Monday, September 16, 2013

What Is Genuine Religion?

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

James advises us to get rid of all that is wrong in our lives and “humbly accept” the salvation message we have received (“the word planted in you”), because it alone can save us.

The word of God that has been implanted in the believer’s heart should be received with meekness—describing a teachable spirit—without resistance, disputing, or questioning. Receiving God’s Word in this way will save the believer’s soul, a word meaning “life.” Sin leads to death (James 1:15).  Obedience prevents death; it protects a believer from sinful behavior that can lead directly or indirectly to physical death (James 1:15; 1 Cor. 11:30).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Do You Have Genuine Faith?

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

When someone claims to have faith, what they may have is intellectual assent – agreement with a set of Christian teachings – and as such it would be incomplete faith.  True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts.  If our lives remain unchanged, we don’t truly believe the truths we claim to believe.