Pastor Peter Mason - November 12, 2017
FAITH James 2:17-24
Introduction:The misunderstanding of “faith” in our culture.
I. The meaning of the words for faith
a. Old Testament Hebrew: ’Aman
i. Confident reliance
ii. Response of trust
iii. Illustrations of faith
iv. Abraham’s faith (Genesis 15:6 quoted in James 2:23) is in the word of God and based on God’s
revelation through His creation resulted in a relationship with God.
b. New Testament Greek: pisteuo
Believe in (pisteuein) with the dative (eis) occurs in John fourteen times means to trust in, a transference of trust from ourselves
to another (John 2:11; John 3:16; 4:39 and 14:1).
Literally, the expression pisteuo eis means to “believe into.” This expression means more than believing facts about a person in the sense of an intellectual judgment.
It includes the element of personal trust.
II. Theological perspective on faith throughout the New Testament
a. Personal: In John’s writings faith is trusting in the person of Christ—faith is relational.
b. Precise: In Paul’s letters faith alone saves because of Christ being the sole object of faith.
c. Scope: In Hebrews Christ is the only object of faith (Hebrews 10:38; 11:7) and is defined as “the assurance of things hoped for” (11:1).
d. Produces: In James true faith results in actions that are the fruit of faith.James is making the point not that works must be added to faith but that genuine faith produces works
III. The elements of saving faith are . . .
a. Content: understanding the information about who Christ is and what he has done,
b. Conviction: persuasion as to the truth of those facts, and c. Confidence: trust\reliance on what we understand and know to be true.
Conclusion: Saving faith means to trust in Christ’s death and resurrection as historically true and to rely on Him to forgive your sins and to raise you to new life.
Therefore, faith is . . .
• Relying onthe one who has shown himself to be trustworthy
• Trusting inChrist alone, not in your good works, for salvation
• Assurance ofwhat was, is, and is to come—visible and the invisible • Confidence ina person, not a mere intellectual exercise
• Entering intoa relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.
• Producing the fruit of Christlike character and good works