Sermon Archive

TVBC FACEBOOK POSTS

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Hello Church,

Normally, I would wait to the end of the week to send out the weekly notes concerning the reading plan from the book of James. However, today’s reading, James 2:20-26, needs a solid interpretation. That passage is dealing with faith and works. Here is one of my favorite sources for a sound commentary. If you are having a tough time with this reading, take a few minutes and read the following that is taken from his writings on the book of James.
Reading with you, Bro, Jon.

Dynamic Faith (James 2:20-26)

Dynamic faith is faith that is real, faith that has power, faith that results in a changed life.

James described this true saving faith. To begin with, dynamic saving faith is based on the Word of God.We receive our spiritual rebirth through God's Word (James 1:18). We receive the Word and this saves us (James 1:21). "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17). James used Abraham and Rahab as illustrations of dynamic saving faith, since both of them heard and received the message of God through His Word.

Faith is only as good as its object. The man in the jungle bows before an idol of stone and trusts it to help him, but he receives no help. No matter how much faith a person may generate, if it is not directed at the right object, it will accomplish nothing. "I believe" may be the testimony of many sincere people, but the big question is, "In whom do you believe? What do you believe?" We are not saved by faith in faith; we are saved by faith in Christ as revealed in His Word.

Dynamic faith is based on God's Word, and it involves the whole man. Dead faith touches only the intellect; demonic faith involves both the mind and the emotions; but dynamic faith involves the will. The whole person plays a part in true saving faith. The mind understands the truth; the heart desires the truth; and the will acts upon the truth. The men and women of faith named in Hebrews 11 were people of action: God spoke and they obeyed. Again, "Faith is not believing in spite of evidence; faith is obeying in spite of consequence."

True saving faith leads to action. Dynamic faith is not intellectual contemplation or emotional consternation; it leads to obedience on the part of the will. And this obedience is not an isolated event: it continues throughout the whole life. It leads to works.

Many different kinds of works are named in the New Testament. "The works of the Law" (Gal. 2:16) relate to the sinner's attempt to please God by obeying the Law of Moses. Of course, it is impossible for a sinner to be saved through the works of the Law. "The works of the flesh" (Gal. 5:19) are done by unsaved people who live for the things of the old nature. There are also "wicked works" (Col. 1:21) and "dead works" (Heb. 9:14). Where there is dynamic faith—saving faith—you will always find good works.

James then illustrated his doctrine in the lives of two well-known Bible persons: Abraham and Rahab. You could not find two more different persons! Abraham was a Jew; Rahab was a Gentile. Abraham was a godly man, but Rahab was a sinful woman, a harlot. Abraham was the friend of God, while Rahab belonged to the enemies of God. What did they have in common? Both exercised saving faith in God.

You will want to read Genesis 15 and 22 to get the background facts for this illustration. God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees to lead him into Canaan and to make out of him the great nation of Israel. It was through Israel that God would bring the Saviour into the world. Abraham's salvation experience is recorded in Genesis 15. At night, God showed His servant the stars and gave him a promise, "So shall thy seed [descendants] be!" How did Abraham respond? "And he believed in the Lord, and He [the Lord] counted it to him for righteousness" (Gen. 15:5-6).

The word counted is a legal or financial term; it means "to put to one's account." As a sinner, Abraham's spiritual bankbook was empty. He was bankrupt! But he trusted God, and God put righteouson Abraham's account. Abraham did not work for this righteousness; he received it as a gift from God. He was declared righteous by faith. He was justified by faith (read Rom. 4).

Justification is an important doctrine in the Bible. Justification is the act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of Christ's finished work on the cross. It is not a process; it is an act. It is not something the sinner does; it is something God does for the sinner when he trusts Christ. It is a once-for-all event It never changes.

How can you tell if a person is justified by faith if this transaction takes place between the sinner and God privately? Abraham's example answers that important question: the justified person has a changed life and obeys God's will. His faith is demonstrated by his works.

James used another event in Abraham's life, an event that took place many years after Abraham's conversion. This event is the offering up of Isaac on the altar (Gen. 22). Abraham was not saved by obeying God's difficult command. His obedience proved that he already was saved. "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did" (James 2:22, niv). There is a perfect relationship between faith and works. As someone has expressed it, "Abraham was not saved by faith plus works, but by a faith that works."

How was Abraham "justified by works" (James 2:21) when he had already been "justified by faith"? (see Rom. 4) By faith, he was justified before God and his righteousness declared; by works he was justified before men and his righteousness demonstrated. It is true that no humans actually saw Abraham put his son on the altar, but the inspired record in Genesis 22enables us to see the event and witness Abraham's faith demonstrated by his works.

D.L. Moody often said, "Every Bible should be bound in shoe leather." He did not say that because he had been a successful shoe salesman; he said it because he was a dedicated Christian. Dynamic faith obeys God and proves itself in daily life and works. Alas, we still have church members today who fit the description given in Titus, "They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him" (Titus 1:16). Paul also writes, "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works" (Titus 3:8).

His second illustration is Rahab, and the background for her is found in Joshua 2 and 6. Israel was about to invade their Promised Land and take the city of Jericho. Joshua sent spies into the city to get the lay of the land. There they met Rahab, a harlot, who protected them and affirmed that she believed in what God had said and what God was going to do. When the men departed, they promised to save her and her family when the city was taken; and this they did.

It is an exciting story. But in it is one of the Bible's great examples of saving faith (see Heb. 11:31). Rahab heard the Word and knew that her city was condemned. This truth affected her and her fellow citizens so that their hearts melted within them (Josh. 2:11). Rahab responded with her mind and her emotions; but she also responded with her will: she did something about it. She risked her own life to protect the Jewish spies, and she further risked her life by sharing the good news of deliverance with the members of her family. The Hebrew word translated "harlot" in Joshua 2 can also have the wider meaning of "an innkeeper." Rahab ran a guest house, so it was normal for the spies to go there. The Greek word "harlot" in James 2:25 definitely means an immoral person. This is also the meaning in Hebrews 11:31. Matthew 1:5 indicates she married into Israel and became an ancestress of our Lord. What grace! Rahab is one of the first soul winners in the Bible, and you cannot help but compare her with the "bad Samaritan" in John 4.

Rahab could have had dead faith, a mere intellectual experience. Or she could have had demonic faith, her mind enlightened and her emotions stirred. But she exercised dynamic faith: her mind knew the truth, her heart was stirred by the truth, and her will acted on the truth. She proved her faith by her works.

When you realize the small amount of information Rahab had, you can see how truly marvelous her faith really was. Today we have the full revelation of God through His Word and His Son. We live on the other side of Calvary, and we have the Holy Spirit to convict and to teach us the Word. "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:48). Her faith is an indictment against the unbelief of sinners today.

James 2 emphasized that the mature Christian practices the truth. He does not merely hold to ancient doctrines; he practices those doctrines in his everyday life. His faith is not the dead faith of the intellectuals, or the demonic faith of the fallen spirits. It is the dynamic faith of men like Abraham and women like Rahab, faith that changes a life and goes to work for God.

It is important that each professing Christian examine his own heart and life and make sure that he possesses true saving faith, dynamic faith. "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves" (2 Cor. 13:5a). Satan is the great deceiver; one of his devices is imitation. If he can convince a person that counterfeit faith is true faith, he has that person in his power.

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves as we examine our hearts:

Was there a time when I honestly realized I was a sinner and admitted this to myself and to God?
Was there a time when my heart stirred me to flee from the wrath to come? Have I ever seriously been exercised over my sins?
Do I truly understand the Gospel, that Christ died for my sins and arose again? Do I understand and confess that I cannot save myself?
Did I sincerely repent of my sins and turn from them? Or do I secretly love sin and want to enjoy it?
Have I trusted Christ and Christ alone for my salvation? Do I enjoy a living relationship with Him through the Word and in the Spirit?
Has there been a change in my life? Do I maintain good works, or are my works occasional and weak? Do I seek to grow in the things of the Lord? Can others tell that I have been with Jesus?
Do I have a desire to share Christ with others? Or am I ashamed of Him?
Do I enjoy the fellowship of God's people? Is worship a delight to me?
Am I ready for the Lord's return? Or will I be ashamed when He comes for me?
To be sure, not every Christian has the same personal experience; and there are degrees of sanctification. But for the most part, the preceding spiritual inventory can assist a person in determining his true standing before God.

"Search me, O Lord, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Ps. 139:23-24).

Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) - New Testament - The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 2.
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago

Tannehill Valley Baptist Church

"What Is Jesus Up To In Our Desperation?" ... See MoreSee Less

Sunday - September 20, 2020 ... See MoreSee Less

We are moving through the book of James in a deliberate pace. I hope that you are learning from this important letter. Here are the review questions and helps for week 3.

James 2:1-7

1. What is the command in verse 1?

2. Verse 1 says, “as you hold to the faith.” We know that the follower of Christ is held by Christ. He holds our salvation. In what way are we to “hold” to the faith?
In the example of favoritism James uses, what were some of the people in church basing their reactions to people by?

3. What do you have to be careful about when it comes to making judgements about external appearances?
Verse 5 -What did James remind the people of about God? Do you think James had any personal understanding of this? Hint: His parents.

4. In verse 6-7 - What was confusing to James about the rich being treated better than the poor?

James 2:8-13

1. Why is the command, “Love your neighbor as yourself” called the “royal law?”

2. Verses 9-11 appear to be showing us that there were those guilty of showing favoritism who didn’t think it was a serious issue. How did favoritism break the “royal law?”
In verse 12 loving your neighbor as yourself is said to be a law of freedom. How is loving others freeing?

Here are notes from Warren Weirsbe on Verse 12-13. They are good words to help explain these verses.

The Judgment of God (James 2:12-13)
Every orthodox statement of faith ends with a statement about the return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment Not all Christians agree as to the details of these future events, but the certainty of them none denies. Nor would any deny the importance of a final judgment. Both Jesus (John 5:24) and Paul (Rom. 8:1) assured us that Christian believers will never be judged for their sins; but our works will be judged and rewarded (Rom. 14:10-13; 2 Cor. 5:9-10).
Our words will be judged. Note the words spoken to the two visitors in James 2:3. What we say to people, and how we say it, will come up before God. Even our careless words will be judged (Matt. 12:36). Of course, the words we speak come from the heart; so when God judges the words, He is examining the heart (Matt. 12:34-37). Jesus emphasized caution when speaking in some of His warnings in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:21-26, 33-37; 7:1-5, 21-23).
Our deeds will be judged. Read Colossians 3:22-25 for additional insight. It is true that God remembers our sins against us no more (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 10:17); but our sins affect our character and works. We cannot sin lightly and serve faithfully. God forgives our sins when we confess them to Him, but He cannot change their, consequences.
Our attitudes will be judged (vv. 13). James contrasted two attitudes: showing mercy to others, and refusing to show mercy. If we have been merciful toward others, God can be merciful toward us. However, we must not twist this truth into a lie. It does not mean that we earn mercy by showing mercy, because it is impossible to earn mercy. If it is earned, it is not mercy! Nor does it mean that we should "be soft on sin" and never judge it in the lives of others. "I don't condemn anybody," a man once told me, "and God won't condemn me." How wrong he was!
Mercy and justice both come from God, so they are not competitors. Where God finds repentance and faith, He is able to show mercy; where He finds rebellion and unbelief, He must administer justice. It is the heart of the sinner that determines the treatment he gets. Our Lord's parable in Matthew 18:21-35 illustrates the truth. The parable is not illustrating salvation, but forgiveness between fellow servants. If we forgive our brothers, then we have the kind of heart that is open toward the forgiveness of God.
We shall be judged "by the Law of liberty." Why does James use this title for God's Law? For one thing, when we obey God's Law, it frees us from sin and enables us to walk in liberty (Ps. 119:45). Also, law prepares us for liberty. A child must be under rules and regulations because he is not mature enough to handle the decisions and demands of life. He is given outward discipline so that he might develop inward discipline, and one day be free of rules.
Liberty does not mean license. License (doing whatever I want to do) is the worst kind of bondage. Liberty means the freedom to be all that I can be in Jesus Christ. License is confinement; liberty is fulfillment.
Finally, the Word is called "the Law of liberty" because God sees our hearts and knows what we would have done had we been free to do so. The Christian student who obeys only because the school has rules is not really maturing. What will he do when he leaves the school? God's Word can change our hearts and give us the desire to do God's will, so that we obey from inward compulsion and not outward constraint.
There is one obvious message to this section: our beliefs should control our behavior. If we really believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that God is gracious, His Word is true, and one day He will judge us, then our conduct will reveal our convictions. Before we attack those who do not have orthodox doctrine, we must be sure that we practice the doctrines we defend. Jonah had wonderful theology, but he hated people and was angry with God (Jonah 4).
One of the tests of the reality of our faith is how we treat other people. Can we pass the test?
�Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) - New Testament - The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 2.

James 2:14-19

1. These verses have brought misunderstanding to many people concerning the issue of salvation. Is our salvation by faith through grace? Is salvation through works? Is salvation by faith and works? These are good questions. It is crucial to know the big picture of scripture and to know the context of the verses. The New Testament teaches us salvation is by faith alone, by grace alone, through Christ alone. Remember, James is writing to believers. They’ve been saved to put it in our terms. His teaching is salvation results in doing good works. Salvation is not the result of good works, salvations produces good works, a changed heart. A changed heart is seen in how we treat people.

Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Most are familiar with Ephesians 2:8-9. Note what verse 10 says and when good works come in.

Read Titus 3:8

2. Genuine faith shows through good works. Salvation is not mere words. James said, even the demons believe - they believe Jesus was a person, but no change in them.

Have you believed in Jesus through faith in what He accomplished on the cross?

What works are you producing that show genuine belief?
... See MoreSee Less

We are moving through the book of James in a deliberate pace. I hope that you are learning from this important letter. Here are the review questions and helps for week 3.

James 2:1-7

1. What is the command in verse 1?

2. Verse 1 says, “as you hold to the faith.” We know that the follower of Christ is held by Christ. He holds our salvation. In what way are we to “hold” to the faith?
In the example of favoritism James uses, what were some of the people in church basing their reactions to people by?

3. What do you have to be careful about when it comes to making judgements about external appearances?
Verse 5 -What did James remind the people of about God? Do you think James had any personal understanding of this? Hint: His parents.

4. In verse 6-7 - What was confusing to James about the rich being treated better than the poor?

James 2:8-13

1. Why is the command, “Love your neighbor as yourself” called the “royal law?”

2. Verses 9-11 appear to be showing us that there were those guilty of showing favoritism who didn’t think it was a serious issue. How did favoritism break the “royal law?”
In verse 12 loving your neighbor as yourself is said to be a law of freedom. How is loving others freeing?

Here are notes from Warren Weirsbe on Verse 12-13. They are good words to help explain these verses.

The Judgment of God (James 2:12-13)
Every orthodox statement of faith ends with a statement about the return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment Not all Christians agree as to the details of these future events, but the certainty of them none denies. Nor would any deny the importance of a final judgment. Both Jesus (John 5:24) and Paul (Rom. 8:1) assured us that Christian believers will never be judged for their sins; but our works will be judged and rewarded (Rom. 14:10-13; 2 Cor. 5:9-10).
Our words will be judged. Note the words spoken to the two visitors in James 2:3. What we say to people, and how we say it, will come up before God. Even our careless words will be judged (Matt. 12:36). Of course, the words we speak come from the heart; so when God judges the words, He is examining the heart (Matt. 12:34-37). Jesus emphasized caution when speaking in some of His warnings in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:21-26, 33-37; 7:1-5, 21-23).
Our deeds will be judged. Read Colossians 3:22-25 for additional insight. It is true that God remembers our sins against us no more (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 10:17); but our sins affect our character and works. We cannot sin lightly and serve faithfully. God forgives our sins when we confess them to Him, but He cannot change their, consequences.
Our attitudes will be judged (vv. 13). James contrasted two attitudes: showing mercy to others, and refusing to show mercy. If we have been merciful toward others, God can be merciful toward us. However, we must not twist this truth into a lie. It does not mean that we earn mercy by showing mercy, because it is impossible to earn mercy. If it is earned, it is not mercy! Nor does it mean that we should be soft on sin and never judge it in the lives of others. I dont condemn anybody, a man once told me, and God wont condemn me. How wrong he was!
Mercy and justice both come from God, so they are not competitors. Where God finds repentance and faith, He is able to show mercy; where He finds rebellion and unbelief, He must administer justice. It is the heart of the sinner that determines the treatment he gets. Our Lords parable in Matthew 18:21-35 illustrates the truth. The parable is not illustrating salvation, but forgiveness between fellow servants. If we forgive our brothers, then we have the kind of heart that is open toward the forgiveness of God.
We shall be judged by the Law of liberty. Why does James use this title for Gods Law? For one thing, when we obey Gods Law, it frees us from sin and enables us to walk in liberty (Ps. 119:45). Also, law prepares us for liberty. A child must be under rules and regulations because he is not mature enough to handle the decisions and demands of life. He is given outward discipline so that he might develop inward discipline, and one day be free of rules.
Liberty does not mean license. License (doing whatever I want to do) is the worst kind of bondage. Liberty means the freedom to be all that I can be in Jesus Christ. License is confinement; liberty is fulfillment.
Finally, the Word is called the Law of liberty because God sees our hearts and knows what we would have done had we been free to do so. The Christian student who obeys only because the school has rules is not really maturing. What will he do when he leaves the school? Gods Word can change our hearts and give us the desire to do Gods will, so that we obey from inward compulsion and not outward constraint.
There is one obvious message to this section: our beliefs should control our behavior. If we really believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that God is gracious, His Word is true, and one day He will judge us, then our conduct will reveal our convictions. Before we attack those who do not have orthodox doctrine, we must be sure that we practice the doctrines we defend. Jonah had wonderful theology, but he hated people and was angry with God (Jonah 4).
One of the tests of the reality of our faith is how we treat other people. Can we pass the test?
�Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) - New Testament - The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 2.

James 2:14-19

1. These verses have brought misunderstanding to many people concerning the issue of salvation. Is our salvation by faith through grace? Is salvation through works? Is salvation by faith and works? These are good questions. It is crucial to know the big picture of scripture and to know the context of the verses. The New Testament teaches us salvation is by faith alone, by grace alone, through Christ alone. Remember, James is writing to believers. They’ve been saved to put it in our terms. His teaching is salvation results in doing good works. Salvation is not the result of good works, salvations produces good works, a changed heart. A changed heart is seen in how we treat people.

Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Most are familiar with Ephesians 2:8-9. Note what verse 10 says and when good works come in.

Read Titus 3:8

2. Genuine faith shows through good works. Salvation is not mere words. James said, even the demons believe - they believe Jesus was a person, but no change in them.

Have you believed in Jesus through faith in what He accomplished on the cross? 

What works are you producing that show genuine belief?

The story of Jesus calming the storm while the disciple’s were in a boat while the sea was raging is very familiar. Sunday, September 20, the message will look at this story from the perspective of what Jesus is seeking to do in our desperation. As followers of Christ we are not exempt from events that leave us feeling and being desperate. There are great truths to gain in this story. Gather with us in-person at either 8:30am or 10am. Livestream broadcast is at 10am on Youtube(search Tannehill Valley) or FBLive. ... See MoreSee Less

The story of Jesus calming the storm while the disciple’s were in a boat while the sea was raging is very familiar. Sunday, September 20, the message will look at this story from the perspective of what Jesus is seeking to do in our desperation. As followers of Christ we are not exempt from events that leave us feeling and being desperate. There are great truths to gain in this story. Gather with us in-person at either 8:30am or 10am. Livestream broadcast is at 10am on Youtube(search Tannehill Valley) or FBLive.
Load more
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

WORSHIP

Tannehill Valley is a church where we love to worship. Click here for more information about our services and the life of our church.
 
 
SUN 10 AM | WED 6:30 PM  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BIBLE STUDY

Tannehill Valley is a church where we love to study
the Word of God. We believe that God’s will, plan and purpose are revealed in His Word.
 
 
SUN 9AM | 5:30PM | WED 6:30PM 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

BULLETIN & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

CHURCH DIRECTORY

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHURCH CALENDAR