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Just For Fun: What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but fear has kept you from doing it?

Scripture: (James 2:14-26 )

James 2:14 reads “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”  This verse can be confusing. Is James really saying that we have to work to be saved?

No. Paul answers this plainly in Ephesians 2:8-9 where he writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

So, James isn’t saying that our works save us. He’s saying that the kind of  faith that saves us, works.

Let me give you an example. Have you ever heard of Charles Blondin? He was a tightrope walker that had faith that he could walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls. So, in September of 1860 he did just that. Over the years, Blondin made the trip across that tightrope over 300 times, and each time he tried to up the ante. Once he sat down halfway across and had a glass of wine. On another trip he stopped halfway and managed to cook and eat an omelet. On one trip he carried one man on his back, on another he carried two.

But one day, after walking across the tightrope backwards, he grabbed a wheelbarrow and pushed it back to the other side. Then he asked for a show of hands. “Who here believes I can safely push this wheelbarrow back across?” Everyone’s hand shot up. So, Blondin pointed to a man with his hand raised and said, “get in!” The man put his hand back down and disappeared into the crowd.

You see, James 2:14 is really just a reminder that real faith – the kind of faith that saves - gets in the wheelbarrow.

Questions:

  1. What wheelbarrow is God asking you to get in?
  2. Pastor tells us that true faith is not just sympathetic, it’s empathetic. What’s the difference? How does empathy help us put faith in action?
  3. What is the difference between belief and faith?
  4. James makes it clear that our faith is shown by our works. (James 2:18 ) But, how can our works increase our faith?

Optional Questions:

  1. James says even the demons believe.  The man asked to get in the wheelbarrow believed that Blondin could make it across.  Why is simple belief not enough?
  2. When you examine your own life, are you seeing the kind of faith that produces fruit?  Jesus says that a tree is identified by its fruit (Luke 6:44 ).

*Written by Scott Underwood

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