Family Bible Study lesson for Jan. 6: Inaction to Action
December 14 2001 by Lisa Horton , Acts 6:1-4, James 1:22-27; 2:14-18

Family Bible Study lesson for Jan. 6: Inaction to Action | Friday, Dec. 14, 2001

Friday, Dec. 14, 2001

Family Bible Study lesson for Jan. 6: Inaction to Action

By Lisa Horton Acts 6:1-4, James 1:22-27; 2:14-18 Is your faith contagious? Whose life has been changed as a result of knowing you? Are there people who will be in heaven because you shared your faith in Christ with them? Is your faith rubbing off on anyone? There was a preacher who was speaking at a conference in Colorado. While there, he purchased $7.02 worth of merchandise in a small store; not realizing that the only money he had with him was a $100 bill. When the preacher laid the bill on the counter, the clerk grasped it in both hands and held it to the light. Then he began to rub the bill vigorously back and forth against a piece of white paper. The preacher watched as the white paper turned green. The ink was coming off the $100 bill! The bill was a counterfeit! His mind began to race as he tried to remember where he had gotten the bill. He imagined the headlines: "Baptist preacher bagged with bogus bill." Suddenly the clerk looked up and smiled. Pointing to the green-stained paper, he said, "Well, it's good. The real thing always rubs off."

I must admit that I do not know for sure if rubbing a hundred-dollar bill on white paper is a valid test of its authenticity. But I am sure of this: A real, genuine faith always rubs off on other people.

Is it possible to have genuine faith in Jesus Christ, and not have works that demonstrate that faith? James says that faith without deeds is useless (James 2:14). But, if "useless" is not a strong enough description, then try "dead" (James 2:17).

A person who claims to be a Christian, but demonstrates no action to back up that claim, is like a person who claims to be a pianist, but never plays the piano; or a person who claims to be a pilot, but has never flown an airplane. It is one thing for a person to say he has faith, and another to actually possess a genuine faith. Real faith demands action.

Hebrews chapter 11 is often referred to as God's "hall of fame of faith." This passage vividly illustrates the truth that faith is demonstrated by actions. Each person mentioned in this chapter is given an eternal place in God's word, because of his faith. And in each case, we are told specifically how that person demonstrated his faith. By faith, Abel offered a better sacrifice. By faith, Enoch pleased God. By faith, Noah built an ark. By faith, Abraham obeyed God. And so on. Their faith was unquestionably demonstrated by acts of obedience to God.

I have to wonder, if we were nominated to be in God's hall of fame of faith, what evidence could be given to prove that our faith was verified by our actions.

Although works are very important in the life of a Christian, we must remember that faith always comes before works. Eph. 2:8-9 says that "it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." It is impossible to do enough good deeds to earn your way into heaven. However, there are many people who do not understand this truth. As a matter of fact, a recent nationwide survey by the Barna Research Group revealed that the majority of church-going adults believe that good works are one of the keys to persuading God to forgive their sins. But the message of the Bible is very clear: God will only accept the blood of Jesus Christ as a covering for our sins and as a means of entering heaven.

Once we have truly received salvation by faith, then out of a heart of love, gratitude and obedience, we will joyfully serve the Lord. Titus 2:14 says that Jesus Christ "gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good."

Let us demonstrate a genuine faith and a transformed life by our eagerness to do what is good!

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12/14/2001 12:00:00 AM by Lisa Horton , Acts 6:1-4, James 1:22-27; 2:14-18 | with 0 comments
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