We saw God tested Abraham to prove his faith, and his works of faith in that test, justified him before men.
Let’s focus on the next illustration of a faith that was shown.
Open GODcha to the Book of James.
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Let’s Begin With Prayer
Oh Lord God, as we come to Your Word today, we need Your help. As You teach us, please give us eyes to see and ears to hear. And grant us the understanding we need. Thank you.
LOOK at What God Says
Let GODcha steer you in the right direction.
Where will you begin?
Begin By Reading God’s Word
Read James 2:21-26, asking the 5W’s and H to put you in context.
Let’s concentrate on James 2:25.
Who is the next illustration of living faith?
1. Who was Rahab? What was she?
Rahab was a Gentile; a harlot; a commoner. (Jam 2:25)
THINK with me:
Being a Gentile, Rahab had been raised in a different culture, stuck in sin as a prostitute, separated from God.
Do you suppose she longed for a different kind of life?
Do you see the contrast between these two that James uses for his illustration of living faith?
Rahab: a woman, a Gentile, a harlot.
Abraham: a man, a Jew, a great leader.
2. How was she justified? What were her works?
James says Rahab was justified by works
WHEN she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
Do you know her story?
Let’s get some background information on Rahab to understand James.
God Uses Truth To Explain Truth
Remember don’t hurry.
Remember to REASON and THINK by asking questions.
Why don’t we check out Joshua 2 and (Heb 11:31).
1. To understand her works, what did Rahab ‘do’?
Put her life on the line
By courageously hiding the spies sent in to spy the land of Jericho;
Helping them escape (Jos 2:1-7, 15-16)
She carefully obeyed their instructions about how she and her family could be saved when Israel invaded Jericho. (Jos 2:17-21)
2. Why did Rahab help the spies?
Rahab told the spies:
She knew the LORD had given the land to the Israelites,
Had heard about the miracle of drying up the Red Sea and leading His people out of Egypt.
The LORD their God, was the one true God in heaven above and on the earth beneath. (Jos 2:9-14)
We see: This Canaanite (Gentile) prostitute’s change of heart, she believed the LORD God is the one true God.
3. What was the result of Rahab’s faith?
By faith Rahab, the harlot,
did NOT perish along with those who were disobedient,
AFTER she had welcomed the spies in peace. (Jos 6:17-25); (Heb 11:31)
We see: Rahab’s faith was not empty words.
We see: Her faith worked.
We see: God’s care for a Canaanite, harlot.
4. When was Rahab ‘justified by works’?
WHEN she received the messengers and sent them out by another way. (Jam 2:25)
Understand: The reality of Rahab’s faith was shown by her actions.
We see: Her faith that was seen saved her and her family. (Jos 2:4, 15; 6:17-25)
5. Did you know Rahab is in Christ’s genealogy? (Mat 1:5)
What Did We LEARN
Sum It Up!
Was a Canaanite harlot.
Heard / Believed God was the one true God.
Demonstrated her faith by her works in aiding the spies.
Risked her life, being true to her belief in God.
Engage With God!
Have I been trapped in my version of Jericho, as an outsider, separated from God, in sin?
Do I have ears to hear and eyes to see, willing to cry out to God to save me?
What have I had to risk, lay on the line to prove my faith – to show I am supremely committed to God?
What hopes, dreams, ambitions, would I risk to be true to my faith?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
Let’s see how James concludes this paragraph.
Read God’s Word
Read James Ch 2:26, asking the 5W’s and H.
To conclude and drive home his point, what comparison does James make?
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead [dead corpse], so also faith without works is dead.”
What is gist of this?
In both cases if the second member is missing, the result is death.
THINK about ‘the spirit’ –
If the spirit is missing from the body, it is dead.
A dead corpse begins to smell, stink, decompose, and is of no value, which needs to be buried.
Now THINK about ‘works’ –
If works are missing from faith, faith is dead.
Belief without works (conduct, behavior) is:
just as smelly and stinky,
just as decaying,
just as disgusting,
belief is just as dead!
Faith that doesn’t lead to a real life change is dead!
Draw Near to God!
Do I think my faith is real just because I walked an isle, go to church, am in a Bible study, or I write a check?
Do I have a living faith?
Or, a dead faith?
Do I say I believe, and obey God?
Or, do I say I believe,
but I do not obey God?
Do I say I love God,
but I love sin?
Do I say I believe,
but I don’t serve God?
Do I say I believe,
but works are missing?
Or, Do I say I believe, and I have works?
What are my works?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
We Are Done For the Day!
“I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways,” (Psa 119:15).
Ponder and chew on all that God has taught you.
How has God touched you?
Talk with the Living God of the Universe, He is waiting!
Don’t Forget to Journal Your Time with God
You can’t remember everything, so highlight these key points and details about Rahab and ‘the body without the spirit’ that might otherwise slip your mind.
Then you can go back and review any time.
Besides, you never know when God will have you share these vital Truths to others!
Get them under your belt!
Turn What You LEARNED into a Prayer
OH FATHER GOD, THE ONE TRUE GOD, You are the God in heaven above, and on earth beneath. We thank you for this example of Rahab’s faith, which was demonstrated by her works when she risked her life to aid the spies. We also thank you for the illustration of the body without the spirit being dead to help us understand this dead faith. Oh Father, may we examine ourselves. Oh, help us to truly take a spiritual inventory of ourselves and not be deceived. What are our works that demonstrate to others that our faith is real? Do we hunger for Your Word? Do we love You, serve You no matter the cost? Do we have a belief that behaves? Oh, I pray if anyone is on this journey with us who has this dead faith, oh please turn them from the error of their ways and save their soul from death, eternal separation from You! Thank you for the richness and clarity of Your holy Word to us in Christ’s name. Amen!
Next: we’ll wrap this all up! We will bring everything together and connect the dots from these verses, as well as, all of Chapter 2.
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