This morning my thoughts go to the book of James, into the scriptures we go, where we find an understanding about Faith and what Faith is.
First let me quote a scripture we are all familiar with in regards to faith, as stated in Hebrews 11:1, NLT: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
In the context (above) and throughout this chapter in Hebrews, faith was built upon the obedience to God in their life and their experiences, which brought about their solid faith and that of not waivering in their faith.
Now on to James, let me say, we will all go through trials (testings) and in these trials or again you might say, testings, we are “to count it all joy”,
…for “the trying of our faith worketh (produces) patience” and we are to “let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.”
Yes, our faith will be tried and tested by Satan through temptations and this is where, you might say, the rubber meets the road.
During these trials and temptations in life, we must never waver, we must stay strong in the faith; for “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways”.
Our complete trust is to be IN THE LORD as stated in Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
- Our source of temptation is Satan and Satan alone: Satan is the tempter as stated in James 1:13–15 (KJV ): “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
So as we see, Satan is the tempter, “for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”
- Faith – Obeys the Word. Of utmost importance; In James it states; “let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
- Faith – Removes Discrimination. When coming together in assembly, “church” there is to be no respect to persons. In other words, we as believers are to show no partially to the rich, the poor, the old or the young, when they come into our churches.
James 2:8-9, “Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.“
- Faith – Proves Itself by Works. You are not saved by works. And you are not saved by faith plus works but it is important to take note; that good works always accompany true saving faith.
We are justified in the sight of men when we demonstrated the reality of our faith with our obedience to God’s command as the Holy Spirit directs us.
Yes, when God speaks we must react in obedience. We are to always follow the guidance, direction and leading of the Holy Spirit.
As I often have said, faith is seeing that which is not, as though it is, according to God’s Word and His promises.
It is true, there is only but one God. True Christianity acknowledges that the same God our Creator is also the Redeemer our Savior.
- Faith – Bridles the Tongue. Christians are commanded to keep their speech truthful, gracious, relevant, courageous, corrective, always purposeful and always to be in the context of a possible testimony for the Lord.
Of just as great importance; our speech should never be deceptive, abrasive, of little or no value, fearful, compromising, idle, or hurtful to our Christian witness in any way.
Be aware and take extreme caution for the tongue can be unruly and evil. Both blessings and curses should never come out of the same mouth.
- Faith – Produces Wisdom. A wise man is one who shows out of a good conversation (understanding or conduct) his works with meekness (gentleness) of wisdom.
Wisdom – that is self-seeking, man-centered; (that of having bitterness, envying and strife in your heart) is of this world, the flesh and the devil and not from above.
True Wisdom – as stated in James 3:17; “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy (sincere).”
Again in the verse above, lets list the seven characteristics of genuine wisdom that comes from above and are built on Christ:
- Pure – (clean) in Christ, it must be noted as stating to be first, “washing of regeneration” a purity of life.
- Gentle – appropriate (a gentleman)
- Easy to be intreated – reasonable
- Full of mercy and good fruit – always helpful and considerate
- Without partiality – true humility
- Without hypocrisy – always sincere in both speech and action
- Faith – Produces Humility. In regards to asking and receive not…
Prayer is to be ” in Jesus name”.
Prayer is to be made unselfish, for
Jesus never would pray such a prayer in selfishness.
Prayer must be to glorify God, for God to get the glory from the answer.
There must be NO Compromising with the world, friendship with the world in worldly things, behavior, dress, etc.
God desires your love and your friendship…you cannot be of double mindedness. You cannot be friends with the world and friends with God.
We are to resist the devil by being steadfast in faith and not by compromising our faith.
Do not be prideful but “humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
- Faith Produces Dependancy on God. The Lord does have a will in regards to whether we “do this or that” . We are not to leave God out of our plans. His will matters for our best.
Our dependency must be in God.
- There are sins of ommision, just as sins of commision:
Sins of ommision – (failing to do what God wants us to do).
Sins of commision – (doing what God has told us not to do.)
- Faith Endures – Awaiting the Return of Christ. Stay in the faith, be patient and endure to the end, always expecting Christ return at anytime. He will return for His people, those who are found still in the faith.
- Faith – Prays for the Afflicted. We are to pray for those who are facing hardships and trouble. We are to pray for those that are (sick) ill and weary. We are to believe God’s promises and He will raise them up (heal them).
In conclusion, you might say, genuine faith of the beliver is of the utmost importance in living a life of freedom in Christ Jesus and to see the Kingdom of God advancing.
It will take continual faith in the believer to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As always, love in Christ Jesus,