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Power Point - July 18, 2005

July 18, 2005


What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed, and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

--James 2:14-17


There are some sports talk radio personalities in Dallas known as the hard-liners. These guys pride themselves in cutting to the chase, but they don’t have anything on James from the Bible. James was the blood-brother of Jesus who didn’t even believe in Christ until after His resurrection. He was definitely a hard-liner. In the Bible, James tells you how it is. He is the kind of man who would’ve said to you, “Don’t just talk about your faith—live it!”


Can you imagine anything more lifeless than dead, futile, worthless faith? You know, there are a lot of people that have a religion that’s dead. Fifty million Americans say they’re born again, yet most of them don’t live like they are. I believe the greatest fields for evangelism in the world are local churches where people who profess faith in Jesus, do not truly possess living faith in Him.


Understand that a person is saved by faith in Jesus Christ—period. Not through or by works or anything else—but by the mercy and grace of God. Scripture says, “God has saved us and called us with a holy calling; not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Jesus Christ before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9).


I think one of the most frightening passages in the Bible comes from Jesus at the close of his Sermon on the Mount. He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:21-23).


There are people working hard to get to heaven today. They confess the Lord with their mouths, do many wonderful things, and may even be generally good people, but their faith is dead. I’m not trying to confuse you, but I do want you to understand that your good works and doing the will of God are a direct result of your true faith in Christ. Ask God to show you His will for your life, so that your faith can come alive.



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