5/3 The Feet of Jesus James 2: 14-26
This week we again visited the Book of James. We know that James is the half-brother of Jesus. James’ ministry hadn’t really started until after the death of Jesus. We heard Sunday from Pastor George that James was the pastor of the first church in Jerusalem. During that time there was extraordinary persecutions going on. Much hardship for the people, lacking food, and material things. James in his writings wrote of what being a true Christian means, what it looks like, and how we are to live out our faith! Sunday’s sermon message asked if we’ve taken our faith the twelve inches from being an intellectual ascent, to the heart? Even the devil knows of God. What makes us different than him? Are we living what we claim to believe? As Pastor George talked about during Children’s Time, “Talk the Talk & Walk the Walk”, are we?
Our RNM video that we viewed this week was from David Platt titled Faith Works, Living What We Claim to Believe, he said that faith in our hearts is evident in the fruit of our lives. Within the message from David Platt we learned that our acts of mercy are necessary evidences and natural overflow of salvation. To ignore the need, is to ignore Jesus. He said this not to put guilt upon us, but to arouse faith within us. Faith creates works, sacrificial works. The more that our faith matures, says David, obeying God brings honor to Him. To disobey is our lack of trust, our lack of faith.
Remember during Sunday’s service Pastor George gave us a visual of our sins being nailed to the cross. The lies, even half-truths, when we ask for forgiveness is nailing it to the cross; anger, when we blow it, ask forgiveness is nailing it to the cross, pride, when we want the glory to bring us honor instead of God, nail it to the cross. The more our faith matures, we want to obey God, bring Him honor and declare it, we are then righteous before God. We trust in Him. We are obedient unto Him. David Platt says that Faith produces radical action, radical trust, radical obedience for the spread of the Gospel.
Sunday’s scripture in the book of James Chapter 2 beginning in verse 14 says -…”faith in action as it relates to caring for the poor.” And ending in verse 26…”faith without works is dead faith”. Faith works. We walk with God as a friend of God. A radical obedience before God. David Platt said that “faith creates works and works on the Day of Judgement will be evidence faith was real.” How do you live out your faith?
David also reiterated that our Salvation is by faith – faith in Christ. We have no other work to do for our salvation. He in his series Faith Works, shared The Confirmation of the Christian’s Life. Christ is the basis of our justification. Sin stained us. He, Jesus, is the Righteous One. He lived the righteous life that we cannot live. Faith is the means of our justification. Turning from self, submission to and trusting in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Works are the evidence of our justification. Fueled by faith not by flesh. All three of these realities are only possible by the Grace of God. Living grace, grace at work in our lives.
“Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling”. Sunday’s song The Old Rugged Cross, I am Free, claims that in song. It’s in the cross that we’ve been redeemed. We remember His sacrifice for us, us the needy, in need of a Savior. It’s this same sacrificial love, sacrificial care that we need to live out to the needy around us. We are to see through the eyes of Christ, be devoted to the law of Christ to love your neighbor as yourself. David Platt shared The Manifestation of True and Acceptable Religion... Faith always expresses itself through love.
Pastor George gave us an acronym to remember that the Feet of Faith reveal:
F - I am FORGIVEN by grace through faith, faith necessitates works
E – I am ENERGIZED to thank God through my actions, Romans 5: 1-5, suffering produces endurance which produces character, character claims this Hope
E – I am EQUIPPED to do good for God and his people. In Ephesians 2:10, to respond and do something with our faith.
T – I am working TOGETHER with Christ to live out my faith. Hebrews 11:16, Jesus nudges us.
Pastor George encourages us to be known by your feet!
Larry & Darlene