Sunday notez

I have an incredible church (trinitychurchvb.com) and an incredible pastor, Randy. This brother can bring it, and I hope I can share a little of what he taught this week. (John Piper wrote a great post about how giving notes – or even tweeting – from a sermon is the same as taking pictures on a vacation: they’re nice for people to see, but it’s not the same as it is for those who experienced it. I agree).

We’ve been walking through the book of James for the past 5 weeks (Halloween was the fifth and last week). It has been a wonderful, encouraging, challenging, convicting series, and Randy (and the other guys who’ve been a part of the teaching team) have done a great job rightly dividing the Word of truth.  This week, the text was James 2:14-20, centering around the idea/debate/balance/beauty of Faith and Works. I’ll give it in bullet points, let me know if that’s annoying:
– Randy started with asking if James 2:14, 24 are contradicting several of Paul’s writings (examples: Romans 3:23-24 and Ephesians 2:8-9). ‘We have to realize what QUESTION James is answering with verse 14’
– James is NOT saying {v.14} that you aren’t saved if you have no deeds; he’s saying, literally, what good is it?
– To do nothing with God’s  Grace (THE defining characteristic of faith in Christ; THE separating characteristic from every other faith system in the world) is ridiculous and cheapens that glorious Grace. Every other faith system are works-based
– God requires PERFECTION; we cannot achieve perfection – no one argues this (‘no ones perfect’);  only faith in Christ (Christianity) gives us an avenue for perfection – God giving Himself as our perfection
>>Majority of Americans believe Christianity IS works-based<<
– Since James is NOT saying we have to work for our salvation, what IS he saying?:
Two warnings:
1. Verse 19  – Head knowledge is NOT enough to be saved
2. Saving faith is a life-changing faith
– When James says ‘what good is it if a person claims to have faith yet has no works?’ he is confronting those among Jewish Christians who are giving LIP SERVICE to the faith they claim
– Instead of contradicting Paul, James is standing back-to-back with him, while Paul confronts those who say faith is based on a WORKS
– James: what good is a workless/deedless faith? If you have been given Grace – unmerited, undeserved, complete – DO SOMETHING WITH IT

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