For Your Connect Groups – 11 June 2017

What a blessed time we had together this week!  We pray these notes will help you review and meditate on our text this week.

Pray Together

  • What are some of the church needs you’re aware of?
  • Who in the church needs your intercession?
  • What are you and your loved ones praying for at the moment?
  • What wider situations can you pray into?

Read Together

The title for our series in James is “Well Done is Better than Well Said,” and this week we looked at James 2:20-24.  We saw James continue his argument from last week regarding the interrelationship between faith and works.  He’s still responding to the “someone” of 2:14.

Faith & Works Continued

We spend time last week reviewing James’ key point: authentic saving faith necessarily results in good works.  This is because God responds to saving faith by causing us to be born again as a new creation, with a new heart and new desires.  It takes time to grow in this, but transformation and good works will always be the result.  Recall, we considered this verse on Sunday:

Titus 1:16 [The defiled and unbelieving] profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

In our text today, James puts Abraham forward as an example of one who shows that works were active in Abraham’s justification.

Read Genesis 15:1-6

  • Do we see works resulting from faith here?
  • What is the basis for Abraham’s righteousness in v6?

Remember, the word “believed” is the same as “faith”; the former being a verb and the latter a noun.

Read Genesis 22:1-12

  • Do we see works resulting from faith here?
  • Where is faith shown at work?

Recall from our study: Abraham’s response of “here I am” is one of submission and readiness to obey.

James brings it home in verse 22: “You see?”  Faith was active, and faith was completed by works, which fulfilled the Scripture from Genesis 15, where Abraham’s faith is counted as righteousness.  Thus, Abraham was called the “Friend of God”


  • Do you think of yourself as a “friend” of God?  How would you describe your relationship with Him?
  • Do you want to cultivate a closer relationship with God?  What things contribute to this?  What things detract?

Relationship is Superior to Rule-keeping

We discussed how we are called not to sterile rule-keeping (dead works) but to a living relationship with God.  That’s why Paul said:

Galatians 5:22–23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

There is no law because the fruit is a by-product of relationship.  As he said further in Galatians 5:6, the only thing that counts towards justification is “faith working through love.”

For Abraham, this meant loving and obeying God over his son Isaac.  The trusting relationship he had with God meant he could unquestioningly obey his God.


  • What do you love above God?  What would you struggle to put to death, should God call you?
  • Are you allowing God’s Spirit to lead and direct you?

As you prayerfully consider these questions together, read John 10:10.

  • Do you really believe (faith!) that Jesus came to give you abundant life?  Is that belief playing out in your actions, or do you look for life’s fulfilment elsewhere?

Keep Each Other Accountable

Remember, your Connect Group is meant to be a place you can safely share your struggles and know your brothers/sisters who love you will pray for you.

Galatians 6:1–2 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Pray for One Another

Share your prayer needs and requests.  Commit to pray for one another, not just now but throughout the week.

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