Sunday, October 19, 2014

LIVING A LIFE THAT CHRIST WOULD LIKE: SCS No. 24

MASHOKO CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL (1969), MASHOKO MISSION, ZIMBABWE, AFRICA

Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 24

(We at Project Dream Again hope these sermonettes bring some measure of peace to your soul and maybe spark a thought you then share with someone else in your life. Stoney Creek Sermonettes are not meant to replace your participation in a faith community.) 



Scripture Lesson for Today:

James 2:14-26 New International Version (NIV)

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.
16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.
24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do 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.

Sermonette for Today:

The debate between works and faith is as old as Christianity.  I do not want to debate which is more important.  My point today is very simple.  Service is at the very core of the Christian life.  To be a Christian is to be a servant to the people around you.

James is not saying that faith is not important.  He is saying that faith compels a person to do things for others in the name of the Lord.  Faith makes a person become less selfish and more caring.  More like the Good Shepherd. 

We are not saved by our works.  It was by the grace of God that He sent His Son to earth to save us from ourselves.  So the order goes something like this.  Grace. Hearing/Faith. Repentance/Baptism. Works/Christian Living.

GRACE :John 1:17 (NIV)
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

HEARING/FAITH: Romans 10:17 (NIV)
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

REPENTANCE/BAPTISM: Acts 2:38 (NIV)
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

So with the gift of the Holy Spirit we are suppose to live a life that brings honor to the person whose name we wear.  If we call ourselves Christians, then we must live our lives as Christ did and He did good works the entire time He was on this earth and still does.

Prayer for Today:

Our Heavenly Father, May we learn to live lives that honor You as You honored us by sending Your Son to live among us. It is in Your Son’s name we pray this prayer. Amen.



© Ed Cooper, October 19, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
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