Revision of Last Term/ Meaning of Faith and Work

 

Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about the meaning of faith and work. Enjoy the class!

Meaning of Faith and Work

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Faith is very synonymous to trust or believe. Hebrews 11:1 defines “faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Apostle James in his epistle carefully admonished Christians who genuinely believed in Jesus Christ to show their belief and faith in their lifestyle.

Some qualities are expected of faithful Christians. Christians are encouraged to practice daily the gospel of Jesus Christ and the word of God, which is love, honesty, forgiveness, humility, and faithfulness. James encouraged Christians to combine their faith with their work. The apostle emphasized the need to practice the moral principles that are expected of Christians.  He encouraged the believers that, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your selves. For if any be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetting what manner of man he was.” James 1:22-24.

We are to look into God’s perfect law that sets people free, pay attention to it. If we do what it says, we will have God’s blessing. Believers are not expected to just listen to the word of God and then forget what we listened to.

He taught them that religion without self-control is useless.  Believers are encouraged to exercise self-control, especially with the tongue.  The offering of a careless talker is considered careless and worthless to God.  Acceptable worship before God includes caring for orphans or widows who need help and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence. God accepts and considers this kind of worship.

Apostle James went on further to express that Faith without work is dead. (James 2: 14- 17) He explained that it is useless for any man to say he has faith whereas he’s not doing any work to reflect his Faith. He gave an example of someone coming to the meeting wearing very nice clothes and a gold ring.

At the same time, a poor person comes in wearing old, dirty clothes. If we show special attention to the person wearing nice clothes. by saying “Sit here in this good seat.” But says to the poor person, “Stand there!” or “Sit on the floor by our feet!” then, we have done wrong. If we are treating one person as more important than another, then we are sinning. We are guilty of breaking God’s law.

Another vivid example he gave was, suppose a brother or sister in Christ comes to you in need of clothes or something to eat. And you say to them, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you don’t give them the things they need. If you don’t help them, your words are worthless. Your action is a practical description of faith without works.

Ways by which Christians can demonstrate their faith based on the teaching of Saint James.

  1. Christian should be involved in charity giving, social justice and corporate social responsibility.
  2. Christians should help unemployed to be employed by establishing vocational-technical training Institute.
  3. all Christians are expected to participate in church activities according to their level of God-given ability.
  4. Christians should ensure good governance by participating in government and putting their faith to practice.
  5. Christian should help the poor and needy around them within and outside the church.

Self-evaluation:

  1. Describe how James used the action of the patriarch Abraham to justify Faith.
  2. how do you think Christians can reflect their faith in their work according to this teaching?

Assignment

  1. Explain James’ concept of works to Faith.
  2. In what ways can Christians demonstrate their faith in their daily duty (June 2006 WASSCE).
  3. How did James prove that Faith apart from work is dead? (June 2001 WASSCE)

 

In our next class, we will be talking about Salvation.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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