Thursday, August 06, 2009

PPT Slides for "Show Me Your Faith," James 2:14-26

I posted my PowerPoint slides for, “Show Me Your Faith,” based on James 2:14-26. Compare them to the slides I posted earlier for the LifeWay plan. Comment please if you think I’ve got it wrong. Hopefully, I added some value! At your suggestion, I can tweak them between now and Sunday morning.

I want to remind you about the Finishers Project, which is a web information service designed to help adults get involved in short-term, or even permanent mission projects. Consider speaking to your class about this as a way to help members get involved in serving the Lord. To view the opportunities that are available, you do not have to log into their site, or register.


Anonymous said...

I like your lesson plan.
You go from the lighthearted associations like PB&J to the serious association of faith and works.

For my own lesson tomorrow, I plan to emphasize a few additional points:

In vv. 18-20, I plan to take a brief side tour to Hebrews 11. James says "Show me your faith w/o works, and I will show you faith from my works." In Hebrews 11, The "Heroes of the Faith" mostly demonstrated their faith with actions--Abel offered, Enoch pleased God, Noah built, Abraham offered (and obeyed), Isaac and Jacob blessed, Joseph ordered, Mosed refused (and chose), the people passed through the Red Sea, Rahab welcomed, etc. There was an inextricable association from "by faith" to their actions.

In the last section of vv. 21-26, James uses the example of Abraham. Just a few weeks ago in Galatians 3, we studied Abraham, and Paul understood that Abraham was justified (Gen. 15) by his faith before he was circumcised (Gen. 17), therefore showing that his faith was superior to the sign of circumcision. James goes a step beyond this and shows that in Genesis 22, after Abraham has been justified in Ch 15 and circumcised in 17, his faith was shown to be true by his actions. It seems to me that James was not interested in necessarily keeping the outward signs of the law as he was in demonstrating faith by one's obedience to God. I thought this was worth a mention because so often people think of Paul and James at odd on the faith/works continuum, but I don't think that's the case. James isn't saying that works save us but that a real faith compels us to do good works.

Finally, I plan to spend some time thinking about what a faith that works looks like in my life. Does it mean I can sit in church and soak up sermons and teaching without serving? Or does it call me to make changes (even sacrifices) in my priorities?

Lexington, KY

servingHim said...

Thanks Robert! I iterated on the slides until Saturday evening to hone the points I wanted to make, and I added the thought regarding the time between Abraham's call, when he was declared righteous, and when he was obedient to sacrifice his son. I think I got the number of years wrong but I made the point.

I pray the Holy Spirit used your reference to Heb 11.

I started by asking what the class believed about the idea of carnal Christians. Then we read 1 cor 2:14-3:4. In the lesson I focused on the kind of faith James wrote about as "dead" or useless.

The lesson was well received.