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I was recently drawn back to one of my blog post I made in 2017. Within it I discuss the breakdown and meaning of the words within verse James 2:20. Today I will read this post into today’s podcast and then expound upon it further.
That is what I have been led to address. It is said twice in James the same wording is used both times in the Greek. So here it goes:
James 2:20 NKJV – But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Faith – pistis – faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.
In the pure Greek meaning of the word “pistis” it has the actual and passive sense of “trusting” and “worthy of trust.”
Paul placed “pistis” or “faith” at the core of theology. We must remember that Paul was originally a Pharisee and had persecuted early Christians before his encounter with the risen Jesus. To quote from the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) –
“Primarily, it is acceptance of the kerygma, i.e. subjection to the way of salvation ordained by God and opened up in Christ.”
Trust me “kerygma” threw me for a loop also, so we need to understand that as well:
Kerygma (from the Greek word κήρυγμα kérugma) which is a Greek word used in the New Testament for “preaching” (see Luke 4:18-19, Romans 10:14, Matthew 3:1). It is related to the Greek verb κηρύσσω kērússō meaning, literally, “to cry or proclaim as a herald” and used in the sense of “to proclaim, announce, preach”.
So, to Paul this was the key element of his teachings. Pure faith and belief in God and that His Son is Jesus Christ.
Works – labor, action, deed
a) Labor – Noun – work, especially hard physical work. Verb – work hard; make great effort
b) Action – the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim; a thing done; an act
c) Deed – an action that is performed intentionally or consciously
I wish to look more deeply in the word “action” especially the “process of doing something” and “an act.”
When you hear the wording “process of doing something” you think of an endeavor. Something that takes a great deal of time to accomplish.
Now “an act” that is where I really which to delve:
One of the meanings of act is defined as “behave in the way specified.”
But where is a type of behavior specified for Christians? The answer is the Bible. So, our labor, our actions, and our deeds must work within the specified nature of the Bible.
Therefore, faith in God through His Son Jesus leads us to follow the teachings of Christ and His disciples, which is the Bible. Meaning we must follow and adhere to what is written within these letters and that we are to repent of our sins and strife to become a true reflection of Jesus Christ.
If we do not follow the Bible than it is “dead.”
Dead – nekros – (a) adj: dead, lifeless, subject to death, mortal, (b) noun: a dead body, a corpse. Per the TDNT in this particular case it could infer “lifeless” or “lifelessness.”
Lifelessness – 1. Having no life; inanimate; 2. Having lost life; dead; 3. Not inhabited by living beings or capable of sustaining life.
So, even though you are walking about and have faith, but do not follow the teaching of the Bible and call that which is a sin a sin and refrain from it you are incapable of eternal life and so are dead in the eyes of God.
That is where the original blog post ended. From here on I will expand upon what was originally inspired by the Holy Spirit five year ago.
Many that profess to being “Christian” go about their daily lives doing the things that most within this temporal exist do. They go to work. Make a paycheck and spend it upon a home, car and clothes. As well as the necessities. They seek after what all seek after. Keeping a majority of their income unto their own wants and desires just like all others do. Then once a week by chance they go to a building called a “church.” Sing a few hymns say a few prayers and then with all their heart believe and think they are fine and dandy with the Lord Almighty.
They do this week in and week out. Totally unaware that their actions, their works are dead and carry no value unto the Lord that their faith tells them they are loyal to. That they are dead in the sight of God for they have not sought after Him but the world.
1 John 2:15-17 NKJV – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
These verses make it extremely clear. That those that live their lives as was previously described they are truly dead in the sight of God. No matter what they wish to profess with their faith and belief in God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I have shown and taught in multiple past podcasts. The actions required known as “works” in James chapter two. Is to live a simple lifestyle. To keep a majority of our earthly wealth at the ready to help those in need. The poor, the hungry, those caught in natural disasters. Living our lives solely for the glory of God through the teachings found within the Bible. This equates to life in the sight of the Lord.
Not rituals like those performed by the Catholic church for example. Rituals and works are two completely different things.
Works done through faith in the belief of Jesus Christ means to seek to emulate our Savior and to live as we are taught to live within the Bible.
Matthew 6:19-24 NLT – “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
If you desire to serve God. Sell the big useless space house for a small house or condo. And not an expensive condo in an exclusive community either. Like the Villages in Florida for example. Sell off and just get rid of those useless items cluttering up your house for they are nothing but idols to your own vanity. Get rid of the Golf clubs and box seats at football or basketball. For sports are the modern gladiators and are those things that appeal to gentiles not servants of God. So, if the church you attend celebrates the super bowl it is not a place of God but of heathen worship. Get rid of the BMW or the Raptor and get a used car or truck by Nissan or Ford. Don’t be saying I can’t retire until I get a million dollars in your 401k, and don’t be seeking to make a 401k that large in the first place. For the majority of what we have is not for our use but God’s.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 NKJV – Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
The most evident witness to a lukewarm I personally witnessed was a person driving a Lexus with “I Love Jesus” stickers plastered upon the back of it. And what has Christ promised to do to the lukewarm?
Revelation 3:15-16 NKJV – “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
John 15:6 NKJV – If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
When Christ speaks of fire and burning, He is making reference to one thing:
Isaiah 66:24 NKJV – “And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
Do not presume that you are exempt that you cannot loss your salvation. These are the words given to those that professed to being “Christian” in Rome:
Romans 2:6-11 NLT – He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
As I have established in passed podcast any who believe they cannot lose their salvation believe they are favored by God. But as was just shown within the Bible God has no favorites.
Just because someone professes to being “Christian” does not make them favored or special. In fact they are the lukewarm if they live their lives like the rest of the world does and so are seen as worse than those that are cold and out right deny God. This is how Christ saw the Pharisees as is witnessed in these verses:
Luke 16:14-17 NKJV – Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
As shown in podcast #114 those that are called an “abomination” equate to being on the same level as the antichrist and those that follow that person.
Is this how you wish to be known for all eternity within the Pit of Fire? Or do you wish to be a true disciple of Christ Jesus?
Time is running. Action is required on your part. For you have a say in your salvation. Where you wish to abide is in your hands, but you must act quickly for Christ is soon to return.