Christianity 201

November 24, 2014

James 2 + Hebrews 11 =

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
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We’re continuing to raise awareness of the ministry of Andy Elmes who is better known in the UK, Australia and New Zealand than in North America. His organization is called Great Big Life and he hosts a weekday radio feature called Breakfast of Champions. You can also get the Breakfast devos by subscription (click the above link).

Faith works

James 2:14 (NKJV)

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

If we want to function in faith correctly we need to add to Hebrews 11 to the thoughts of the apostle James, above.

This actually makes a lot more sense when we read it from the NIV translation.

James 2:14-20 (NIV)

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless.

Faith is all about trusting God to create what is needed but, as the NIV says so well, faith should be accompanied by actions. We should always be found acting in accordance to what we say we believe. We need to be living it out. Walking the walk and not just talking the talk. When we say we believe in something the actions of our life should be in the direction of, or in harmony with, that said belief. If a man says he believes he will fall off of a cliff if he gets too close does he then jump around on the edge of it expecting nothing to happen? No, he would be a hypocrite, one who says he believes one thing then has unaccompanied actions.

When God gives us a promise for us to place our faith in, there is normally always instruction that accompanies it. When we walk in what God says to do we release what He promises will happen.

  • God said to Noah to build an ark and He would save his family. Noah then built the ark according to God’s instructions. Would his household have been saved if he had sat upon the promise without accompanying actions  (building the boat)?
  • Abraham was promised that the world would be blessed through his life when he left what he knew. Would anything have happened if he had waited in Haran for the promise to be delivered? No, it was his walking in what God had said that released what God had promised.

So Champion, get the promise for your situation and then act or live in accordance to what you say you believe. Add that accompanying action. A great closing example would be to look at one of the classic promises of divine provision which is, “Give and it will be given to you – pressed down, shaken together”.

1. You can wait for the ‘given back to you, pressed down’ bit and have a long wait.

2. You can live out the accompanying action – which is to give – and then you will release the potential of the promise – which is God giving back to you, pressed down, shaken together.

Add James 2 to Hebrews 11 and you will have a very exciting life!

Previously by Andy Elmes at C201, Miracles and Humility

Over the course of any given month here at C201 you’ll read devotions by people representing a wide range of Christian doctrines and theological streams. While it’s good to eventually be able to craft a personal systematic theology of what resonates with you as to the nature of God and the implications of that on a variety of issues, it’s also good to continue to read widely and understand what Christians in other places believed and what church leaders at other times taught.

Life Changing Power of the Holy SpiritOne issue that is often divisive is the person and work of The Holy Spirit. (Ironic, huh? Isn’t God’s Spirit supposed to unify us?) In the book The Life Changing Power of the Holy Spirit, author Leona Choy interviewed an amazing list of Christian leaders in the first part of the 20th Century on this subject. We have a (very) few copies left of this now out-of-print book that we’ll mail out to our Canadian C201 readers for a blog donation of $30 or more, including taxes. To order using a credit card, call Searchlight Books at 800 210 5661 between 10 AM and 5 PM EST.

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