26th July 2017

James: Week 6 (Wednesday, July 26 2017)

(from www.insightforliving.org.uk)

 

James 2: 14-26

 

LET’S BEGIN HERE

Someone once said that faith is like calories: you can’t see them, but you always notice their results. That is the major theme resonating through James’ letter — results! Faith produces works. And nowhere is that theme more passionately argued than in James 2:14 – 26. Let’s take a closer look.

 

Getting Started: Faith Takes Action

Take a few minutes to read through all of chapters 1 and 2 of James to ensure continuity in your mind as you begin. Remember: At times it’s helpful to read the same passage in multiple versions for comparison. Paying particular attention to James 2:14 – 26, make some initial observations about what you see — for

instance, are there any repeated words? Did James use any

connecting words that offer clues into what he was emphasizing? Take some time to make notes on a separate sheet of paper about what you discover.

 

Your Turn in the Scriptures

James began this section of his letter with a couple of questions: What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? (James 2:14, emphasis added) In typical form, James headed straight to the point by forthrightly demanding that his readers examine the vitality of their faith. Read through James 2:15 – 20. As you do, pay close attention to the progression of James’ argument. Scroll through the passage verse by verse. What did James list as strong indicators of an active faith?

Verses 15 – 16

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Verse 17

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Verse 18

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Verse 19

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Correlation is the Bible-study technique that draws upon related Scriptures to discover insight and depth into the meaning of the passage you’re studying.

Read the following New Testament passages. For each one, make some notes on how each correlates with what is being taught in James 2:14 – 26.

Luke 10:25 – 37

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1 John 3:17 – 18

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One very effective means for strengthening a biblical point in preaching and teaching is to offer examples of people who’ve actually lived out the principle in life. It answers an inevitable question:

What does that look like?

James answered that question by highlighting two contrasting individuals in Old Testament history: Abraham, the father of faith, and Rahab, the prostitute from Jericho. James recounted specific examples of

faith in action from Abraham’s and Rahab’s lives. Take a few minutes to read James 2:21 – 25 and answer the following questions.

What two events in Abraham’s life did James highlight as examples of faith in action?

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In what ways are the two events alike? How are they different?

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According to James, how did Rahab demonstrate an active faith?

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Why do you think James used these two individuals to illustrate his point? Be as specific as possible in your response.

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How would you use these two stories and this passage from James 2 to encourage someone struggling to believe that God could actually use his or her faith to accomplish something significant? What would you say?

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Read through the sample e-mail below. Imagine you just received this note from a struggling friend. Based on what you’ve discovered from James 2:14 – 26, write out a brief but encouraging response.

To: you@faiththatworks.org

From: judy@canGodreallyuseme.com

Subject: Need some help

Hey, you! I really want to make my life useful to the Lord. But with my past and my lack of biblical knowledge, I really don’t think He can use me. Do you have any thoughts?

Reply:

To: judy@canGodreallyuseme.com

From: you@faiththatworks.org

Subject: re: Need some help

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A FINAL PRAYER

Lord, I’m sorry my faith has seemed lifeless. Thank you for this powerful reminder that my faith without action is dead. Stir in me a willingness to live out all that I believe, and use me by Your Spirit to bring glory to Your name. Through Christ, I pray, amen.


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