In this message on James 2:14-26, preached at our Reformation Celebration held at Eaglehawk PC on October 30th, 2016, Rev Dr Jared Hood explores the topic of the believer’s justification and whether it is by faith (as taught by Paul) or by works (as taught by James). Is there a conflict or do the two fit together? Or is something else the basis of our justification? And if so, where do works fit in?
There’s something wrong when the water is in the boat, or when the world is in the church. In this last message from ‘Sundays@Six’ for 2012, Rev Philip Burns highlights the real issue from James 4 and where the solution to it all lies.
When is wisdom not wisdom? When it’s the wrong kind of wisdom! Did you know that there is such a thing as heavenly and earthly wisdom? Can you tell them apart? James enables us to do just that…
In tackling these verses from James 3, Joel Thomas reminds us that what we say is a big deal. Words can hurt and destroy when they should encourage and uplift. And the problem is our all at the tip of our tongues! It’s not enough to just keep our tongues from ‘speaking evil’. They should also ‘do good’ to others and promote the gospel.
Faith is a concept that both unbelievers and believers can struggle with. This part of the book of James tackles the question of faith head on, showing that genuine faith will be seen and shown by deeds. No deeds will mean that there is no faith present or even that we have the faith of demons (whose belief in God leads them to do no more than quake in their boots!). So how do faith and deeds sit together? James points to the examples of Abraham and Rahab so that we might know!
Following on from James’ practical warnings about showing favouritism (2:1-7) comes this Scriptural foundation. While we may think that showing favouritism ‘hardly’ breaks God’s law, James reminds us that in God’s sight sin is sin and all sin deserves His judgement, yet (thankfully) that He also acts mercifully to those who show mercy. By these James challenges those who claim to love God and keep His law, if we would pass His test.
Favourites. Favouritism. One’s good and a normal part of life. The other’s dangerous and ungodly. Why is that? James tells us why and ultimately points to the answer which (not surprisingly) is found in our ‘glorious Lord Jesus Christ’.
Ears. Hands. Legs. feet. Mouths. They’re all in this practical and helpful part of the first chapter of James. These verses remind us that hearing must be followed by doing, otherwise we have not heard well and we are fooling no-one but ourselves if we do not ‘do’ what we hear.
Trials. Temptations. Is there a difference? Are the two connected? James writes of both of these in this important text. What do we learn from the presence of trials? What attitude is called for? What do we learn from the temptations we face? Where do they come from? What do we need to do in response to all this? Listen on…
Trials have a habit of making us think soberly about life and help us to see that we lack wisdom. God has a habit of generously giving wisdom to those who ask Him, but James reminds us that faith will be an essential pre-requisite. Wisdom will also be needed to live in this world where the rich seem to have status over the poor. James has something to say about that too.