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.
Sermon Questions: A Working Faith
1. In what ways are you tempted to cover your inaction toward others? Does ‘thoughts and prayers’ / ‘God will take care of your problems for you’ / ‘figure it out for yourself’ describe your justifications?
2. If someone examined your actions what would they say you believed?
3. What actions in your life DO reveal what God is doing in your heart?
4. Security is a big deal in a time of uncertainty such as this – what promises of God help you know and feel you are secure? What else are you holding on to for security that believing that promise might be calling you to give up for others?
5. What do you feel like everyone expects of you? i.e. your behavior, your responses, your lifestyle? What are you doing just to conform?
6. What does God expect of you and does that set you free from the expectations of others? Why or why not?