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.
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.