James - Faith the working model
Housegroup Leaders Materials
Sermon: 4th May 2008
Text: James 2:14-26
NB: These notes are suggestions, not a text for your session, please be creative. Ensure you listen to God and allow him to lead you. The items in italics are extra materials, use where appropriate.
"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:26
God credits us with righteousness because we have faith, and that faith worked out in action.
What are your life long dreams, and how are you progressing towards them?
Are you more likely to act without thinking or think with out acting?
Take time to reflect on God's love for us you could:
- Read Isaiah 53:4-12 or Philippians 2:5-11.
- Thanks and praise God in response.
- Play a worship CD track that is cross/grace focused.
Which phrase do you agree with most and why?
- I have to try and please God.
- God' loves me, I love others in response.
Is it ok to have a private faith?
In what ways do we intellectualise our faith today?
Looking at the example of Abraham, what does "credited to him as righteousness" mean? (vs 23)
See also Genesis 15:6
Romans 4:1-25 (esp vs5)
You could break the group into threes, give them a reading each and then reflect back in the context of James.
What's the question that James is trying to answer? (vs 18) - Possibly the most important question in the session.
Contrast with Paul in Romans 4:5 (and the chapter)
What's the question that Paul is trying to answer? - Possibly the second most important question in the session.
Word (heart questions)
Write down in your own words what God has done for you.
If you where arrested for being a Christian, what evidence would be used to build the case?
You are the only bible some people will ever read, what will they read from your life?
Where do you have opportunities to put your faith into action? (remember James example 2:15-16)
(Session leaders please make sure you use this as an opportunity to affirm people in the "work/life places".)
What one area is God calling you to take action in this week? Could be a situation or a person.
Prayer together in whatever way is most appropriate. You might want to use these questions as prompts to prayer:
(Session leaders - please remember that if people are stuck in an interlectual faith (without deeds). Then pushing is unlikely to move them on. Allow the Holy Spirit to highlight gaps in understanding and grow their response to Gods love.)
- What is stopping you taking action?
- What do you believe about how much God loves you?
- What does that belief change?
- Who do I pass by?
- What has God already asked me to do that I haven't yet done?
Mark Searle, 01/05/2008