If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
There is a huge difference between believing facts, and living your life based on the fact. Most believe the world goes round the sun, but few make decisions based on the fact. What I believe about gravity affects the way I act on tall buildings. What we believe about a person’s honesty will influence the way we relate to them. In the same way there is a huge difference between believing facts about God, and trusting Him. The first makes you religious, the trust changes your life.
James 2:14-17 Tells us the requirement for faith to be alive in us.
James 2:14-17 14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,16 and you say, "Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well"—but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
This passage does not contradict Paul when he says we are saved by faith. Paul is explaining that salvation is from trust in God rather than following a set of rules. Here, James is saying the flip side. I demonstrate that I trust God when I live His way. If I don’t demonstrate that trust by the way I live, people should question the reality behind my words.
How we live depends on what we see around us. When someone moves to a foreign culture they become disoriented. If they had seen the culture on television it would not have had the impact, but when they meet the people and experience the culture they see the world with new eyes. When they return home those new eyes make them see home from a new perspective. The life of faith is similar. When someone begins to engage with God, they see things from His perspective. This different perspective can be disorienting.
Paul expresses this change in 2 Corinthians 5:7
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.
As we learn to live with this new perspective from God, we become aligned with God’s way of seeing the world, and His instruction for how to live. There is in this a new wisdom that seems foolish to those around us, but with the perspective of time is vindicated. This is because a life of faith is a life lived out in partnership with God Himself.
Hebrews 11:8-29 shows how some characters from the Old Testament lived out their faith. Have a look through the text a paragraph at a time. Each time read with the following questions in mind.
Hebrews 11:8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise.10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed* that God would keep his promise.12 And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
23 It was by faith that Moses' parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king's command.
24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.25 He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king's anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.28 It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.
29 It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned.
FAITH LIVED OUT