Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Faith Without Works
James 2:26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
James is saying that our faith without corresponding action is devoid of life, it is dead and ineffective. We have to start out by finding where faith comes from. Faith only comes one way, by hearing and hearing the Word of God. (Ro.10:17)
When we take in the Word of God, we will have faith. Faith is produced in our heart, now what we do with that faith is up to us. At that point we have a decision to make, act on what we have heard or simply do nothing, or refuse to do the truth. James also said in the first part of his epistle --
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.
We have to do something with what we hear, or else the Word of God is saying we are deceived. If we do nothing with what we hear, we will not receive the promise by faith. On the other hand, corresponding action with our faith will produce God's results. Another way of saying this is, believing is acting on Godís Word. We must find out what the Word says and act on it if we want to receive the promise. Believing is having, believing is possessing, believing is action. Believing is an action verb, it is doing something. Faith is a noun, when we take it one step further, and do something with our faith we will see the promise manifested. If we donít see the manifestation right away and we give up, we stop acting and loose the promise. How many Christians have stopped believing, or stopped acting, and lost the promise when the manifestation was just around the corner. Donít stop, donĎt quit, donít give up, the Word of God is true and always produces, when we do our part, ALWAYS! Get your eyes on the promise and keep them there!
Jesus said in John 6:47. He that believes has eternal life.
If you are believing you are acting, and if you are acting, you have. Believing is the key to victory, this is not to be mistaken with mental ascension. Mental ascension will say yes, Godís Word is true, but stops right there. There is nothing more done, yet believing always acts, believing is acting on the Word of God. Find out what the Word says and act on it. Acting on the Word will bring reality. The reality is always manifest after you act on the Word. When you put the corresponding action with your faith, God will move on your behalf. Speaking is the number one way we put action to our faith. Paul shows us this in the book of Romans. He was specifically talking about salvation, but the principles are the same for all of Godís promises.
Romans 10:8-10. But what does it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart'' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
The Bible is full of examples of this kind of believing. These examples are in there for our benefit, we can see how others believed or acted and received the promise of their faith. Lets look at the woman with the flow of blood.
Mark 5:25-34. Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,
and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment; for she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.'' Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?'' But His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, `Who touched Me?' '' And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.
I would like to walk through this short story and see what happened that brought healing to this woman. One of the first things that happened is the woman heard of Jesus vs.27. When she heard about Jesus. As the Word says, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Secondly she spoke, vs.28. for she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well. She had a positive confession, she spoke what she believed in her heart would come to pass. Thirdly, she physically acted out what she said. She came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. She received the manifestation of what she believed. Fourthly vs.33. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. She gave God the glory for the healing didnít she? 1.) She heard the word, 2.) she spoke her faith, 3.) she acted out what she believed, and 4.) she gave God the glory. You will notice, Jesus told her, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.'' He said your faith has made you well. Jesus faith had nothing to do with her healing, as a matter of fact when He realized that power had gone out of Him, He turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes? He had to turn around to see who had done this thing, didnít He?
This woman did something that none of the other people in the crowd were doing, she was acting. We know that lots of people were touching Him or thronging Him. We know this because His disciples said to Him, You see the multitude thronging You, so it was not just the simple act of touching Him that healed her, if it was, they all would have gotten healed wouldnít they? Yet the Bible only records her as having received healing at that particular time, doesnít it? She did what James at a later time was talking about, she became a hearer and a doer of the Word. She put corresponding action with her faith, and as we see from the Word of God, this was not just physical action, although that was certainly part of it. She heard the Word, she believed in her heart, she spoke her faith, she received the manifestation, and she glorified God for it. What an awesome example. This same principle can be applied to all the promises of God.
I would like to encourage you to find the promises of God that are specific to your needs, and start acting as if the Word of God is true. Stop struggling, and crying out to God and praying, and simply start acting on what God has already spoken. That is what will brings results. You have to put the Word in first, then act. If you try to do it the other way around, you can get in trouble.
Jesus said, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45) Get in the Word of God and put the Word in your heart, then you will have a good treasure in your heart, and when you speak you will have Godís abundance coming out of your mouth.. Glory to God.
Make this confession of faith your own, act on the Word by speaking it with your mouth. The more you speak it, the more you will hear it. The more you hear it, the more the reality of Godís Word will grow in your heart, and when you speak, you will be speaking out of the good treasure of your heart.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.