Scripture Reading: James 2:14-26
Memory Verse: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Introduction: Christians’ faith is much greater than anything possessed by faithless men. As one minister has said: “Faith is the eye that sees the invisible-the hand that touches the intangible-the ear that hears the unutterable.” Faith is all of this, and more. It is believing God when every other source of information says “not to believe God.” It is to trust in “divine providence” that is not seen, felt, or heard. It is to proceed with the next item on God’s agenda while being perplexed that God seems to have chosen such a seemingly illogical move. It is believing when you cannot understand and obeying even when you are fearing the repercussions.
We must possess and exhibit faith if we are to accomplish any real and decisive victories in the spiritual realm. We must not wait for the accomplishment of each logical step before launching out into endeavors and programs that are challenging. We must ask only if a venture is the will of God and if He is leading us to do it. The answer that “God is in a program only if He removes all difficulties and obstacles before we are called upon to begin it,” is not necessarily true. Sometimes we are called to face the “walls of Jericho” that are yet intact. We must see them as “fallen walls” through the eye of faith, and not wait expecting them all to fall before assembling our armies.
These are the days when churches do not construct new buildings unto they are forced to and have 85% of their funds in a bank account. Contrast this with the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his own opportunity for material prosperity for that which he saw by faith. What kind of faith do we possess if we cannot do the things that faithless men exclaim are impossible? If we would only venture those things that even a businessman would do on a calculated risk, how much faith would we have?
It seems there is an affliction of unbelief and faithlessness is rampant. Perhaps it is because we desire the comfort and assurance of things that are tangible. We need constantly to meditate on the perfect truth that “things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). We are not limited to the tangible, the visible, or the material. We can count things promised as consummated. We can accept those things hoped for in the will of God as present victories. The adherents of this true philosophy of faith can never taste defeat. They cannot be stopped nor side-tracked. We may be “perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8). We believe we shall overcome this world and all obstacles and see the establishment of God’s kingdom, for “if God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).
- What is faith, and how can it be acquired? Hebrews 11:1; Romans 10:17.
- How is living faith manifested by the true Christian, and is it gauged by devotion and action? James 2:18; Luke 5:20.
- In view of pleasing God by faith, what is found in Hebrews 11:2, 6; Revelation 17:14?
- How are we justified in the eyes of God? Acts 15:8-9; Romans 3:28; 5:1; Galatians 2:16; 3:24.
- While living a Christian life, are we always to see the material conclusion of God’s program for us? 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:1, 13. Discuss.
- To what extent are we to go in trusting and obeying God? 1 Timothy 6:11-12; Revelation 2:10.
- How may faith be our defense in these trying times? Ephesians 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 1 John 5:4.
- What is found in 1 Corinthians 2:5, concerning a substitute for real faith in God?
- How can we have faith despite evident obstacles and present difficulties? 2 Corinthians 4:18. Explain.
- How is faith made alive and perfect, and how is it related to victory? James 2:17-18, 20-22; 1 John 5:4.