Clearing Up the Confusion – Northwest Bible Church

6639 Scioto Darby Road, Hilliard, OH 43026

Sundays at 10am | (614) 876-7882

Sermon Audio: Clearing Up the Confusion


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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Clearing Up the Confusion

Ken Harrell

Senior Pastor

Key Scripture

James 2:14–26

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.

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 believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 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? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Take Away / Application

We are not saved by good works; we are saved for good works.

  • Is your faith in Jesus public and evident in your daily life?

Discussion Questions

Don’t be afraid to add to this list, skip questions that don’t work for your group or branch off with additional questions as the discussion unfolds. Conversation is key! This is the time to work through the application of scripture and have group members figure things out together.

  1. Define “works” in your own words?
  2. Who have you seen display their faith in their everyday life? What do they say, or what do they do, that demonstrates their “saving faith?”
  3. How do you respond to people who claim to be Christians, but lack any deeds to back up their faith? How do you respond to those who seem to perform many good deeds but don’t have any faith?
  4. Read Ephesians 2:8–10 and James 2:14, 18. Do you struggle with reconciling these passages? Do you understand the difference between these passages and see that they do not contradict one another? Discuss.
  5. How is your faith being expressed through deeds? How does your faith affect the choices you make and the things you do?
  6. Faith that saves is never without works. What can you do this week to express your faith through action? Specifically, what can you do for someone in your life whom you normally ignore or neglect?
  7. Read James 2:21–26. Is your private faith in Jesus Christ public? In what area of your life, do you struggle the most, in letting your faith impact your life?
  8. Abraham was willing to put his son Isaac on the altar and offer Him up to God. Nothing in Abraham’s life would take precedence over Jesus. God will not ask you to sacrifice your child, but is there anything in your life that takes precedence over God? Is there anything you need to offer up to God, so that He may be first in your life? (Status, Money, Your Kids, Your Significant Other, Job, etc.)
  9. When you think about God’s judgment, in relation to your faith, does it give you comfort knowing that you’re secure, or does it make you anxious? Explain.

Sermon Notes

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Scripture Reference



Faith, Works