Faith Works

James 1:1-11

 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Read: We are a biblically rooted church who wants to help you overcome life’s emptiness through a deeper relationship with Christ and connection to a family who cares.

Transformation Questions:

  • Two key themes of the book of James are faith and works or as Todd says faith that works.
    • How would you define faith? What is faith? Is faith something that only happens internally in believers?
      • Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
    • Do you see a conflict in the ideas of faith and works?
      • There is only conflict if you think work adds anything to your faith. A person’s works cannot save. People are only saved by grace through faith. We are explicitly told in Eph. 2:8 that works do not save. Works show what is on the inside. If you have no work of faith the mostly likely answer is that you have no saving faith.
  • Christians often struggle with living out their Sunday-faith on Monday in the marketplace. If your faith is meant to be made public or faith is to be lived out, where and how can you work out your faith tomorrow at work?
    • Try to ask probing questions to get them to be exact or at least to think through a real scenario. You could even ask them to explain how that scenario they are thinking of might take place.
  • How have you seen God use a trial in your life to produce fruit in you or to conform you more into his image?
    • The more honest and thoughtful you are the more open they will likely be.
  • Charles Spurgeon has this quote about trials and suffering, “I kiss the waves that send me crashing into the rock of ages.” What does he mean? How does this idea apply to your life?
  • We all face trials. How have you learned to endure hardships?
    • What is your internal monologue like? Explain to them the truths you have to tell yourself so as not to be brought to despair or sin. For instance, when bad things come, I have to reaffirm to myself that I know that God is in control.
  • Read verse 5. What is a good working definition of wisdom?
    • Have you ever spent time asking God for wisdom?
    • How do you feel knowing that God is willing to give you ask much as you ask for?
  • Do you think you struggle with doubt when you pray?
  • Is your doubt believing that God cannot do it, is your doubt that God would not do it for you, or you do not think God would do it for you because you do not live good enough?
  • Take a second and work through these three types of doubt listed above and work out why each of these ideas are faulty.
  • Do you think you struggle to pray big prayers?