Act on the Word
14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
- Act on the Word.
- Martin Luther, We are saved by grace through faith alone, but faith is never alone.
- Old Catholic. We are saved by grace through faith and works.
- Truth: We are saved by grace alone through genuine faith.
- Joint Declaration on the doctrine of justification. 1999. “Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.”
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- If all I do is have confession, but not action then I am not truly committed in my faith in God. “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed”
- Words only.
- Since God is the supplier of my needs, then I can give.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
- Acting demands risk and giving something up.
- Abraham offers son.
- Rahab gave lodging to spies.
- Illustration: Tight rope walker. Wheel barrel.
- Life insurance policy. Does not demand change in lifestyle. But even then, I still must pay the premium when due. Some look at Christianity as an eternal life insurance policy.
- Living together or marriage?
- Giving or tithing?
- Worrying or Believing?
- Bitter or Forgiving?
- Mean or kind?
- Selfish or generous?
- Lazy or diligent?
- Glutton or self control?
- Lusting or loving?
- Lying or telling the truth?
- Going to the wrong places or going to church?
- Sowing discord or striving for unity?
- Aborting or giving birth?
- Scheming evil plots or planning good deeds?
- Stealing or working?
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.
- Doer of the Word is blessed.
- If I stop with listening to the word then my faith will not bless me.
- Examples of Action.
27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”
33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
- Woman could have been stoned for touching Jesus while bleeding.
9 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
- Took faith to lower the man.
50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
- He threw away his means of financial support.
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
- Law said that after you were healed of skin disease you were to go show yourself to the priest.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
- Letting Jesus use the boat did not take much faith, but letting down the nets did.
27 “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
- Peter had to put out a line.
44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp.
- Presumption—Acting on God’s promises without faith.
- Don’t act on
- Tithing can be done in presumption.
Luke 4:12 “Do not put the Lord your God to a foolish Test”
- Foolishness—Acting beyond God’s word thus putting yourself in needless danger.
- Foolishness looks stronger than faith.
- Trying to force God to act.
- Refuse to take out a loan.
- Throwing away your medicine is an act beyond God’s Word.
- Yet, the trusting believer does act different than the world does when it comes to living in health.
2 Chron 16:12 Asa did not seek help only from physicians
2 Kings 20:2-7 God healed through poultice of figs.
Mark 5:25-26 Spent all she had but got worse.