NO EXCUSES RECAP - Faith and Works

This week, we will wrap the same way we started. Let us commit to stay rid of excuses and to be doers who put our theme verse into practice. 

James 1:22 says, But do not just listen to Gods word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

At the beginning of this journey, we decided that to be disciples - committed followers of Christ, we had to be disciplined. We have examined a variety of spiritual disciplines and all that is left is doing them. 

As doers, remember that faith in Jesus is still the most important thing. Faith saves. Faith in Jesus differs from knowing about Jesus because true belief results in action. Your faith will show through your works (or your doing). 

We’ll see this week that continued practice of the disciplines (Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, worship, giving, serving, fasting, & communion) keeps us focused on Christ, maturing in our faith, and bearing fruit because the Holy Spirit lives in and works through us. We must stay on guard and remain Gospel focused as doers who make no excuses.


SCRIPTURES
James 1:22  | But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

Ephesians 2:8-9 | God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

James 2:14-26 | What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.


DISCUSSION
  1. What is faith?
  2. How is faith part of salvation? What do you put your faith in to be saved? How do you do this?
  3. How is faith related to works?
  • Can you have faith without works? Why or why not?
  • Can you have works without faith? Why or why  not?
4. Do your actions show your faith, or trust in Jesus? In what ways?
5. In what ways have you become a doer over the past few months? In what areas are you still making excuses?
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