Meeting Others’ Needs
In this sermon about serving others, we are challenged that how we meet others' needs is an indication of the health of our corps.
Is our Faith the Real Thing?
Is our faith the real thing? Is our corps’ faith what it says on the tin? How do we know? The message of tonight’s passage is that our response to the needs of those around us demonstrates whether our faith is the real thing:
James 2:8-19, p.1214
James and Paul and Faith and Works
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
Did they contradict each other?
Believing in God is Not Enough
So with faith; if it does not lead to action, it is in itself a lifeless thing.
Simply believing in God is not enough. How do we know our faith is the real thing? It’s alive. It does what it says on the tin. Action is the fruit of living faith.
Works are the Natural Fruit of Our Faith
Suppose a brother or a sister is in rags with not enough food for the day, and one of you says, ‘Good luck to you, keep yourselves warm, and have plenty to eat’, but does nothing to supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?
It doesn’t work, because nothing changes. Something more than talk is required.If our faith stirs us to action, then our actions confirm our faith is alive.
Ensuring Our Faith is the Real Thing
“You cannot warm the hearts of people with God’s love if they have an empty stomach and cold feet.” — William Booth
Needs-oriented evangelism is still one of the strengths of the Army today. God continues to call us to share God’s love in ways that are relevant to the needs of those around us. We must do all we can to meet the relational, material, emotional and spiritual needs of those in our community who most need it.So is our faith the real thing? Will you ensure yours is a fighting faith?
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