RSS

Tag Archives: dead

Tidbits from the Book of James – Part 5

Image result for images for faith and works

Today’s tidbit is concerning faith and works. Works have absolutely nothing to do with our Salvation, other than as fruit of our Salvation; works will not get us to Heaven. But, once we are saved, we ought to want to work for Christ, and our works are evidence of our faith in Jesus unto Salvation. Our works are our fruits of our Salvation. So faith without works is dead. All born-again saints will stand before Jesus and have our works (after Salvation) tested by the fire. Those works born out of wrong motivation and not glorifying Christ will be burned up. Those works done for the sake of Christ and the Gospel will come out of the fire and we will receive our crowns for them. I look forward to laying those crowns at the feet of Jesus in gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice He paid for me so that I can live eternally with Him as my Lord and King.

James 2:14-26

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (This is a great example of when a brother or sister says to us that they have a need and we respond with, “I will pray for you.” That is all good and well. We are to pray for our brethren. But what about actually using some of the increase that God has blessed us with to put our prayers into action and help them by supplying their need, as the Holy Spirit leads. God blesses us and provides well for us in order for us to help those less fortunate, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.)

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

Those are wrong who put a mere notional belief of the gospel for the whole of evangelical religion, as many now do. No doubt, true faith alone, whereby men have part in Christ’s righteousness, atonement, and grace, saves their souls; but it produces holy fruits, and is shown to be real by its effect on their works; while mere assent to any form of doctrine, or mere historical belief of any facts, wholly differs from this saving faith.

A bare profession may gain the good opinion of pious people; and it may procure, in some cases, worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to lose their souls? Can this faith save him? All things should be accounted profitable or unprofitable to us, as they tend to forward or hinder the salvation of our souls. This place of Scripture plainly shows that an opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith. There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes.

Men may boast to others, and be conceited of that which they really have not. There is not only to be assent in faith, but consent; not only an assent to the truth of the word, but a consent to take Christ. True believing is not an act of the understanding only, but a work of the whole heart.

That a justifying faith cannot be without works, is shown from two examples, Abraham and Rahab. Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Faith, producing such works, advanced him to peculiar favours. We see then, in verse 24 , how that by works a man is justified, not by a bare opinion or profession, or believing without obeying; but by having such faith as produces good works. And to have to deny his own reason, affections, and interests, is an action fit to try a believer.

Observe here, the wonderful power of faith in changing sinners. Rahab’s conduct proved her faith to be living, or having power; it showed that she believed with her heart, not merely by an assent of the understanding. Let us then take heed, for the best works, without faith, are dead; they want root and principle. By faith any thing we do is really good; as done in obedience to God, and aiming at his acceptance: the root is as though it were dead, when there is no fruit.

Faith is the root, good works are the fruits; and we must see to it that we have both. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it. There is no middle state. Every one must either live God’s friend, or God’s enemy. Living to God, as it is the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to do nothing against him, but every thing for him and to him.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 21, 2018 in God's Truth

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 2

While on the cross, Jesus shed His blood to:

1. Satisfy the wrath and judgment of God against us for our sins – Romans 3:25 “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” 1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Romans 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

2. Cleanse us from all of our sins, past, present, and future – Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Acts 13:38 “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” 2 Corinthians 1:10 “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;”

3. Justify us before God – Romans 3:24-25 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

4. Make atonement for our souls – Romans 5:11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

5. Purge our conscience from dead works – Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Many people have their consciences dangerously salved by dead works. These works are called “dead” because they cannot give life. Many think the more they do, the better chance they will have to earn eternal life. This is a deception.

The problem with our efforts is the way God sees them. Isaiah the prophet said, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) David said, “Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.” (Psalms 39:5)

Paul said in Romans 3:10-20: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Dead works could include: Baptism, Communion, Sacraments, mission work, charity, giving money or time, learning a catechism, saying prayers, attending church, being in a ministry, reading the Bible, lent, fasting, etc. If these dead works could save us, why did Jesus have to die on the Cross? Why did His blood have to be shed? The blood of Jesus Christ purges our consciences from dead works. It makes us realize how silly it is to trust in ourselves, and what we can do, rather than trusting in Christ and what He has done.

Illustration: If you committed 10,000 crimes, and you had to stand before a judge, would you tell him how good you are? So, if a person sins just 3 times a day (over 1000 times a year), and is 40 years old, that is over 40,000 sins (crimes against God’s law) – 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

No amount of “good” works can erase one sin. That is why what we call “good” works, God calls “dead” works and He expects us to repent of them. Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” The foundation is the first thing built. The first thing to having a relationship with God, is to repent of the dead works you are trusting in.

This Salvation is entirely and wholly a work of God’s grace–without any works of man. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” God’s grace (undeserved and unmerited favor) draws us to Himself (John 6:44), gives us repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), and faith to believe (Romans 10:8-17).

The agent by which this is done is the person of the Holy Ghost – John 16:7-11 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

No works, however good, can make Salvation more secure. Consider this truth in the following verses:

Romans 4:2-5 “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Romans 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,”

2 Timothy 1:9-10 “Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

It is a free gift, not a reward! Romans 5:15 “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”

Romans 5:16, 18 “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification…Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 17, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jesus Cares for Widows

Ronald Rae Widow Woman 1992. Ragley Hall

Ronald Rae Widow Woman 1992. Ragley Hall (Photo credit: amandabhslater)

 

Jesus raises a widow‘s son from the dead”

Luke 7:11-17 “11. And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him,and much people. 12. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.  14. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about.”

As we see in the passage, there was “much people” with this widow, making much ado, grieving the death of her son. Though it is human to grieve for those who pass, I should think it would have been more of a solace to the widow if someone had stepped up and offered to take her in or give her aid. Instead, the crowd of mourners would go home, having accomplished their all-important ritual, and she would be left destitute and alone.

Back in those days there was no such thing as Medicare or Social Security. Women, especially elderly, were dependent upon their husbands and their sons to take care of them. Not only did Jesus care that this woman was in pain over her loss, I believe that He felt her pain. He also knew that her situation was dire, and that it required drastic measures. She had lost her husband, and now her last avenue of support through her only son. She was most probably past the age of childbearing and would never marry again. I would guess that the widow found Jesus’ words, “Weep not,” much more consoling than the raucous commotion that the crowd was causing. He knew that He was her only hope, and “he had compassion” on her and immediately brought her son back to life.

The Jews had many traditions they were bound to and their display at funerals was an important one to them. The family of the dead person followed the body as it made its way through town.  There were hired mourners who cried out drawing bystanders to the procession as well. The family then continued their mourning for 30 days. One thing the scribes and pharisees hated about Jesus’ ministry was that he chastised them for their many traditions and laws that were too hard on the people. Instead of seeking to know God and have a relationship with Him, they made stringent rules that only burdened the people. Jesus taught that those rules and traditions will not secure our home in eternity. He is the only Way.

Jesus also never missed an opportunity to glorify His heavenly Father. He used this event to illustrate salvation to a world that is lost in sin, just as the widow’s son was dead. We, like the dead, can do nothing to help ourselves. But God had compassion on us, while we were yet sinners, and sent His only Son to raise us to newness of life in Him. As the woman’s son could not earn a second chance at life, so we cannot earn our new life in Christ. We can, however, accept God’s gift of eternal life, praise Him for it, and live our lives to do His will.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: