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Craig A. Brittingham, Pastor
Hillside Baptist Church
July 12, 2020

“Faith Without Works Is Dead” (part 2) James 2:14-26
Message outline:
1A. Genuine Saving Faith Is Demonstrated by Good Works (18).
1b. This is what James teaches us in verse 18 by allowing us to listen in on an imaginary conversation.
2b. James is not saying that a person is saved by works, rather that a person cannot be saved by a faith that does not lead to the doing of good works.

2A. A Mere Confession of Faith Does Not Save (19).
1b. A faith that is dead is still faith.
2b. To this imaginary person, certainly an opponent of James, he says, “You believe there is one God.”
1c. James commends this person’s monotheism which is the belief in one God.
2c. Actually, he says “You believe that God is one”
3b. James is writing to Jewish believers who were very familiar with what is referred to as the Shema (Deu.6:4).
1c. This is a confession of faith, but mere mental assent to a doctrinal statement does not save.
2c. Even the demons believe this!

3A. Faith Without Works is Dead (20).
1b. The faith statement which is the central feature of the Shema is followed by a statement of how one who believes it should live.
2b. What accompanies genuine faith in the LORD is a love for Him which is demonstrated by obedience to His commands.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).

Discussion questions:

1. Can faith be demonstrated without works? Please explain your answer.
2. Can good works save? (see Titus 3:4-5)
3. Can a belief that good works cannot save, save? In other words, does belief in what Ephesians 2:8-9 says save?
4. Why would verse 19 have had particular relevance to the original recipients of this epistle?
5. Is dead faith, faith? Explain you answer.
6. What kind of faith is dead?
7. “God is one” was a great statement of faith for God’s people Israel in the Old Testament given the many gods which were worshipped by the nations surrounding them. The demons believe this statement, and tremble. Why do you suppose James added, “and tremble!”
8. What else do demons believe? Why aren’t they saved?
9. Do elect angels have interest in salvation? See 1Peter 1:10-12.