Today’s Reading: 1 Sam 10:1–11:15, James 2:14–18, Ps 119:65–80
Today’s Theme: Faith and Works
Today we learn the importance of having faith that works… faith that does not work or without works is useless faith.
1 Samuel 10:1–11:15
The work of the Holy Spirit
Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. 1 Samuel 10:6 (ESV)
God’s Holy Spirit would come upon Saul causing him to prophesy and would even change him as a person while under the Spirit’s influence. This would serve to confirm his calling for Saul himself and the people.
God the Holy Spirit comes upon us today as well, to empower us with gifts to be used for God’s glory and to change our hearts. See 1 Corinthians 12:11 and Hebrews 2:4
The Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration in the heart of believers is one of the greatest miracles. See Titus 3:5 and John 3:3
Empowered for war
And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. 1 Samuel 11:6 (ESV)
God’s Holy Spirit is not in our life for superficial reasons or just for show. God’s Spirit comes upon us to equip us, empower us and make us bold for the battle. Ephesians 6:12
God the Holy Spirit wants to capture our hearts today to be engaged in the spiritual war raging in God’s Kingdom. We should be filled with God’s passion to see God glorified, to see His kingdom established and for the flourishing of church. Galatians 5:17
When the World Cup was on, it was easy to get passionate about a team we were supporting. However, we should be even more passionate and driven when it comes to things concerning God and His kingdom. Philippians 1:27.
Saul did not waste the passion and anger he felt when the Spirit of God came upon him. He made a plan and executed it in verse 11. We need to channel the energy God gives us, make a plan and execute it.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? James 2:14 (ESV)
“Can that faith save him?” the answer to the question is No!
Faith alone will save no one, just believing in God or believing the gospel will not save us.
Many people believe God is God, believe the bible is true and the gospel is true but they do not have saving faith because they do not obey the gospel.
Inactive faith is ineffective, dead and worthless. It is literally not worth having because it brings no benefit to those who hold it.
True faith will always have the fruit of behaviour, deeds and works that correspond to, conform to and come from the proclaimed faith.
God calls us to real faith and not to mere intellectual agreement.
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17 (ESV)
James writes in such an understandable way that there is little room for confusion. Here he makes it clear that faith without corresponding deeds is dead.
Man may try to redefine faith and even what it means to be saved but the fact remains that what we believe will show fruit in our lives through our behaviour and actions.
Faith by itself is dead. True faith goes beyond the mind and heart and ends up right here in the real world, showing itself through the things we do and refrain from doing.
Only God can grant us life giving, saving faith by His Holy Spirit.
Show your faith
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:18 (ESV)
Faith is not a private affair, it is a community project. Our faith is not a privately held opinion, it is a publicly proclaimed message and a life lived openly in community with the body of Christ.
We are called to actively show our faith by the things we do.
Our society tries to force us to keep our faith private which is not biblical and is a ploy to silence the proclamation of our faith and make our faith impotent through no obvious displays of faith in life.
Today’s culture is always talking in the movies and stories about believing. If you just believe… they don’t talk about believing in God just believing in general. In fact it is quite fashionable to have belief… just in general, not anything as specific as believing the Gospel of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ or believing the bible.
Determine to actively exhibit your faith today.
God does good
You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. Psalm 119:68 (ESV)
God is good and so He does good. The same should be true for us, if we have been made good through faith in Jesus then we should do good, just like God.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on James 2