vs 17 Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
vs 20 Faith without works is dead.
vs 26 Faith without works is dead.
“A tree has been planted in the ground. Now the source of life to that tree is at the root, whether it has apples on it or not; the apples do not give it life, but the life of the tree comes from its root. But if that tree stands in the orchard, and when springtime comes there is no bud, and when summer comes there is no leafing, and no fruit-bearing, and the next year, and the next, it stands without bud or blossom or leaf or fruit, you would say it is dead, and you are correct; it is dead. It’s not that the leaves could have made it live, but the absence of the leaves is a proof that it is dead. So, too, is it with the professor. If he has life, that life must give fruits; if not fruits, works, if his faith has a root. But if there be no works, then the inference that he is spiritually dead is certainly a correct one.” (Charles Spurgeon)
I. Characteristics of Dead Faith
1) Empty confession
2) False compassion
3) Shallow conviction
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?
James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Rom 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
Gal 2:16 We know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
How do we reconcile James and Paul?
1) Friends don’t need to be reconciled
2) James and Paul have two different starting points
3) James and Paul have two different audiences
1st Witness) ABRAHAM
Gen 15:1-5 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside & said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Gen 15:6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
Gen 22:2 Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.
Gen 22:12 God said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
2nd Witness) RAHAB the HARLOT