The Root Produces The Fruit.

James 2:14-18

“What does  it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does  it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

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Faith And Works.

“Faith Without Works Is Dead.” 🪦

Most of you reading this have probably heard a sermon or two on that topic, right?  Far too often, sadly, this passage is taken out of context to make you believe you need to “Do good works” in order to be pleasing and acceptable to God, and (or) to prove your love for Him.  The implication, of course, is that the lack of your works “proves” that either you don’t love Him enough or, even worse, maybe you’re not even be saved! Now there’s a frightening thought!  😲 Predictably, afterward there is an altar call for everyone to run up and “Repent!”  So, just to be sure, you rush forward, fall on your face and beg to get “Saved,” all over again. 😞

Church, this is not a scriptural concept.  It’s another in a long line of deceptions from you know who:  The devil. 👿🙄  Here’s why…..

Context Is King.

Whenever any TEXT is taken out of it’s proper CONTEXT, what you are left with is a CON.  We certainly don’t need any of that! SO, since the Bible is its own best commentary, let’s look at this passage and research its proper context because, when it comes to Bible interpretation, CONTEXT IS KING.

How do we determine context?  First you need to identify 👉 TO WHOM 👈 the book is written. James, the book from which this passage is taken, was written TO, and I quote:  “The twelve tribes that are scattered abroad.”  (See ch. 1, vs. 1).  Paul is writing TO THE JEWS OF THE DISPERSION.  Notice that he is admonishing them not to neglect caring for other believers in need.  THAT is the CONTEXT of his remarks.

THIS HAS NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH SOMEONES RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD.  He is referring to our relating to those around us. Your relationship with God is a done deal.  

(For an more in-depth study on this topic as well as on rightly dividing the word of God, you may follow the link below:

https://emmausroadministries.international/2016/05/06/part-1-of-16-introduction-to-rightly-dividing-the-word-of-god/)

Remember Widows And Orphans.

At the end of chapter one, James is reminding these Jews, who were scattered throughout the Roman world, not to forget widows and orphans.  Chapter 2 also encourages these same Jewish believers not to show favoritism to those who are wealthy over those of lesser means.  He emphasized that they are not justified by works before God but before men.  By that he meant THEY (the world) will know us by our love. 💖 
The entire book of James is teaching about relating to others, not about being acceptable to God.
Forever Secure.
Church, your good works cannot save you; they never could.  They have nothing to do with either procuring or maintaining your salvation.  The LACK of them, conversely, will NOT cause you to lose your salvation or be left behind in the rapture, to which some have more than hinted.
AS IF! 😲

Do not be afraid:  You are forever safe and secure in Jesus!  You can NEVER lose your salvation! NEVER! Call it “Eternal Security” or whatever you want.  If you have put your faith in the FINISHED work of JESUS, your salvation is sealed forever!

Think about it: In John chapter 3, vs 16, Jesus Himself said that, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have EVERLASTING life.”

The last time I looked, everlasting means “NEVER ENDING,” not temporal based on your performance…..or the lack there of.  Did Jesus lie? 😳 OF COURSE NOT.  If He had indeed meant your salvation was temporary until your next sin, HE WOULD HAVE SAID SO.  But He didn’t. He said, “EVERLASTING LIFE.” That settles that.    

Dead Works.

But, of course, man has to go inserting himself into everything God says and question it to the point that you are confused into thinking you can lose your salvation. 🤨 That (false) “teaching” is nothing more that a cheap scare tactic advanced by well-meaning preachers. It is an abuse (most likely unintentional) of the privilege of the pulpit.
The person advancing such a “teaching,” obviously DOES NOT believe what Jesus so clearly said: That we have “everlasting life.”  This person is using their own self efforts to try and manipulate their people into living holy lives.  It is a dead work that not only does not bring about the desired result: IT BACKFIRES‼️💥
(For more on the subject of holiness, you may follow the link below:
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Transformed By Beholding.

The ONE THING that would be most effective in helping people live holy lives seems to be the ONE THING many don’t seem to want to preach.  It’s simply this:  Beholding Jesus in His beauty and glory, not us in our ugliness and gory.  But…..if you go to church and, during the sermon, Jesus’ Name is hardly even mentioned and His beauty unveiled, how can you be transformed?

The answer is, “YOU CAN’T.” 😓  

If you don’t hear about Him, the Holy Spirit, Who actually does the transforming, has nothing to work with.  Give Him the raw materials He needs and your people will be changed, effortlessly…..without your striving, pastors!

Backwards?

We are transformed by beholding, not scolding.  In fact, if the sheep are NOT FED, there will be no ROOT to become the FRUIT! 😓 The Church has it backwards.  We are trying to get the fruit without first feeding and watering the root by unveiling more of Jesus. That’s like asking the fire to give you warmth without supplying any wood. 🙃

Church, please understand: Our Daddy is ALWAYS WELL PLEASED WITH YOU.  You can read more on this subject by following the link below:

Feed My Sheep.

At the risk of being misquoted, we pay far more attention to the lost than to the sheep that already are in the fold.  Jesus said “Let the children first be fed,” FED being the operative word.  When they are properly fed and watered, the sheep go and do good works BECAUSE THEY WANT TO, not because you told them to. You won’t have to beg them to go out and reach the lost;  THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO SHUT UP ABOUT JESUS!!!

Pastors, I’m telling you:  If the greater part of your preaching from the pulpit is unveiling Jesus and pointing TO HIM, you’d better prepare to enlarge your Church buildings.  A great harvest is sure to come your way.  It will be standing room only! 😍

The Purpose Of Good Works.

So what do these verses in James mean?  They can really mess you up until you read what Jesus had to say on the subject.  Let’s see what He thinks is the purpose of “good works.”

Matthew 5:16
“16 In the same way, let your light shine before Others, so that THEY may see your good works and GIVE GLORY TO YOUR FATHER who is in heaven.”

Aha!!  Good works point the way TO GOD to those who are UNSAVED so that THEY will see them and glorify your Father In Heaven…..AND PERHAPS GET SAVED!  You see?  It has NOTHING WHATEVER to do with YOU doing good works in order to be pleasing to God.  I reiterate:  With us He is already “well-pleased!”  WE ARE HIS BELOVED!    

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Double Negative.

Listen:  Your salvation is a sure thing.  It is NEVER EVER EVER in jeopardy.  Read for yourself in John 10:28-29.  Nothing…..not any force, no evil spirit, NOT EVEN YOU, “can pluck YOU out of His hand.”  You cannot even jump out. 😁

The verb in this verse is a DOUBLE NEGATIVE in Greek, “ou-mé,” which makes the negative even stronger.  It means “Ain’t nuthin’ no way no how” can ever, ever, EVER, no NEVER, take you away from Jesus!!!  AMEN!!!

According to Romans chapter 5, we are not justified before God by works, but by faith.…..and look at what Matthew wrote in chapter 25:
“37 “Then the RIGHTEOUS will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

In Love With Jesus.

See? The righteous are so enamored with Jesus and doing what makes Him happy that they don’t even take note of their own good works.  They are actually unaware of them.  They do good works because they know how much THEY ARE LOVED BY JESUS as a response to His love.  Good works just flow!  Sometimes they just gush all over everybody!

When you know how much you are loved by God, no one will have to beg you to do good works, make you go out and witness to others, or to live a holy life.  You won’t be able to stop doing those things even if you wanted to. We love, we live, and we DO because 👉 He first loved us and gave Himself for us.  

So you see, you have to have THE ROOT to produce THE FRUIT!

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