Faith without works is dead by Pastor Don Moore

Monday, December 31, 2007

Faith without works is dead by Pastor Don

Pastor Don has been going over the basic tenets of faith in Hebrews 6:1-3 in great detail. Here is our text for your reference.

Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

We began our Bible study by talking about works.

John 6:26-28 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

We don’t labor on dead works. We don’t waste our time, energy, and efforts on dead works. We work with a purpose, a goal, and a focus. God’s focus. We want to turn our focus and work to something that will last, that will have everlasting life. You can get bogged down in the work of the devil, calling it a work of love, but it isn’t God’s work for you. You can end up happy someone sent you work thinking it is a good work, but it is one that wastes your time, it is work from the devil. Some charity works will have no lasting value, only work the works of God. Labor to do what Jesus does.

Pastor Don said Jesus never opened a food pantry. He fed the 5,000 because they would have died in the heat of Jerusalem. He did not give away clothing. He told his followers if someone needed a coat and you had two, give one to the person. Give from abundance, not lack.

The widow’s mite was a tithe gift to God, the sowing of a seed.

So the first work that we should do is John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

The actual work we are supposed to do is to believe in Christ, work unto eternal salvation, feeding our faith.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

We act out what a believer does. Exercise the fact that you are a believer. To believe in Christ is to see, desire, act, think, and speak the mandate of Christ. To go, teach, disciple, obey His Words. Believe in Christ is the Work.

John 6:30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?

Those listening to Christ still did not get it, they were still looking for a sign, they were still misdirected.

John 6:31-32 “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.

Jesus is a bit upset. He wants us to do the work of God and get off of only doing what you can do with your hands. Look to the true bread from Heaven, Jesus.

John 6:33-35 “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

Your work is to eat Me (Jesus), believe Me, know His Word. Believe on what He says and you have to KNOW THE WORD (read, study, meditate) so you know what to believe. When you do this, you will never hunger or thirst.

John 6:36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.

The measure of if someone is doing a dry work or if the work is of God is their obedience to the process of obedience. Pastor Don says, if my wife tells me to meet her at the Mobile station, do I go to meet her? How well you believe in Christ is determined by how obedient you are to Him. Are you more faithful to the Church or to Jesus?

Jesus’ biggest problems were the Scribes and Pharisees who were still honoring the traditions of men.

John 6:37-38 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

If you do the work of God, that has permanence. Some people have routines. For example, they love to pray in the morning before they do anything else. If God wants you to, for some reason, disrupt this priority, you have to make your first priority to do what God commands, and lay aside your usual morning routine. The Father sets priorities, faith directs, and our work is to respond.

We need to develop good Bible habits, to have consecrated time for Jesus. That is the work of God, to spend time in the Word, exercising our ability to believe. When you do a dry work, God will direct your will to come in line with the will of God. God will direct the works of your flesh. For example, you may go past three beggars and then God will direct you to give money to the fourth beggar, who will make good use of your alms. You will be led by the Spirit. Jesus climbed over many bodies at the Pool of Siloam and came to the one man who wanted to get well.

Jesus even told us we will always have the poor with us. The devil could have taken Mary Magdalene and had her listen to a lie to sell her ointment to give to the poor. But then Jesus would not have been prepared for his burial by her anointing of Him.

The Work of Christ is to teach Jesus so people will believe on Him, help them to get into the Word, and improve their power of believing.

James 1:19-21 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

We need to be swift to hear, slow to speak. And receive the implanted Word of God. How do we implant it? By being in the Word of God, reading, meditating, and obeying. Pastor Don pointed out that Sunday school teachers who taught us to memorize verses have put those verses into our heart by rote. Pastor Don often points out that Sunday School teachers do extremely important work in the Church for they are training our future believers. When we have the Word of God in us, we can then receive it again with meekness because it will rise up inside you when needed.  Pastor Don pointed out that the younger the kids are that get the Word of God into them, the better.

MOST IMPORTANT: James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Being a doer of the Word is doing the work of the Lord, to Believe on the One (Jesus) whom He sent.

James 1:23-25 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

WORK = WORD Your work is the Word. We need to be a student of the Word so our missions are what Christ wants. As we go into the Word we will see where our works measure up and reflect Christ and where they don’t.

James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.

Religion is useless if we are not doing the work of God, not hating others, not speaking evil against others, not deceiving ourselves. The Word is the work, and the work is the Word.

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Religion is not work. Religion is an exercise of something that has Spiritual Value. Some of the Christian TV evangelists who do not follow the morals God has set down, gain negative attention, detract from God and the good that God does, and cause people to forget all the good that these evangelists did before they fell.

James 2:1-3 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”

Our strong foundation is to hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. To display it without partiality

James 2:14  What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

If we have Bible faith, and obey God, the works will follow, works from obedience, not from the flesh. If a faith does not manifest good works does it have value?

James 2:15-16 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?

It does not profit anything. James is speaking to believers about believers. We need to have our eyes open to see the needs of those in our church family.

James 2:17-18 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

You can have faith and you can have works, but faith without works is dead. You cannot separate faith from works. You show your faith by the godly inspired works you do. We do not put our faith into works, but into God. Faith for health, healing, prosperity, and improvement. Faith should demonstrate something.

Everything that happens has another side to it. For example, sometimes when something bad happens like your house burns down, people begin to wonder where was God in that, blaming God for what is really the work of satan. They forget, one year later, when they have a bigger, better house because the insurance paid off more, that God was in that. We don’t know how to measure what happens to us. It may take years, but if we hold onto God in faith, He manifests abundantly.

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

It is not a question of doing works to get salvation, but if you have salvation you are going to do works. Works will not win you heaven. The goal is not producing works, works are a byproduct of salvation. And it is not just believing, the demons believe, but they do not do godly works.

James 2:21-22  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?  Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

Faith is made perfect by obedience to God. It is not faith or working – if you think it is one or the other exclusively, you miss the whole point.

James 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

It is important to help the poor and do good works, but the difference is, we have to help according to how the Holy Spirit directs us. And the important work is to believe on the One (Jesus) that He (God) sent.

We are all physical and have fleshly lives, and we want to help the person on earth, but we have to keep in mind that we will all die, and the most important help is to make sure of a person’s eternal soul. Everything we do on earth has to line up with God’s will, for we are not doing the work of God if we interfere with what He has put in place to reach a person and draw them to Himself. God does not want that anyone is lost, but not all charity is doing the work of God. If we are not feeding the soul as well as the body, the person will not be brought closer to God, closer to heaven. We want people to live the abundant life. We also want to, according to God’s leading, to give charity to all who need it, and be kind to people for that may open the way to the Gospel for them. But the key word is IN GOD’S LEADING.

We then read Hebrews 6:1-12 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. or God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

When we work through the flesh it is working through the curse brought by Adam and Eve’s disobedience. But when we are obedient to the Word and do the works as verse 12 tells us with faith and patience, then we will see things happen.

We have a problem with patience. We want things to happen on our time period. We might feel we need a move of God at 12 on Monday, but He shows up at 3 on Wednesday. He waits until we get to the end of ourselves, then go to God in Faith and patience. We must develop the ability to do what Jesus would do. We can have an idea of what we think God needs to do to get us out of our situation, and if our idea was implemented a million things could go wrong.

If we do stupid and dig our heels in to OUR solution for a problem WE created, we won’t be helped. What we really need is an answer from God. We have to be confident of better things, things that accompany salvation. What qualifies for salvation? Believing on Him who God sent and we have to have REPENTANCE FOR DEAD WORKS. If we get back to repenting then we can get back to salvation. If there is no repentance, there is no salvation. Repentance is the crux of it all. It is wrong to assume that our works, church, organizations, books, gifts, talents or anything fleshly can open the way to salvation. They won’t do it. If we don’t humble ourself and repent we can’t get salvation.

We then went on to discuss the baptisms, and I will continue the Bible study tomorrow.

Praying your day is blessed, and praying that you have a fantastic New Year.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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