Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dead or Alive

Not only did Isobel Lin do a great job on her talk at Equip, Carmelina Read did an equally great job on James 2:14-26
She started by saying "It is possible to have a faith which is dead", Carmelina said "the gospel is something we do, that if you have a faith that doesn't change your life it is nothing, it is DEAD".
She was not denying salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ but she was saying that if you can't see this in how we live our lives then do we really have faith. I know my response to God's grace wasn't just to say thanks very much, then sit back and not change how I live, God gives us a heart that desires to live and serve him. We don't choose to do this God enables us to.
Carmelina said "faith which is just words is useless".
I can say until I am blue in the faith 'I believe' or I can say 'I really really really want to be an olympic ski jumper, I really do honestly!' but then if I don't go skiing or practice my ski jumping then is that what I really really want to do?? You wouldn't believe me.
We can tell the lady next door we would really like to have her over for dinner, everytime we see her we might tell her that - but then we never invite her over for dinner! As James 2:15-16 says "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed." but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?" Even Satan and the demons have faith in God James 2:19 says "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder"
Look at Abraham and Rahab they didn't have an empty faith, they both trusted and believed in God, and acted out that faith by their actions. Abraham who was prepared to offer his son Issac as a sacrifice and Rahab who protected the spies and helped them escape death from the King of Jericho. They were both considered righteous not just for having faith but for what they did. James 2:22 "You see that his faith and his action were working together and his faith was made complete by what he did"

The challenge for all of us is 'Does my faith change my life - Is it alive?'

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