James- Day 21

Devotions for Monday, September 26, 2011

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

This week’s verses are some of the most disputed verses in the Bible.  We have to look at them carefully, and in context so that we don’t read some things into these verses that aren’t there.  Think about the following:
1. James has already said that salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.  (Check out James 1:17-18).
2. James says in verse 14 “though a man say he hath faith”- so the faith that is being discussed is not faith that is authentic.
James is contrasting authentic faith verses a claim to faith that is dead.
In today’s reading, James is saying that if the faith that we claim is not leading us to do something then the faith that we claim is not authentic God honoring faith at all.  He uses the example of saying to someone, “Be warmed and filled” as a way to deal with their hunger and nakedness.  Is this profitable?  Does it help the problem?  Of course not!  In the same way, a faith that is just a claim, or a faith that is just words and not action is not faith at all.  That’s why James goes on to call this so-called faith, dead faith.  It isn’t faith at all.
Is your faith leading you to actions today?  What a great test of authenticity!  How can you express your faith with your hands and feet today?

12 thoughts on “James- Day 21

  1. Mafalda Delienne

    This passage is saying that if you do have faith but no works then can that like save you?? and if like my people are naked and they don’t have the food they need and like you say oh go male yourself warm or something but you do t give them what they need for there body’s, so it’s saying if faith doesn’t work or something then it’s dead frOm being alone without you there is no faith 🙂

    1. Mafalda Delienne

      Sorry my people is refered to gods people and make* yourself warm that’s a typo sorry and another typo is don’t* sorry guys hehe.

  2. Tristian Lechien

    I love reading this passage. I think I read it with zac at bible clubs! 🙂 but James is right salvation is a gift! If u confess with ur tongue and believe what u said tht god is the almighty and u would have a spot saved in heaven just for u and everyone else tht puts their faith in Jesus Christ!!!!!! It’s so amazing to c people get baptized and even just coming to our church for the first time!!!!!!! 😀 I love seeing people come to know Christ! It’s incredible!!!!!!!!! 😀 my faith in Jesus always pushes me to do something! Tht something is talking to my brother Ezra every once in a while about coming with me. But I don’t say Ezra u have to go to church! But I just say hey Ezra would u like to go to church with me? Not cuz mom and dad would make u. But cuz I would like u to! 🙂 then he thinks about it! Thts a good place to start! Love u guys always !!! And hope ur day is great! 🙂 ❤

  3. I love telling other people the gospel! I think its so cool 2 see people get saved and come 2 know Christ.When we confess w/ our mouth Jesus is lord and believe in our hearts God raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved!! 🙂

  4. ryan via

    Doing good things doesnt get you saved, accepting Jesus into your heart does. Doing good works for God and for others is a way to demonstrate your faith and show people that God has made a change in you.

  5. I think this passage is basically saying we can say and do all the “good works” we want, but if we do it with dead faith then it’s not true faith in God at all! Sometimes i get caught up in the busy-ness of my life and forget that everything I do should be to the glory & honor of God, and not for myself! Cause if we do the good works but not have God in mind, then whats the point? Like the example James gave us, the naked & hungry people won’t be cured by warmness and fullness. They need something more real and helpful to their situation, not just words! They need real, good actions that show their faith in God. I hope my faith is leading me to good actions. I have faith in God that everyday He is helping me thru my day & being the best christian girl i can be. I know He won’t ever leave my side, and i know in my heart that no matter the things that go on in my life, God’s there with me! I think my faith helps lead me to being a Godly young women and I hope i can do more for God thru it 🙂

  6. i know that i LOVE it when other people meet Jesus!! I say that cause i know that when i die,i will see those people in heaven! And that i can rejoice w/ them! I know everybody wishes that everyone knew Jesus,but sadly its not true. 😦 But i know we can take that first step and start telling others about him! Theres plenty of places 2 do that! school,stores,library,etc. Everyday we should try spreading the gospel and do that as if Jesus were coming!! 🙂 So, take that first step and start telling other people about him!! I know we could all do that!! 🙂 Luv u guys ❤

  7. I totally agree with what Ryan said! “Doing good works for God and for others is a way to demonstrate your faith and show people that God has made a change in you.” That is good stuff right there! James said that our faith should be driving us to do good works, and if it’s not, then our faith is dead. Are we doing good works to get the approval of other adults, Pastor Ben, peers, or even God? Or are we doing good worlds not to earn approval, but because our faith in God says! That he is with you always, trust HIM, He’s your guiding light through this world of darkness. Doing good works unto God and for others shouldn’t be somerhing we do to get extra credit on out “Spiritual Grade” from God, it should be something faith driven because we want to produce action because He’s put such a passion in us to want to display Him to others. As Pastor Ben said on Wednesday, whether we like I or not, believe it, people are watching us, and taking mental notes on how we act everyday. We’re displaying Christs name as we call ourselves Christians, an they want to see why Jesus is so talked about, why He’s “so” special. Our actions NEED to match up with our faith! And if our faith isn’t driving us to produce Godly actions, then like James wrote, our faith is dead, no good.
    We have the opportunity to display Christ everyday, and we can either chose to display Christ for who He actually is with our authentic fairh, or chose to have our own dead faith and display Him in a way Christ isn’t about at all! This is such a good reminder, and something we all should care about! Like Lindsey said, prayer everyday is crucial when it comes to this. I always pray that the words and the actions I display would honor and glorify Him, right before I teach a lesson on Sunday mornings. I think that’s something we should be praying everyday! Good ole James has great advice doesn’t he? 🙂 Thankful for the bible!

  8. Alexis Catapane

    These verses are great! 🙂 And a good test of authentic faith! Like James is saying, if someone needs food and you just say “okay, I’ll give you food.” or something like that, it means nothing unless you actually get them the food! If we say we have faith in God, it means nothing until we show it with our actions! I notice some times where my faith leads to actions, but also times when I that didn’t happen! I know with God’s help, I’ll get better at putting my faith into actions! 🙂

  9. I’m so proud of all you guys who commented today. You guys have been really faithful to this idea of doing our devotions together. We’re going to do some things in the near future to encourage more involvement in it with others in H2O. If you have any ideas that would help with that, I’d love to hear them. Shoot me an email ( ben.jennings@sonshinebaptist.com ) or comment on here with your ideas.

    I pray for you guys!

  10. Ben Catapane

    We can express our faith in many ways: we can help other Poeple. We can Sit with the people who get made fun of and alot of other things.

    Most of the time I see that my faith isn’t leading me, but I just have to pray about it, and practice it.

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