Article 62

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What we Believe






James 2:14-26

James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

In this assemblage faith is spoken of a lot. This is a good thing. Faith is the gift of God. True faith comes from Christ through the Holy Spirit. Spiritual life is given to a dead, alien sinner, and the sinner will believe. The faith of God’s elect, His chosen, always has an effect. The spiritually alive sinner, who has true faith, comes to know who God is and will believe and be converted. I think sometime the word believe has been abused by people in general. This is not the same as ‘I believe it will rain.’ I know who God is. He has given me knowledge. What my part is in His plan I am not always sure about. I have, at times, doubts and fears about myself, but I always know who He is. He is God. There is no doubt about Jesus Christ, the Lord who is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. I have been saved by grace through faith.

These scriptures have been abused for years, centuries actually. Preachers, so-called, have used these to browbeat congregations into doing what the preacher wants. "You must work or your faith is dead." This is not the emphasis here. Notice how James always puts faith first in his statements. This is because faith has to come first. Also notice that showing faith by works is toward man, not toward God. The key to this is verse 22. Works are wrought by the true faith of God. Believers will work because of the faith of God, which is not of themselves and is unto good works, in which the elect were ordained to walk. Paul put it this way in Phil 2:13. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." True faith wants to work. True faith will work. If there is no work, there is no true faith. What is the work a believer is to do? This depends upon the individual believer. Believers are placed in the body of Christ where He wants them. "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office" (Rom 12:4). Saved sinners are to minister, teach, exhort, rule, be kind, love, abhor evil and cleave to the good. Do what God has given you the ability to do. Faith without works is dead. Believers are alive unto God, in Christ.

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