This blog will depart from my usual gentle, winsome tone. I’ve avoided using my posts as a bully pulpit, but I can no longer forbear. It’s time for a stern rebuke regarding our spiritual condition. Earth’s probation will soon screech to a halt when Jesus comes with his glorious retinue of angels, and I must testify that we are not ready.
In particular, one standard has been ignored, neglected, even despised among us. God will soon hold our shady lives up […]
You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.
Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? (James 2:25, NKJV). Read Joshua 2:1-21. How do we understand this example, again in the context of salvation by faith alone?
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According to Hebrews 11:31, the inhabitants of Jericho did not believe. Most modern translations describe them as being disobedient. The inhabitants of Jericho knew about Israel’s signal victories over the Midianites and the […]
One hot July afternoon at an Oklahoma Camp meeting, I visited a friend in her tent. Just outside sat my friend’s 13-year-old daughter with a friend she had just met. This was her friend’s first camp meeting. He had come with his grandfather who just became a Christian. He did not know what to think about all the meetings and asked my friend’s daughter, “What do you think about Jesus? What is He really all about?” My ears perked up, as I was quite interested […]
[Thought questions for Faith that Works November 4, 2014]
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1. Faith without works is dead.
James didn’t mince words, did he? Why did he speak so boldly, so plainly, about how faith is as useless as a dead body in the Christian faith? If the doctor-preacher in the story at the beginning of the lesson had survived, what would he need to do to recover from his terrible fall from God’s grace? Would he need […]
Read James 2:21-24 and compare it with Romans 4:1-5, Rom 4:22-24. How is the faith of Abraham described in these texts, and on what is justification based?
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Interestingly, both James and Paul quote Genesis 15:6, but they seem to arrive at opposite conclusions. According to James, Abraham was justified by works, but Paul seems, in Romans 4:2, to deny this possibility explicitly (compare vs. 24).
However, the immediate context of Romans 4 has to do […]
Key Thought : Faith and works cannot be separated. We can’t be saved by our works, but without them, our faith is useless.
[Lesson Plan for Faith That Works November 3, 2014]
1. Have a volunteer read James 2:18.
a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. How do we show our faith by our works? Can a person do good works and yet not have faith?
c. Personal Application: Is there a […]
If works are absent, there is only one other way to prove the genuineness of one’s faith: by orthodoxy. If I believe the right things, then I must have faith, right?
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Read 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Timothy 2:4; James 5:19-20; 1 Peter 1:22; and 1 John 3:18-19. What do these verses tell us about how important knowing truth is?
There is no question that an intellectual knowledge of truth has its place, a very important […]
Read James 2:18. What is the main point James is making? How do we show our faith by our works?
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James uses a common rhetorical technique whereby a potential objector comes forward. In this case, the objector tries to drive a wedge between faith and works by suggesting that as long as a person has one or the other, he or she is fine. But the whole point James is trying to make is […]
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? (James 2:14, NKJV). How do we understand this verse in the context of salvation by faith alone? Read James 2:15-17; compare Rom. 3:27-28.
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Faith without works. James gives a vivid illustration of this kind of phony faith (James 2:15-16). As we have already seen, obedience in the book of James is relational. So, how […]
Read for This Week’s Study: James 2:14-26; Rom. 3:27-28;Titus 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:2; Rom. 4:1-5; Josh. 2:1-21.
Memory Text: For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:26, NKJV).
He was a successful doctor and an elder in a high-profile church of several hundred members. He was a major giver to the church’s big projects, and his generosity encouraged others to be more sacrificial. The doctor was also a great preacher. […]
As the girls hurried on through the night, they passed three young men. They didn’t look up when the boys pointed fingers at them and made crude remarks, but kept walking as quickly as they could. Then they became aware that someone was following them. It must be one of the three boys, Rocio thought. The girls did not look back, but kept walking toward their destination. Rocio squeezed Mery’s hand and whispered a prayer, “Dear God, please […]