Dead or Alive

Series: Authentic Faith

May 29, 2022
Frank Foreman

In the old time westerns, nefarious outlaws were hunted by the sheriffs, deputies, marshalls and other assorted lawmen of the day. Of course, it was common in those movies to know who the bad guys were because they wore the black hats, but also because there were crudely drawn pictures of the on the "Wanted" posters around town and by the town jail. Those posters would often give an indication or basic information, a potential reward, and--if the criminal was dangerous enough--it would proclaim that they were wanted dead or alive. Either version was acceptable to bring such a criminal to justice. ---------- In this week's message, Frank Foreman continues our series of messages on the book of James and shares insights on the passage in James 2:14-26. In this Scripture, James warns about the emptiness of faith that is not clearly evidenced in the life of a Christian by his/her works. He states emphatically, " by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:17, NLT)

Episode Notes

Big Idea: It is what I do, more than what I claim, that reveals who I am.

1.  Dead faith is seen in empty confession.

(Journal) James 2:14

Ephesians 2:8-10, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Titus 1:16, They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

2.  Dead faith is seen in false compassion.

(Journal) James 2:15-17

Luke 10:36-37, Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Matthew 25:44-46, Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

3.  Dead faith is seen in shallow conviction.

(Journal) James 2:18-20

Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

John 13:17, If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Matthew 7:21-23, Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’

1st John 2:4-6, Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His Word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.

(Journal) James 2:21-24

(Journal) James 2:25-26

Next Step:  I will examine myself to see whether I am in the faith…. 

2nd Corinthians 13:5, Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

I will pray to grow in sincerity in my confession, compassion, and conviction.

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