Showing That You Are Saved-2&3
Authentic Believers Show They Are Saved By Their Works
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 2/1/04
This is the second message in our series on the book of James. Our topic has been, How Authentic Believers Show That They Are Saved.
In the previous message, we saw that…
In this message we will see…
Authentic Believers Show That They Are Saved By Their Works
One of the key proofs that a person is an authentic believer is that they "receive with meekness the engrafted Word of God" (21). That is, they yield to the Word of God. They are submissive to it. More specifically, they take to heart what the Word says about their shortcomings, faults, and sins, desiring to conform their behavior to the doctrines and precept of the Word of God.
Look at verse 22. It says, James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
The old Puritan Preacher, Richard Baxter (1615-1691) said, "There must be inward practice by meditation, and outward practice in true obedience." It just is not enough to remember what we hear. Neither is it enough to be able to repeat what we hear. Nor is it enough to take notes on what we hear. The believer validates his testimony by seeking to conform his life to the Word of God.
Verses 23-25 compares those who hear, yet do not do with those who hear and do. In verse 23, James begins by telling us that a person who hears the truths of God’s Word and does not do this is like a man who looks into a mirror and sees that he has smudges, perhaps grease or dried food on his face. The smudges and filth could be washed off of his face! The problem is, that the man leaves without doing anything, and soon forgets about his dirty face! It is easy to see that the Word of God represents the mirror. The mirror of God’s Word shows us for what we are, blemishes, dirt and all. But, the first man, looking in the mirror refused to pay attention to what he sees in the Word of God and does not change.
The second man however, pays attention to the Word hears(and reads) and acts on it. He knows "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Authentic believers hear and heed the Word of God. Next, we will see that authentic believers show that they are saved by the way…
Look at James 1:26 "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." I think the use of the word religious is very revealing. In Essays in Biblical Greek, by Hatch, he shows that the word religious "refers to the external observances of public worship, such as church attendance, almsgiving, prayer, fasting. It is the Pharisaic element in Christian worship." Obviously, mere outward religious observances are not valid indicators of genuine Christianity. If a man (or woman) boasts of his works, and speaks ill of other believer; if he backbites, and slanders their names and characters, by private insinuations, and public charges without any foundation, and does not watch what he says, but gives his tongue a liberty of speaking anything, that man is deceiving himself, because his religion is not real! But, authentic Christians control their tongues! One key area that tongue control that James points out is in unrighteous anger. Turn to James 1:19-20 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." The Apostle Paul, broadens the instructions on how we are to control our tongues in Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Turn to Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Finally, turn to Proverbs 10:32a "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable…." Simply stated, authentic Christians show that they are saved by the way they control their tongues.
Next, authentic believers show that they are saved by the way…
So what is "The Royal Law?" For the answer, turn to James 2:8 "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:" The love spoken of in this verse is a love that shows itself by actions! What are some of the actions of love that are named? James 1:27 indicates that it includes visiting the fatherless and widows. Then, as the next verses say (James 2:1-9), we are not to show prejudiced to one person over another. Authentic believers demonstrate the royal law of love.
Finally, authentic believers show that they are saved by the way…
They Keep Themselves From Worldliness
James 1:27 says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is…to keep himself unspotted from the world." The authentic believer understands that "friendship of the world is enmity with God." As James clearly asserts "whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4).
So how can you keep yourself from worldliness? Titus 2:12-13 gives us the answer -- deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
Let me ask you a question. Does the way you live your
life show that you are an authentic believer? 1) Do you hear and heed the
Word of God? 2) Do you control your tongue? 3) Do you keep the royal law
of love? 4) Do you keep yourself from worldliness?