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Week 5 - Day 3

Read James 2:14-19.

1. How does James make it clear in 2:18-19 that faith must be more than a “faith” that merely talks and expresses intellectual assent?

2. In v. 19 James is likely referring to the shema, one of the most basic beliefs of the Jews, his likely audience. Read the shema in Deut. 6:4 and copy it below.

There are many in our churches today who may be saying they have faith but who fail the test of true living faith that James describes—maybe even some of us. Perhaps our church culture or background involves quoting a creed, such as “The Apostles’ Creed”, and we say the words with no more real faith than the demons have. When we partake of the bread and wine of communion, we are saying that we have believed in Jesus and partaken of His life when we may not have truly done so. Or perhaps we simply tell others that we are Christians and believe in Jesus without any real concern for the life that He asks us to live.

3. What warning does Paul give the Corinthians in 2 Cor. 13:5?

4. What tests of faith do you see in James 1:1-2:26?

Stronger Jeans (optional): Many scholars see 1 John as a test of the life of your faith. Read through it and consider that perspective. What tests do you see there?

5. Sharing Question: Have your words about Jesus ever been hollow and without life? If you grew up in the church, did you ever proclaim to believe with your words but not with your life? If so, share how God showed you that you failed the test.

6. Responding to God: Write an honest prayer before God. Talk to Him about the tests of faith that James talks about in this passage and where you truly are compared to his words.

2 comments:

Twisting His Arm said...

Praying used to be SO difficult for me but easy to say. I didn't say "I will pray for you" often because I knew I didn't have a good prayer life. Now I am trying to be that person who REALLY means the words "I will pray for you" and actually puts the words into action. Now I keep track of my prayer schedule on the computer in order to keep myself accountable to those in need of prayer.

jjdsc said...

That's so true, Twisting His arm!
I knew "Christianese" from growing up in church. I was inconsistent and lacking in power.
In my early 30's, I went through tremendous trials that anyone should never have to go through. I truly believed that was when my life started to speak the Words I believed. Though, it still an ongoing process.