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					        Packinghouse Men’s Bible Fellowship


                                        JAMES 2:14-26

                                                                                               Lesson 8

FIRST DAY:            Review and Overview

1. Review James 2:1-13. Share a practical way you put the royal law into practice this week.




2. Note and mark the paragraph divisions of this week’s study. Briefly state the key thought of each
   paragraph.


   a. James 2:14-17




   b. James 2:18-24




   c. James 2:25-26




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3. Boldly print James 2:20b as a title to this week’s study. See also verses 17, 26. Selah




   a. Preview the lesson by thinking about this statement in light of the question of James 2:14c.
      Write that question here in anticipation of what the answer will work in your life.




4. Abraham and Rahab are used in James 2:21-26 to illustrate the principal of James 2:14-20. These
   two examples of genuine faith evidenced by works present a striking contrast in character, culture
   and class. Observe this by writing the two word description following their names in these verses:

   a. Abraham ________________           _________________

   b. Rahab     ________________       _________________

Note: The difference between professing faith and authentic saving faith can be recognized through
      these passages in James. These two examples compel us to recognize that all believers, no
      matter what their nationality, status, circumstances, or maturity are to back up their profession of
      faith with works consistent with their claim.

MEMORY VERSE
“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and
not by faith only.” – James 2:23-24



SECOND DAY:           Read James 2:14-18

1. James 2:14 asks the question: What doth it profit, my bretheren, though a man say he hath faith,
   and have not works? Can faith save him?

   a. How would you answer that question?




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   b. What did Jesus say must accompany our profession of faith to prove we have faith that saves?
      (Matthew 7:21)




2. Paul in Ephesians 2:8, 9 clearly states that salvation is not obtained through works. James clearly
   states that works will accompany salvation. These two writers do not contradict one another, but
   their writings complement each other. Paul identified the root of genuine faith – belief in Jesus
   Christ. James identified the fruit of genuine faith – love and works. What did Paul say in
   Ephesians 2:(8, 9)10 about works and the believer?




Optional Challenge: One of the dictionary definitions of works is: performance of moral or religious
                    acts resulting from salvation. Do you think works is limited to doing for the Lord
                    and others, or do you think it also refers to our behavior, our lifestyle –
                    why or why not?




3. Can faith save him? (James 2:14) is referring to this man’s kind of faith, not true faith in Christ
   which produces a transformed life and out of which flows good works. It is not what we say we
   have, it is what we do that proves our faith. James is not referring to Christians who are deficient or
   weak in works but one who has no works whatsoever from his life. How would you explain the
   relationship between faith and works to one who says he has faith but has no works?

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   a. James gives an illustration of faith without works in James 2:15, 16. Summarize this example.




   b. See I John 3:17, 18 and Luke 10:30-37. Indicate any additional insights concerning faith and
      works.




   c. What is wrong with the faith in James 2:17? Explain dead.




4. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have deeds." Show me your faith without your deeds,
   and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:18. How did James say faith could be seen?




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   a. According to Matthew 5:16 who will be glorified by our good works?




Optional - Record the instructions we are given concerning works

            a. Colossians 1:10




            b. Hebrews 10:24




Note: Although faith is not tangible it is real and can be seen by others when practiced through works.
      The Greek word for shew in James 2:18 means: to bring to light; exhibit; display; to prove. Faith
      dwells within the heart where only God sees. When there is genuine faith there should be an
      outward expression of that faith.


MEMORY VERSE
“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and
not by faith only.” – James 2:23-24




THIRD DAY:            Read James 2:19-22

1. James 2:19 points to Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. Because the
   Jews believed that there is one God, James commended them. However, to make his point that just
   believing in God is not enough, who else did James say believed? (19c)




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   a. What else does this verse say the devils (demons) do?




2. You will recall that in this chapter faith without works is dead appears three times (verse 17, 20, 26).
   State what this phrase means in your own words.




3. Observe the two rhetorical questions in James 2:21, 22. How was Abraham’s faith justified by his
   works (demonstrated to be genuine)? Genesis 22:1-19, James 2:21b




4. It has been suggested that for a clearer understanding of James 2:21 and 24, we might read the
   phrase this way: Was not Abraham our father shown justified by his works. Justified means:
   declared righteous (just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned). According to Genesis 15:6 when was Abraham
   justified?




   a. When were we justified (declared righteous). Romans 4:5




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Note: 40 years after Abraham believed in the Lord (Genesis 15:6) he was confronted with a crisis,
      that through his obedience, confirmed his faith.


MEMORY VERSE
“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and
not by faith only.” – James 2:23-24



FOURTH DAY:           Read James 2:23-24

1. James 2:22 tells us that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made
   complete by what he did.


   a. How does our obedience to God’s commands demonstrate our faith to be genuine?




2. Why do you think James is insisting that believers understand clearly the relationship between faith
   and works?




   a. What does II Corinthians 13:5 tell us to do?




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   b. Some genuine believers might tell you they were beginning to doubt their salvation because they
      were weak in works. How would you encourage them? See I John 3: (19-22)23, 24.




3. Think of the following statement in relationship to James 2:23: Had there been no works, Abraham
   would not have been justified; the reason would be that the absence of works would indicate that he
   had no real faith. With this in mind explain why there is no contradiction between Romans 4:3 and
   James 2:21.




4. What does James want us to see or clearly understand through his illustration of Abraham’s faith?
   (James 2:24)




Note: Ephesians 2:8-10 helps us keep our theology straight about faith and works – Ephesians 2:8-10
      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of
      God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ
      Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


MEMORY VERSE
“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and
not by faith only.” – James 2:23-24




                                                     8
FIFTH DAY:            Read James 2:25-26

1. Write a brief description of Rahab from Joshua 2:1-24; 6:(1-21)22, 25. Notice she was a Gentile.




   a. From Joshua 2:11b what did Rahab believe about God that moved her to hide the spies?




   b. What does Hebrews 11:31 add to this scenario? Notice Rahab is commended for her faith, not
      her immorality.




2. Even though her earthly biography describes her as a harlot, how do you think her heavenly
   biography describes her?




   a. Rahab’s action in sheltering the spies stemmed not from fear but from her faith in God.
      How is this an example to you?




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   b. What token did the spies give Rahab to saver her family? (Joshua 2:18)




Note: The scarlet thread of Rahab’s story assured salvation for her household. (Joshua 6:17)
      The scarlet thread of redemption through Christs’ blood winds through the scriptures.


3. James summarizes his exhortation concerning faith and works in this last verse in chapter 2.
   What parallels do you see in the ‘body without the spirit’ and ‘faith without works’?




   a. What does Matthew 7:21-23 say about doing works?




   b. If you picture faith without works as comparable to a corpse, you readily grasp the emphasis of
      James’ teaching in verses 17, 20, and 26. Why is faith without works depicted as dead?




   c. List the good works recorded in:

       (1) I Timothy 5:10




       (2) Acts 9:36, 39b
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4. Select a few of the following verses, all if you have time and state what they reveal about works that
   are consistent with our faith.

   a. Titus 2:(11-13) 14




   b. Titus 3:1b




   c. Titus 3:14




   d. Hebrews 10:24




   e. I Peter 2:12




MEMORY VERSE
“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and
not by faith only.” – James 2:23-24



SIXTH DAY:            Review James 2:14-26

1. With what attitude are we to serve the Lord? Psalm 100:2a




   a. What does this say to you about a complaining, uncooperative, or sour disposition in our works?
      See this from God’s perspective in Deuteronomy 28:47, 48 (aren’t you glad we are under grace
      and not under the law?).
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2. How did Abraham and Rahab’s belief affect their behavior?




   a. If our belief (faith) does not produce works what should we recognize about our faith?




   b. Works are what we do in response to our salvation. Why can we NEVER be saved (born again)
      by works?




   c. Summarize the relationship between faith and works in your own words.




3. Abraham’s faith held nothing back from God. Rahab’s faith held nothing back from human need.
   What example is there is this for you?
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4. Think about this: Do my works reflect my faith? What particular thought or scripture from this
   lesson will help you with this?




   a. How do you want James 2:21-26 to affect your life?




MEMORY VERSE
“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and
not by faith only.” – James 2:23-24


              Let none hear idly saying, “There is nothing I can do”
          While the world around is dying and the Master calls for you
         Take the task He gives you gladly, let His work your pleasure be
         Answer quickly when He calleth, Here am I, send me, send me.
                                                                        - Daniel March




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