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Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

www.thischristianjourney.com


How To Use This Outline

Practical Christianity

Cruising Christians

James 2.14-26

Part 1

Part 2


[Christianity is meant to be a matter of the heart, not an issue of the mind.  The presence of Christ in your life will result in changes that will occur at the very core of your being.  Those foundational changes will reveal themselves through your life.  They will be the type of changes that you will not be able to resist or restrain because they will pour from the essence of who you are.] 

[It seems that there are a great number of professing Christians who are just trying to cruise through life.  The live like the world, sound like the world, look like the world, and act like the world.  As a matter of fact there are many in our world who know them and unless someone tells them they just never would have known that that person was a Christian at all.  Of course, this is the way the world likes it.  The devil and our world loves these kinds of Christians.  But this is not how our Christian lives ought to be at all.] 

[Jesus said,] 

[Matthew 5:13-16 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. ]

[As salt we should penetrate, preserve, and purify our world.  As light we should illuminate our world revealing the dangers and providing a haven of hope and harbor of safety.  James has another way of letting us know that we should undeniably be impacting our world in noticeable ways.  James says, “Faith without works is dead.” 

[So just what is James saying about faith and works?] 

[Let us first be clear about what James is not saying.  James is not saying that we earn our salvation through our works.  Clearly works cannot save us.  The Bible says,] 

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

[We are saved by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.  But once we are saved and have received the Holy Spirit of God, then the presence of God in us should begin working its way back out of us.  Therefore, we do the things we do, and live the life we live because we are saved, not so that we can be saved.  You cannot have the God of the universe living inside of you and just be like you always were before.  God is going to have an impact on your life if He is really in you.] 

A.     Understanding Biblical Faith (vs 14; Rom 4.20-21; 10.17; Deut 29.29) [– What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? -] There are different types of Faith, 

1.      Cultural Faith - The Philosophy of mankind.  [What seems right.] 

2.      Common Faith - Trusting in our daily affairs.  [That your paycheck will arrive, that the pilot knows how to fly and land the plane, that the engineers properly designed the building, etc . . .] 

3.      Cozy Faith - That which makes you feel okay. 

4.      Christian Faith (Rom 4.20-21)- That faith that is described in the Bible. 

[Scriptural Faith, God's Faith  - Taking God at His Word.  Abraham is our best example of scriptural faith, Paul wrote.] 

[Romans 4:20-21 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.]

Faith is hearing from God,
Believing what God has said,
And Acting on what you hear and believe.
 

[Since one must first hear a Word from God before they can develop biblical faith the Bible states,] 

[Romans 10:17 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.]

[One cannot develop any belief in God until God first reveals Himself to him.  God authoritatively reveals Himself to us through the special revelation of he Word of God.  Through general revelation, or the things that can be known about God in our physical world, we can know and believe that there is a God, but we cannot know anything about God and His purposes until He specifically reveals them to us.  This is best understood under the light of,] 

[Deuteronomy 29:29 29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.]

[Hence, when someone tells me that they are living by faith my first thought is, “What is faith to them?”  I believe that to the vast majority of people in our lives faith is not what the Bible defines as biblical faith.  Faith is more worldly and obscure in their minds.  Faith to most in our world is synonymous with belief and is understood as their ability to believe something.  Many might say, “Faith is believing in something you cannot see.”  This is philosophical faith.  This is NOT biblical faith.  It is not what God means when He uses the word faith in the Bible.  For Christians faith can only rest first and foremost upon the Word of God. 

B.     Underestimating God In Faith  - There are two types of Church people, 

1.      The Confessors – Confessors are marked by Conversion or a Change.  [The presence of God within a person has an undeniable impact upon ones character.]  These people have, 

a.       A New Relationship (Gal 4.5-7; John 1.12) [These have been adopted into the family of God, they have been born again.  An undeniable change has taken place that will forever mark their lives.] 

Galatians 4:5-7 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

John 1:12 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

b.      A New Reasoning (Rom 12.1-2) – These no longer think the way they used to think and the way lost wordly people think.  The have been transformed by the renewing of their minds. 

[Romans 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.]

c.       A New Report (Matt 5.14) [– The illumination of the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God has given them a new reality to proclaim.  They are living witnesses of the reality and work of Almighty God.  They have become the light of the world, bringing the light of Jesus Christ into our world’s darkness.] 

[Matthew 5:14 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.]

d.      A New Role (2 Cor 5.20) [- These have become God's ambassador's to a lost and wayward world.  God says of them,] 

[2 Corinthians 5:20 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. ]

2.      The Professors (vs 14,16,18) [- . . . though a man say . . . -  This is Confession or spoken faith.  These have a lot to say about God but nothing in their lives evidences a real presence of God.  James is clearly addressing a religion that is full of works but lacking in action.  These have but a spoken faith, they say they have faith, but nothing confirms their profession of faith.]  Spoken Faith has, 

a.       No Compassion (vs 15-16) [- 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? – What good is it to say to someone, “I hope your needs will be met.”  If nothing is done to help them then our words are empty and vain.] 

b.      No Communion (vs 19; Luke 4.40-41; Mark 1.23-24) [- Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. – Many have assumed that if they just say “I believe that Jesus is God” that they are okay.  So what is James saying in this verse? What about devils or demons? 

1)   [Devils believe Jesus is the Son of God (Luke 4.40-41)] 

[Luke 4:40-41 40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. ]

(2)   [Devils believe Jesus is the Christ (Luke 4.41).] 

[Luke 4:41 41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. ]

(3)    [Devils believe Jesus is the Holy One, God the Son (Mark 1.23-24).] 

[Mark 1:23-24 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. ]

(4)   [Devils are in rebellion toward God and have not fellowship or oneness with God.  Devils are separated from God.

[A mere profession or the knowledge of God or God’s Word is not enough to convert and save a person.  There must be a confession and the reception of Jesus Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior.] 

c.       No Conversion (vs 20) [- But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?]  

(1)   [Illustration:  Larry Flint, the publisher of Hustler once professed to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.  He appeared on a national Christian broadcasting network and in front of the cameras, America, and God he proclaimed himself born again.  However, the weeks following his appearance revealed the truth about his religious experience.  He continued to publish his pornographic magazines and then one day stood in front of the cameras for a news network and confessed that it was all an advertising ploy and that he had never held to the pretenses of Christianity.] 

(2)   [Abraham Lincoln once asked a young boy, "If a dog has four legs and a tail, and you call the tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?"  The boy replied, "Five."  Abraham Lincoln responded, "Wrong, it doesn't matter what you call the tail, a dog only has four legs."] 

[If you claim to be a Christian but show none of the signs of the new birth, then you reveal what you really are by your actions.  James is saying that when a person exercises true faith in Christ there will be evidences of that faith in the way they live their lives.] 

C.     Unprecedented Examples (vs 21-25) [– James provides to incredible examples of faith and works working themselves out of our lives together.] 

1.      By Faith Abraham (vs 21-24; Gen 22.4-5,8; Heb 11.17-19) [- 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. – The story of Abraham offering up Isaac is one of the most misunderstood stories in the Bible.  Preachers often preach the story and miss the whole spiritual message within it.  The unchurched quote it as an example of the lovelessness of God, for what God would ask for your only child.] 

a.       [Received the promise of God (Gen 22.4-8).] 

[Genesis 22:4-8 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. ]

b.      [Reckoned that God would keep His Word (Heb 11.17-19).]
[Hebrews 11:17-19 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. ]

[The story of Abraham and Isaac is a picture of biblical faith at work.  God had given Abraham promises (God’s Word) that through Isaac all nations would be blessed.  Abraham believed God.  When God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham did not stagger, God would keep His Word no matter what.  Abraham reckoned that he was going to get to see an incredible miracle, the resurrection of Isaac.  That is faith at work.]

2.      By Works Rahab (vs 25; Joshua 2.9-11) - Rahab was a harlot that rescued the spies that had been sent to search out the promised land before Israel moved in to take the land.  Listen to Rahab’s words as she tells the spies why she is going to rescue them, because of this Rahab received justification.  Rahab was willing to hazard her life for God’s purposes.] 

[Joshua 2:9-11 9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. ]

[Illustration - Heat and Light  - It has been said that separating faith and works is like separating the heat and light from a candle. You know both are produced by the candle. You know they are not the same thing. You also know you cannot separate them.]  

D.    Undeniable Faith (vs 14, 17, 26; Matt 7.16-20)  [- . . . faith without works is dead . . .  - So just what is it that James is trying to say in this passage.  He is saying that saving faith produces real results in our lives.  It is not mere religion.  It is not supernatural superstition that has no real affect upon our lives.  It is not ritualistic traditions that take time and effort but produce nothing of value I our lives.  Real faith in Christ will evidence itself in the way we live our lives.]  

[Matthew 7:16 & 20 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. . . . 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.]

The Fruits of Saving Faith (Matt 7.16-20) – Saving faith will change, 

1.      Your Character (Gal 5.22-23) [- The fruit of the spirit undeniably manifest themselves within every child of God.] 

[Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. ]

2.      Your Conduct (Matt 7.15-20) 

[Matthew 7:15-20 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.]

3.      Your Conversation (Heb 13.15) [- The words of God’s people can not help but praise Him with the words and actions.] 

[Hebrews 13:15 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.]

4.      Your Contributions (Rom 15.26-28) [- benevolent giving becomes the undeniable and unfettered passion of those given to God.] 

[Romans 15:26-28 26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. ]

5.      Your Converts (John 4.35-38; cf Col 1.4-6; Philip 1.21-26) [- born again Christians will find themselves compelled to proclaim the gospel of Christ.] 

[John 4:35-38 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.]

[Colossians 1:4-6 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: ]

[Philippians 1:21-26 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. ]

[Illustration – The English Language - English is a strange language. There is no butter in buttermilk and no egg in eggplant. There is no ham in a hamburger and no apple in a pineapple. Quicksand works very slowly and boxing rings are square. Inconsistencies of language are not significant. Inconsistencies in life are significant. Christians must act like Christians. Our words and deeds must be consistent with what we profess.] 

[The necessity of bearing fruit (John 15.4-5)] 

[John 15:4-5 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. ]

[Some Christians may bear some fruit, some may bear little fruit, but all will bear fruit.] 

[If a Christian bears no fruit and there is no change at all in their life, then they probably have not been born again.]

 

 



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