love. John emphasized this aspect of good works. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.A

Today that need is more likely to be an emotional or spiritual need than a physical need. Our world is full of people who need the kind of help only a Believer in Jesus can provide. The person may be poor or rich and we are not to show favoritism to either, but unconditional love.

The question for people of faith is “are we willing to reclaim our true role in the Bible and provide love and resources”? We do an outstanding job reacting to emergencies like the recent storms but are less responsive for everyday emotional, spiritual and physical needs. B

Vv.15-17 raises a hard question about the faith of people who are not helping the emotional, spiritual and physical needy–do my actions and attitudes indicate my faith is alive.

Notes: A- 1 John 3:17-18;  B- In the first 4 centuries the poor were saved in huge numbers and then faced tremendous persecution for their faith. They were expelled from their families and lost their jobs in many cases and many times lost their lives. So it was essential in the time of James and today in many counties for the Believers to form a true community with sharing of resources needed for life. It has been said that the average lifespan of a new convert from Islam is 2-3 weeks if their salvation is revealed.

In the USA in the last 80 years, the church has slowly outsourced the care of the poor to the government with disastrous results. Trillions of dollars have been wasted through inefficiency, corruption, and laws that are counter to Biblical principles. An example would be laws that reward nonmarried couple households. The result has been an increase in what was rewarded.

The priest and Levite in the Parable of the Good Samaritan each had religious training, but neither of them paused to assist the dying man at the side of the road (Luke 10:25-37). Each of them would have defended his faith, but neither demonstrated that faith in loving works.

Henry Luke

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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Dead Faith, the intellect alone #1

 – James 2:14What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

Relationship of Faith and Works

Faith and Works Salvation is by faith alone not works.  Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-28; 11:6; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 3:5
Works are the evidence of salvation.  Matthew 5:16; 7:17; John 14:15; Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8; Hebrews 10:24; 1 John 3:18

The question in James 2:14 should read, “Can that kind of faith save him?” What kind? The kind of faith that is never seen in works. The answer is no! Any declaration of faith that does not result in a changed life and good works is a false declaration. That kind of faith is a dead faith. “ Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself [James 2:17). True saving faith can never be by itself it always brings life, and life produces good works.

The person with dead faith has only an intellectual experience in the mind, They know the doctrines of salvation, but never submitted to God and trusted Jesus for salvation. They know the right words, but do not back up words with works. Faith in Jesus brings eternal life [John 3:16), and where there is life there must be growth and fruit. Three times in this paragraph, James warns us that “faith without works is dead or useless” James 2:17, 20, 26).

Beware of an intellectual faith in the mind only. Warren Wiersbe said, “No man can come to Jesus by faith and remain the same any more than he can come into contact with a 220-volt wire and remain the same”. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:12).

Dead faith is counterfeit faith from an intellectual experience and lulls the person into a false confidence of eternal life.

Henry Luke

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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Do not honor one and dishonor another! #4

Our attitudes and actions will be judgedJames 2:12-13 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Two attitudes; showing mercy to others, and refusing to show mercy. If we have been merciful toward others, God will be merciful toward us. However, this does not mean we earn mercy by showing mercy, because it is impossible to earn mercy. Nor does it mean that we should be soft on sin and never judge it in the lives of others.

Mercy and justice both come from God.  Where God finds repentance and faith, He is able to show mercy; where He finds rebellion and unbelief, He administers justice. It is the heart of the sinner that determines the treatment he gets.

This is a principle which runs through all Scripture.  Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). “Judge not that you be not judged, for with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged” (Matthew 7:1-2).

V.13 reminds me of 1 Corinthians 11:31-32… 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

No matter what our gifts from the Spirit are we need to check up on ourselves daily to be sure we are not disobedient to the commands of Jesus! Confess and repent when needed.

Henry Luke

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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Do not honor one and dishonor another! #1

Treat all people the same – James 2: 1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

 Genuine religion is illustrated by describing a situation that apparently arose out of a church problem. James called on his church family not to show favoritism or judging a person based on outward appearances.

For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 

James offered the example of two strangers coming into a church meeting. One visitor wore the trappings of wealth. The second stranger was a poor man dressed in dirty clothes. His clothing indicated poverty.

The church people looked with favor on the man wearing fine clothes. He was told, “Sit here in a good place.” He was given a place of comfort and prominence in the church. They ordered the poor man to “Stand over there” or “Sit here on the floor by my footstool. May it never be so!!!

The people made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? They judged these two guests by outward impressions. We must not neglect the poor or give preference to the rich, but love your neighbor as yourself.

Do I always express love and help others regardless of social standing or life situation?

Henry Luke

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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Do not honor one and dishonor another! #2

The grace of God – James 2:5-7…Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

V.5 Consider these statements by Jesus “He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18). “The poor have good news preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). “Blessed are you poor; for yours is the Kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20). The message of Jesus was that those who mattered to no one else mattered intensely to God. By His grace, God chose the foolish and weak things of this world in order to shame the wise and powerful. 1 Corinthians. 1:23-31

Jesus and the Church did not ignore the great, rich, wise, and mighty. But the gospel offered so much to the poor and demanded so much from the rich, that it was mostly the poor who believed in Jesus.

But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?

V.6 In the society of James time the rich oppressed the poor. They dragged them to the law-courts for debt. It is not riches that James is condemning; it is the conduct of riches without sympathy.

Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

V.7 It is the rich and elites who abuse the name by which Christians are called. The first-century rich had many reasons for insulting the name Christian. A slave who became a Christian would have a new independence; a new honesty. That would make him a better slave, but it would also mean he could no longer be his master’s instrument in sharp practices and petty dishonesty as once he might have been.

How wrong it is, to honor the rich and dishonor the poor that Jesus honors!

Henry Luke

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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