Summary: Here's a sermon to preach when your congregation needs to be reminded to help needy people.

What Should We Do When We See The Poor?

James 2:14-19

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,

16and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?

17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

19You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!

Most of us live pretty well.

We may not be rich with lots of money in the bank,

But we have decent clothes to wear and good food to eat.

However, you don't have to look very far...

to find people who truly are in need.

That's we are faced with a dilemma--

"Do I try to help?" or "Do I ignore it?"

Knowing this person's need,

do I offer to lessen their suffering,

even if only for a little while.

Or, do I turn a blind eye.

We feel compelled to help.

We know we ought to, but we tell ourselves "No!

Should you give every time you are asked?

No, or you would quickly be in the poor house.

Some people come up with this reason for not helping:

"They're likely to misuse it if we give them money.

Instead of spending it on things they need...

They might spend it on alcohol, drugs, or cellphones"

So we won't give cash-- and so we never do anything else to help.

We are told to be good stewards of our money; to never waste it.

This church NEVER gives money to a person in need.

Instead, we have paid the city for water bills.

We have paid Wayne-White or Ameren for light bills.

We also don't pay non-essential bills like phone bills.

Jesus said, "The poor you will always have with you."

And yet there is a nagging guilt- "I ought to"-- "I should have".

"I could have done something."

Proverb 3:27 says:

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,

When it is in the power of your hand to do so.

Our Bible passage today in James 2:14-17...

says faith without works is dead.

Faith is certainly an essential element in the Christians life.

Hebrews 11:6 says

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Ephesians 2:8 says:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

We are to live by faith as we as we walk through our lives.

2 Corinthians 5:7 says:

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

So faith is essential to the life of a Christian.

It is the foundation upon which our lives are built.

If our foundation is weak

it will crumble during the trials and tribulations we face.

It is important to realize, however,

that there are different kinds of faith.

However, there is only one that is truly "saving faith".

In James 2:14-26,

the different kinds of faith are covered,

with an emphasis upon that faith which saves the soul.

We notice the first kind of faith.

Point #1 There Is A Dead Faith.

17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

What is a Dead Faith?

Most Christians know how to pray.

Most of them know a good sound doctrine of salvation.

Some can even quote the correct verses from the Bible.

But when it comes time to meet their words with action...

they drop the ball.

They can talk the talk, but they cannot walk the walk.

They have an intellectual faith.

They don't believe there is a need to do God's work.

They know the right words,

but they do not back up their words with works.

Can this type of faith save?


Three times in these verses...

James emphasizes that faith without works is dead.

Does it take both faith and works to bring about salvation?


We can do nothing to earn our salvation.

The only way is to have faith in Jesus Christ.

What James is stating here

is that a true saving faith is going to create

a desire to do God's work.

You will be looking for where you can serve.

Do you have that kind of faith?

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