Today I checked out an Overflow Bible study for the second time (first time was from the summer), and it was really really good. They have been going through James, and today we were studying James 2:14-26. So many times tonight I saw things in a new light or was reminded of certain things that made me say "wow, that was epic."
1. "You believe that God is one; good. Even the demons believe - and shudder!" Just believing in the existence of God is not enough! Even the demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God and acknowledge his power and existence, but that does not mean they work for God's Kingdom. Goes to show the importance of bringing God's righteousness to this world as Christians.
2. "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." Doing works actually helps rejuvenate our faith and prevents it from becoming stale.
3. Abraham's claim to faith was that he believed that God's promise of giving him too many descendants to count. But God tests Abraham's belief in that exact promise by asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son (that he had at a very old age), so if he did, then it physically would not be possible to have ANY descendants. His faith was proven by his works and he was considered Righteous.
4. Rahab the non-Jewish prostitute also pronounced her faith in God and follows with action. The obedience of the people is unambiguous evidence that they believe the promise.
On a lighter note, it was interesting to still see the Asian-American culture at work in the Overflow small group... meaning there would be long awkward silences when nobody would share. Haha, oh Asians.