This week we began looking at the Epistle of James. We began with an overview on the topic of faith. We pray these notes might help you prayerfully review and discuss how the Word of the Lord applies to your lives.
- 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?
Well Done is Better than Well Said
This is the tagline for our series in the Book of James. We as Christians can often talk a good talk: saying the right Christian things, recalling Scriptures, and even praying the right prayers. James challenges his readers — us! — are our deeds matching our words? If we profess to trust Christ, do we walk in such a way that shows this to be true?
Spiritual maturity is measured by our walk. By practicing what we preach.
- Are there any specific areas in which you know you struggle to do what you know you should?
- Are there areas you feel stronger? Recall what Paul said:
1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
A major aspect of James’ epistle is faith. So we asked three questions of faith this week:
- What is it?
- What does faith do?
- What does faith look like?
As you may recall, we answer these (briefly) thus:
- Faith is the human response to the Holy Spirit’s testimony. It is the rational response to God’s revelation. In comes from hearing (Romans 10:17) and leads to understanding (Hebrews 11:3)
- Faith saves you, as we read in Romans 3:21-24. Righteousness is like a “performance record” — and by faith, God’s perfect report card is reckoned as ours. God “justifies the ungodly” through faith (Romans 4:5).
- Faith looks like pleasure in God. Faith understands that Christ’s purpose is to give us abundant life (John 10:10, Psalm 16:11) and realising this leads to joy-filled obedience.
Discuss these themes.
- Do you sometimes feel your faith is “weak” or “small?” How do Jesus’ words in Luke 17:5-6 help?
- Are you aware of your faith becoming stronger over time? How is this happening?
- What things do you, like the father in Mark 9:24, struggle to believe? Be sure to encourage one another in the truth of God’s word.
- Do you find obedience to always be joy-filled? What helps your joy?
Keep Each Other Accountable
James tells us that there is power in confessing sins to one another. Remember, we are all tempted in many ways, we are all saved by the same grace, and all of our hearts are, by default, wicked. May grace abound.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Pray for One Another
Share your prayer needs and requests. Commit to pray for one another, not just now but throughout the week.