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  • Becky Carriker


Saving Faith Is A Visible Lived Out Faith

James 2:14–26 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Rom. 3:20a “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his [God’s] sight”. 

Rom. 3:28 “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law”.  

Gal. 2:16 “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Jesus Christ, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified”. 

James 2:14 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”. 

James 2:21 “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?”.  

James 2:24 “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone”. 

Paul and James are not arguing against each other. 

A legalist is a person who believes that being accepted by God, being right with God, is dependent on doing good works of religious obedience. That Good works save us. 

Gal. 2:16 “by works of the law no one will be justified”. 

To be “justified” means that God has declared you to be forgiven of your sins and acceptable in his sight because through your faith he has credited or imputed to you the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 

Philippians 3:9 I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 

The word “antinomian” comes from two words that mean “against the law.’ 

Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!. How can we who died to sin still live in it?”. 

Paul and James are not fighting each other. 

Paul and James are on the same side. 

The faith that alone justifies is not a faith that is alone. It is a faith that obeys. 

Some so-called experiences of “faith” are nothing more than intellectual assent, where you agree in your mind with the truth of some claim or some event. 

Other experiences that people call “faith” are nothing more than emotionally charged reactions to a moment of religious excitement. 

And the only ultimate test for whether or not this experience of yours is true faith, is whether or not it produces a life of obedience and love for holiness.

James 2:14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 

“James isn’t saying that you need works as the cause of your justification. He is saying that you need works as the consequence of your justification.”

The way we can know that you have authentically trusted in, relied upon, and put your hope in Jesus is whether or not this so-called “faith” continually transforms how you live. 

Genesis 15:6 Abraham is described as having believed God, the result of which “it was counted to him as righteousness.” 

30 years later Abraham was justified by works when he offered up Isaac on the altar. 

Hebrews 11:19a “He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead…”

Faith alone is the condition of salvation but works are the consequence of it. 

Faith is the root and works are the fruit. 

We aren’t saved by works but we are saved for works. 

James 2:13 “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment”. 

Matt. 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy”.

The person who has been the object of God’s saving mercy and grace and forgiveness will invariably show mercy, grace, and extend forgiveness to others. 

Gal. 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love”. 

Saving faith is the kind of faith that is of such a nature that it produces love. 

Gal. 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another”. 

Eph. 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. 

Good works are not the cause or the ground of our salvation but its purpose and goal. 

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