Faith never has more power than its object. Our faith has power only because it’s connected to Christ as its object. This means that our faith is not saving us; our faith is trusting in Christ who is saving us. As a result, genuine faith will result in visible action. Real faith will produce Christlike works. -Pastor Dave
Open: Describe a time you believed you should do something, but didn’t and regretted it.
Read: James 2; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Matthew 15:7-8; Genesis 22; Joshua 2 1.
1. Describe the religious background of the Jews in the first century: How did their view of the law affect their newfound faith in Christ? How did (and still does) the pressure to conform cause us to be reluctant in our faith? Have you seen Christians who profess belief in Christ but don’t live like Christ?
2. If you read James 2:14-26, it would seem that James is contradicting Paul concerning faith and works. How are they actually complimenting each other? How are they fighting two different angles of faith? The Reformer, Martin Luther, said “Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is never alone.” Describe what this means.
3. James describes three different types of faith: dead, deficient, and demonstrated. What unique characteristics are found in each and what illustrations does James use to demonstrate how they are lived out? Is it true that the presence of good works doesn’t prove the presence of faith, but the absence of good works proves the absence of faith? Why or why not?
4. James equates faith that is mere head knowledge as demonic. In what ways have you noticed faith in the form of knowledge and not impact? Why is this dangerous for Christianity? Is knowledge important?
5. What are you doing right now that requires faith? What areas of your life require more action? Pray for the faith in you to produce the work of God through you.
Pray: Pray for the areas where your faith might be weak or reluctant and ask God to give you the strength to take action.
Memorize/Meditate: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? James 2:14