Today’s Passages – James 2 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)(Second Milers also read – Psalms 106 – 110; Proverbs 22) Read the “1222 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James 2:14)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)
Good morning. Is your faith dead? We are saved by grace through faith and not works. There is nothing we can do to work or earn a place in heaven. It is only through what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus got our sins, and we got His righteousness. And the righteousness of Jesus is a working righteousness. You can believe, have faith, but faith without works is dead. Is your faith dead? James gives us several examples.
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)
The devils have faith: they believe in the one true God, and they tremble because their faith is dead. They know their final destination is the lake of fire.
“Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:21-23)
“And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Genesis 21:12)
God made this promise to Abraham about Isaac, and Abraham believed God. God also told Abraham…
“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” (Genesis 22:2-5)
Abraham obeyed God and went. But look what he told his servants that went with him: both he and Isaac would go and worship, and both he and Isaac would come again to the servants. And Abraham obeyed until God stopped him from doing the sacrifice of Isaac. Abraham knew God, and believed God when He said in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
“And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:15-18)
Abraham’s faith in God manifested itself in obedience to God: works. And what about Rahab the harlot?
“Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?” (James 2:25)
“And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.” (Joshua 2:9-14)
Rahab put her trust in God, and believed that God’s people, the spys would keep their word. Her faith generated a work to save her family and the spys. Faith without works is dead. Is your faith dead, or is it generating a good work that God has ordained for you to walk in?
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