JAMES’ CHALLENGE AN AUTHENTIC FAITH WITH A TRUE RELIGION (NOT A WORTHLESS RELIGION) PROVES ONE’S FAITH IS AUTHENTICATED BY HOW ONE LIVES.
“By His own desire He made us His own sons through the Word of Truth, that we might be, so to speak, the first examples of his new creation. In view of what He has made us then, dear brothers, let every man be quick to listen but slow to use his tongue, and slow to lose his temper. For man’s temper is never the means of achieving God’s true goodness. Have done, then, with impurity and every other evil which touches the lives of others, and humbly accept the message that God has sown in your hearts, and which can save your souls.” James 1:18-21 (Phillips translation)
“Don’t, I beg you, only hear the message, but put it into practice; otherwise you are merely deceiving yourselves. The man who simply hears and does nothing about it is like a man catching the reflection of his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, it is true, but he goes on with whatever he was doing without the slightest recollection of what sort of person he saw in the mirror. But the man who looks into the perfect mirror of God’s law, the law of liberty, and makes a habit of doing so, is not the man who sees and forgets. He puts the law into practice and he wins true happiness.” James 1:22-25 (Phillips translation)
“If anyone appears to be “religious” but cannot control his tongue, he deceives himself and we may be sure that his religion is useless. Religion that is pure and genuine in the sight of God the Father will show itself by such things as visiting orphans and widows in their distress and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world. James 1:26-,27 (Phillips translation)
I. BACK TO BASICS! HOW DID YOUR FAITH BEGIN IN THE FIRST PLACE?
THIS IS A FACT! “KNOW THIS…” HEARING IS IMPORTANT! It’s how our faith began It’s how our faith continues “Know this, my beloved brethren: Let everyone be quick to hear…”
QUESTION: DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE A RELIGIOUS PERSON? “If a man thinks himself to be religious.…” James 1:26
PRINCIPLE: “REAL FAITH ON THE INSIDE WILL PROVE ITSELF BY ALSO BEING REAL FAITH ON THE OUTSIDE!” HEARING WILL TRANSLATE INTO DOING!
II. HOW TO LIVE WITH AUTHENTIC FAITH A.CONTINUE TO HEAR! KEEP HEARING! “BE QUICK TO HEAR…” James 1:19
3 HINDRANCES TO HEARING! 1.UNCONTROLLED TONGUE (“be slow to speak…”) 2.UNCONTROLLED EMOTIONS (“be slow to anger…”) 3.UNCLEAN LIFE (“put away all dirt that remains…”)
3 HELPS TO HEARING! 1.RIGHT PRIORITIES (quick to hear – slow to speak and anger) 2.RIGHT ATTITUDE (receive the word with humility) 3.RIGHT HEART (prepared to receive)
II. HOW TO LIVE WITH AUTHENTIC FAITH (cont.) B. ACT ON WHAT YOU HEAR! HEARING BY ITSELF IS NOT SUFFICIENT! “BUT PROVE YOURSELVES DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT MERELY HEARERS ONLY, DECEIVING YOUR OWN SELVES.” James 1:22
what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law of liberty and abides by it… shall be blessed.” James 1:23,24,25 THE MIRROR EXPOSES THE TRUTH ABOUT US THE MIRROR SHOULD MOTIVATE US TO ACT ON THE TRUTH “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten
1. WORTHLESS RELIGION HEARS BUT DOES NOTHING ABOUT WHAT IS HEARD 2. PURE AND REAL RELIGION HEARS AND ACTS ON WHAT IS HEARD
WHAT DOES AUTHENTIC FAITH LOOK LIKE? 1. AUTHENTIC FAITH IS DEMONONSTRATED IN A PERSON WHO HAS A TAMED TONGUE “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26
WHAT DOES AUTHENTIC FAITH LOOK LIKE? 2.AUTHENTIC FAITH IS DEMONSTRATED IN A PERSON WHO HAS A TENDER HEART! “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit the orphans and widows…” James 1:27a
QUESTIONS TO ASK MYSELF 1.DO I HAVE A HEARING PROBLEM AND/OR A DOING PROBLEM REGARDING MY FAITH? 2.WHAT ACTIONS CAN I POINT TO THAT VALIDATE MY FAITH? 3.DO THE WAYS OF THE WORLD DIMINISH MY FAITH? 4.WHO ARE THE WIDOWS AND ORPHANS IN MY LIFE I SHOULD CARE ABOUT? 5.DO I HAVE AUTHENTIC FAITH OR AM I DECEIVING MYSELF?