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INTRODUCTION: Take your Bibles, look at James 2:14. I am preaching today on the “Nature of True Saving Faith”. As you are finding that, I read about a great tight rope walker named Blondin. He was performing on a cable across the Niagara Falls, and he asked his audience, “How many of you believe that I can push a wheel barrel across this cable wire and make it?” And everybody applauded. And then there was one man who was applauding more than the rest. Then he pointed to him and said, “You’re my man. You get in the wheel barrel and I will push it over.” And the guy spun on his heels and made his way out! It is one thing to say that you believe in something, but it is a whole different thing to put yourself on the line, to make a commitment about it. And that is what James is going to talk about here in chapter 2. James is the “show me” book of the Bible. James says, “Listen, don’t just tell me about your faith, show me your faith. Show me that your faith is real by the things that you do.” The great Paul Harvey we have heard of so many times, said “If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.” And he is exactly right. That is what James is talking about. Look at chapter 2 and look at verse number 14, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth I profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, ‘Thou hast faith, and I have works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” Now, some may read this and think that James is talking about a works salvation. If you believe that your good works will save you, when you die you will face the wrath of Almighty God. There are some people that believe what I call the “Great Scale Theory”. That one day when they get to heaven there will be a great big scale, and on one side will be all their good works and on the other side will be all their bad works. And if their good works somehow outweigh their bad works then they will make it into heaven. And if their bad works outweigh their good works, well, they are not going to make it. But my friend, if you believe that kind of doctrine, you will face the wrath of God. No one can get saved by their works. And secondly, those who believe that their merits or works earn you salvation, you will be tormented all of your lifelong, because you will never live up to God’s righteous standard. One of my favorite characters in church history is the great reformer Martin Luther. One day in July 1505, Luther, who was a university student at the time, was traveling along a parched road and suddenly a violent thunderstorm came and a bolt of lightning came crashing down next to him, threw him off of his horse and his feet. And he laid there in terror and he cried out to St. Anne and he said, “St. Anne, if you save me I will become a monk.” And that is exactly what happened. Shortly after that experience, Luther kept his vow and he became an Augustinian Monk. And as a monk, Luther had an acute awareness of the holiness of God. He fasted for many days. He was involved in all kinds of forms of self-flagellation, trying to earn merit with God. He was trying to get salvation through his own works. And he tried to master the Ten Commandments. I mean no one tried harder than Martin Luther. And yet, the more he tried, the more sinful he felt. Luther went to confession every day. He would go to confession, and he would spend four hours in confession. Then he would go back the next day. On one occasion, he spent four hours one day confessing his sins, and then he went back the second day and he spent six hours confessing his sins. And his priests, the superiors, began to wonder about him. They began to think that maybe he was a goldbricker. He was trying to get out of work. I mean how much trouble can you get into in a monastery, for crying out loud. I mean, so he was there confessing sin. But Martin Luther was in torment. He had an acute awareness of the holiness of God. And someone once asked him, “Luther, why are you so cast down? Don’t you love God?” And Luther said, “Love God? Sometimes I hate Him. He seems to me as nothing more than an angry judge with a sword in his hand.” Luther knew that he could never meet God’s standard of righteousness and he thought God was unjust, that He was unfair. And so his superiors, hoping to help him out, sent him on a pilgrimage to Rome. You see, the Catholics believe that if you just looked upon ancient relics it got you grace or merit. And in Rome, they had a whole bunch of so-called relics. They supposedly had the head of John the Baptist, they had nails from the cross and all these things, and if a person would just go and look upon these religious relics, it would gain them merit and favor with God. And so Luther took the pilgrimage to Rome, but it only made him worse. Because when he got to Rome, he saw that all the priests there were immoral. He even climbed the Santa Scalia, the holy stairs, supposedly the stairs that Jesus went down on the Via Delarosa on His way to the cross. The mother of Constantine the Emperor went to Jerusalem and had them dug up and then put in Rome and people would climb up these stairs, and tradition said that you could still actually see the blood stains on the stairs of the Via Delarosa. And Luther ascended those stairs, he climbed them one at a time on his knees in prayer hoping to gain merit with God. And still there was no peace to his soul, none. Until one day Luther was reading his Bible, he read the Book of Romans where it said “the just shall live by faith”. By Faith. And all of a sudden, like a lightning bolt from heaven, it dawned on him that our standing before God is a matter of our faith, and what Jesus Christ did, His finished work. It is not our merits; it is the work of Jesus Christ. And all of a sudden light came into his heart. And this is what he says about it, “Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which, through faith and shear mercy, God justifies us through faith and thereupon I felt reborn. And I felt as I had gone through the doors to paradise. The scriptures took on a whole new meaning to me. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.” All of a sudden, Luther knew that we are saved by faith. Faith in Jesus Christ. Faith alone. Faith plus nothing. But now listen, later on as Martin Luther began to read the Book of James and he saw this passage that we read this morning, Luther thought that James was not the word of God. He did not think that it should be part of the Canon. As a matter of fact, Luther called James, this passage here, a right strawy epistle, in other words it is an epistle of straw. Well, the truth of the matter is if you look at James and then you look at Romans, it seems like there is a contradiction. As a matter of fact, hold your place here in James chapter 2 and go to Romans 4:2, where the apostle Paul is talking about faith. And notice what Paul says in Romans chapter 4 and look in verse 2, “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” So read this passage and it says that Abraham is justified by grace, by faith, not works. Now go back to James and look in James 2:21, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” And so you see on the surface here it looks as though there is a contradiction. It looks like Paul and James are having an argument. Paul says it is by faith. James says it is by works. Which one is true? Are we justified by faith or are we justified by works? Well, the answer to that is yes. We are justified by faith, and there is a sense in which we are justified by works. In what sense are we justified by works? Just realize this, James is giving the heads and the tails of the same truth. There is no contradiction here. You see James is talking about justification before man, Paul is talking about justification before God. That is the thing you have to realize. Man looks on the outward appearance, God looks on the heart. Look at me this morning. I am saved, but can you see my faith? You cannot look inside my heart. You can’t see faith in me. The only thing that you can see is what? The things that I do, my works. That is the only thing that you can see that shows whether I have faith inside. You see, Paul is talking about the root of salvation. James is talking about the fruit of salvation. Paul is talking about what is beneath the surface. James is talking about what is above the surface, what man sees. Paul talks about a know-so salvation. James talks about a show-so salvation. And so the idea here is, is that my faith, if it is real faith, is going to be manifested in the things that I do. Listen, it is not a faith plus works. No, that is not it. But it is a faith that works, that produces good works. Do you understand? It is important for us to get that. If my faith is real, people will see that it is real by the good works that I do, and that is what James is saying. And he is also tackling a problem in the early church. This was a problem in the church and it is a problem in the church today. And that is people are making a mere profession with their lips, and their life is not backing up that profession. And that is exactly what he is talking about here. And did you know that almost 80 percent of Americans claim to be Christians and yet America is on a moral decline. How can that be true? How can 80 percent of Americans be Christians and yet our nation continues to decline morally unless the profession that people make is not real. Unless it is not backed up by works.
Transitional Statement: Now James is going to show us here in this passage three types of faith. Three kinds of faith. Only one of them is true saving faith, and if you are taking notes, just jot these down. I want you to see . . .
I. THE AUTOPSY OF DEAD FAITH. Look again in verse 14, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?” This is what James is calling “Dead Faith”. Here are people saying that they are a Christian. They make lip service to Christianity. They make a profession.
Transitional Statement: But I want you to notice first of all in verse 14, it is . . .
A. Empty Confession. A man may say he has faith. Many people say they have faith. Many people make a confession that they are a Christian. And yet they seem to live a life of continual disobedience to the word of God. I mean they say, “Oh, yeah, I am a Christian”. But they are never in God’s house, they are not mortifying sin in their life, they are not trying to witness to others. They are not trying to get into God’s word and become more sanctified, become more holy. None of that. They just drift along, and whatever happens, happens. And yet they say, “Oh I am a Christian”. It is an empty confession. Did you know that Hitler claimed to be a Christian? Did you know that? Did you know that he made free use to the Christian vocabulary? He talked about the blessings of the Almighty. As a matter of fact, he said that the Christian’s confessions are going to be the pillars of the new state that he was forming. And on one occasion he showed his tattered Bible to some deacons and he teared up and said, “This is the thing that sustains me through all the hard times in my life.” That was Hitler. Anyone can say, “Oh, I’m a Christian. I am a believer. I believe in the Lord Jesus. But the bottom line is what does your works demonstrate? This is what the great Scottish expositor Alexander MacLaren said, “The people who least live their creeds are the people who shout the loudest about them. The paralysis which affects the arms does not in these cases interfere with the tongue.” And James asks a question in verse 14, look at it again, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?” Now in the Greek, the article is present so we can translate it like this, “Can that kind of faith save him?” What kind? The kind of faith where it is just profession of the lips and that is it. It does not go any further than that, you just profess with your lips and that is it. And James says is that the kind of faith that saves? Can that faith save him? And the answer is an implied “No”. That is not the kind of faith that saves. Faith that merely makes an empty confession.
Transitional Statement: But I want you to see the next thing,
B. False Compassion. Look in verse 15, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” Now James, who loves to give illustrations, gives another illustration right here and he shows the uselessness of lip service. What if a person comes to you and they are poor, and they have no food and you have wherewithal to help them. If they are cold and you have an extra coat and you do not give it. They are hungry, and you have plenty of food and yet you do not feed them, but you merely say, “The Lord bless you. The Lord be with you.” In other words, “Don’t bother me now. God will take care of you.” If that is what you do, what good is it? What good is it to say “God bless you” to a person if you do not help them and you have the ability to help them? What good is it? Your lip service means nothing. It is a false compassion. And that is what James is using to illustrate faith if it is just lip service. It is no good. It does not help. It was said that while the Titanic was sinking, people in lifeboats wept for those who were drowning, but they refused to go rescue them because they were afraid that they would have their boat tipped over. They were unwilling to risk anything. False compassion.
Transitional Statement: And so this is the Autopsy of Dead Faith. If it is just lip service and that is it, it is dead. There is nothing to it. But I want you to see the second thing. Not only the Autopsy of Dead Faith, but I want you to see . . .
II. THE ABSURDITY OF DEMONIC FAITH. Look now in verse 18, because he goes further. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” What is James saying here? He is saying, “Listen, you might argue with me,” I think James is anticipating an argument, “you might say, ‘Well, that is what you believe. I know that my faith is real. You claim to show me your faith by your works, I just tell you that I have faith.’” You know people don’t like to have their faith questioned. Did you know that? This is not a popular way to preach, because people out there thinking, “Are you questioning my faith?” I am not questioning your faith, my friend, I am just calling upon you as a believer to do what the apostle Paul told many of the New Testament believers to do all the time. Do you know what that was? Examine your heart to make sure that your faith is a real faith. Paul called upon believers to do that all the time. And that is what James is doing right here. But people do not like to have their faith questioned and James knows that. And he says, “You tell me that you have faith. Thou saith, ‘I have faith.’ Show me thy faith without thy works and I will show thee my faith by my works.” You can’t just say “I have faith”, show me James says. And some people, do you know what they resort to? They resort to the emotional argument. They say, “Well I know how I feel in my heart. I know how I feel. I know that it is real because I felt it deep down in my heart.” And they use the emotional argument. They say, “Well I remember when I came forward and I knelt at an altar, and I remember the feeling that I had. I know that it is real because of that.” But do know that emotions, in and of themselves, are not the test of your faith. If it is just emotion, it is not real faith. Look in Mark real quick, let me show you this. Talking about emotion, look in Mark chapter 4 and look down at verse 16. Now in Mark chapter 4, Jesus is giving a parable and he is talking about the sower that goes out to sow. He reaches into his bag and he sows seed. He just in discriminatively is throwing seed all around. And the seed, of course, represents what? It represents the word of God. The seed is God’s word. The soil is the heart of man, the sower is Jesus or anyone who really throws the word of God out, who teaches the word. And as the word goes out, it falls on different kind of soil. One soil that Jesus talked about is a soil that had a thin layer of soil, but a rock underneath. And the seed would begin to bear root, or get down into the soil, but it was very shallow. Look in verse 16, “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately” What? “receive it with” What? “gladness.” Or joy. Here is someone who comes, and they hear the word of God, and they receive it with gladness. They receive it with joy. There is emotion in their heart. There is happiness. And you say that is real faith, right? No, look what Jesus said. Look in verse 17, “And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” So what happens? The word is planted, they receive it with joy, at least it seems that way, but it is shallow and in time, they walk away. When affliction comes, when persecution comes, when trials come, when darkness comes, they walk away. What does that reveal? That they really were not rooted in. They did not really get it. And so, just emotion, go back to James now, is no measure of a person’s faith. James gives an illustration. Look in verse 19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” The word for tremble here means “to stand straight up”. It has the idea of one’s hair standing up. For fear, it is absolute terror. James says, You want to talk about emotions? Demons believe. Their orthodox, they believe the Bible is the word of God, they believe Jesus is the Son of God, and that thought makes them tremble. Do you know why? Because they are going to be judged one day. They are going be cast into torment. And they believe. And you talk about emotional response, they fear. Demons fear God. They fear Christ. But are they saved? No. It is absurd to think that demons are saved. They believe everything here and they believe it here, they know it is real. But friend, that does not mean there is salvation. They are not saved. James says, “The devils believe and they tremble.” Look, by the way, let me just stop here and say this. There is nothing wrong with emotion in religion. I’ve got to have it when I come to church, don’t you? I mean there is nothing wrong with emotion, I am not saying that emotions are wrong. As a matter of fact, when we come to God’s house and worship, we have to do it with our what? We have to do it with our heart. Sometimes we do not come to God’s house ready to worship with all of our heart and to praise God. Dr. Rogers used to say, “Baptist are so inhibited that it is hard to tell they are inhabited.” We need to have heart in our worship. We need to have that emotion. Jesus said in John 4, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the God seeketh such to worship.” What was Jesus saying? Our worship should be in spirit and in truth. We should have the heart, we should have the emotion, we should have the spirit, but it also has to be truth. There are many people that all they do is worship in spirit. Services are designed to do nothing but get them worked up emotionally. As if that is going to do you good, and you leave the service almost coming down off that emotional high with no truth that will sustain you. And so there are some services that are all spirit. And then there are some services that are all truth. It is cold orthodoxy and it doesn’t go beyond that. Jesus said there has to be spirit and truth. We worship with our hearts, but it starts in our mind. Beware of any faith that goes straight to the heart and bypasses the mind. When God starts to teach us and we start to worship, He comes through the mind, He teaches us truth and that affects the heart.
Transitional Statement: And so there has to be that passion, there has to be that emotion, there is nothing wrong with that. But James is saying, “Listen, if your faith just includes the mind and the heart and that is it, it does not go any further than that, then it is not enough.” There is a third kind of faith. What is that? It is Dynamic Faith. I want you to see the third thing . . .
III. THE ACTIVITY OF DYNAMIC FAITH. Look in verse 20, “But wilt thou know, o vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” What was he saying? Abraham demonstrated that his faith was real by the things that he did. And he came to the point where he was even willing to offer his son, Isaac, upon the altar. Well, let me just give you this illustration. You see, true faith is not just in the mind, and it just isn’t in the mind and the heart, but it is the mind and the heart and it makes its way out to the will. It is volitional, it takes a commitment. Okay, illustration. Let’s just say I have a problem with smoking. Now, I do not have a problem with smoking, so please don’t leave here and say the pastor at Ellendale smokes. (Laughter) We are just pretending. Let’s just say I have a problem. I go to the doctor. I am sitting there in the waiting room. There is a magazine, and I open up the magazine and begin to read it. It is a magazine about lung cancer, and it has a big ugly picture there of a lung of someone who had cancer. And I read that article. I believe every word of it. I believe it all, it is true. I could die of lung cancer because I smoke. And I put the magazine down, I reach into my pocket, I pull out a cigarette, I light it up. What kind of faith is that? It is a dead faith. Do you know why? I believe it right here (pointing to his head) and it doesn’t go any further. It does not go any deeper than that, no further, it is just here (pointing again to his head). Let’s say I go back to the doctor, same doctor, pick up the same magazine, read the same article, and I believe every word of it. And this time I begin to get emotional. First, I get scared to think that I could die this way. And then I get emotional thinking how I could leave my family and tears come down my face as I think about it, and I am scared. And I reach into my pocket, pull out a cigarette and I light it up. What kind of faith is that? That is demonic faith, because I believe it here (head), and I believe it here (pointing to his heart), but it doesn’t go any further than that. The emotions are involved but that is it, it doesn’t go further. But let’s say I go back to the same doctor, go into the same waiting room, read the same magazine for the third time, believe every word of this article. It scares me. It shakes me to my roots. And this time I reach into my pocket, I pull out a pack of cigarettes, I wad them up, I throw them in the trashcan, and I say, “I will never smoke again.” What kind of faith is that? That is dynamic faith. Because it involves the mind and the heart and a commitment of my will. That is saving faith. That is the kind of faith that James is talking about. He is saying, “Listen, you want to see the activity of dynamic faith?” He gives us two illustrations. First of all there is Abraham in the Old Testament. He demonstrated that his faith was real. And then there was Rahab. He gives the illustration of Rahab. Abraham, the patriarch, Rahab, the prostitute. One was a Jew, the other was a Gentile. One was a man, the other was a woman. One was rich, and the other was poor. One came from the highest level of society, and the other from the lowest rung of the ladder. Why did James use these two opposites to illustrate his point? To show that true faith transcends gender, it transcends race, it transcends religion, it transcends social standing and economic standing. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can have genuine faith. And how did Abraham demonstrate his faith? Look again in verse 21, it says “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” Look at verse 23, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” Now, in verse 23, it is describing something that happened to Abraham in Genesis 15. This happened early in his life, and what happened? God came to Abraham one day, and God said, “Abraham, I am going to make a covenant with you. I am going to make your descendants like the stars. Abraham, look up and see. Can you count those stars? That is the way your descendants are going to be. And I am going to give you the land of Canaan, and I am going to bless them that bless you.” And so God came to Abraham and said, “Abraham, I am going to bless you.” And do you know what Abraham’s response to that was? The Bible says he believed God. The Hebrew word is amen. Abraham said “Amen.” And God said “That is faith. That is real faith, you are saved.” Now, that happened early on in Abraham’s life and Abraham was justified before God when he believed the promise of God, but listen. Later on in years, when Abraham finally had a son, remember Abraham was old and his wife was old, they couldn’t bear children. God miraculously gave them a son. God overcame all of these obstacles to keep His promise, and now God came to Abraham and said, “Abraham, I want you to take your son, your only son Isaac, who you love, take him up to Mount Moriah and I want you to give him in a sacrifice.” Now humanly speaking, that is irrational. How is God going to keep his promise to bless his descendants like the stars if Abraham does not have any children? If God is going to call upon him to sacrifice his son, how is He going to keep His promise? I mean, we would argue with God, right? Abraham didn’t. Do you know what he did? He immediately obeyed. He took his son to Mount Moriah, he took him and put an altar, he wrapped him up, he took the knife, and he was ready to plunge it down into his son’s throat in obedience to God. And a voice from heaven said, “Abraham, don’t hurt him. Because now I know that your faith is real.” Abraham demonstrated that what was in his heart, what took place many years ago was real faith. And do you know how he demonstrated it? God tested him, and he passed the test. He was willing to obey God even though it would cost him everything. He was willing to sacrifice his son! And if your faith is real, you will obey God even though sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Even though sometimes it might call upon you to sacrifice everything, you will still obey God because you believe in him. And Abraham was justified then by his works, he showed all the world that his faith was real because he was willing to sacrifice his son.
But what about Rahab? How did she demonstrate her faith? Well, let me just do this, hold your place in James and go to Joshua chapter 2 real quick. Let me show you how Rahab showed her faith. Go to Joshua chapter 2 and look down in verse 9, now Joshua and the children of Israel were sending these spies out to the city of Jericho to spy out the land, on a recon mission, to look at the land to see how Jericho is. These spies come into the city of Jericho, and they come to the home of Rahab, the harlot. Notice what she says to them. Look down in chapter 2 verse 9, “And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side of Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.” Now watch this in verse 11, “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” What was she talking about? She was talking about all the people in Jericho. Do you know what these spies found out? They found out that everybody in Jericho heard what God did to the two kings of the Amorites. They heard about what God did in Egypt. And do you know what she said? She said, “When, we heard these things our hearts began to melt.” They were in utter fear. Do you know what they had? They believed it here (pointing to his head). They believed it here (pointing to his heart). Now, let me ask you a question. How many people out of the whole city of Jericho were saved? Just one woman. Who was it? It was Rahab. Do you know why? Everybody believed it here (their head), and they believed it here ( their heart), but only one woman was willing to act on it. And she was willing to risk her whole life to hide these spies and to send them out safely. She was willing to risk everything based on the things she believed. That is how her works justified her. It showed that what she had went beyond just emotion. It was beyond just intellectual belief. It was beyond just feelings. She made a commitment. She chose whose side she was going to be on, and that was the faith that saved Rahab. That is the activity of dynamic saving faith. And my friends, that is what we need. That is the faith that saves.
CONCLUSION: Now Martin Luther as he studied the letter of James, it finally began to dawn on him what James was saying. In closing, let me read you what he wrote about this letter of James when he studied it carefully. This is what he said, “Oh, it is a living quick mighty thing this faith. It does not ask whether good works are to done, but before the question could be asked, it does them. It is always doing them. He who does not these good works is a man without faith. Yea, it is impossible to separate works from faith, just as it is impossible to separate burning and shining from fire.” And so friend, if your faith is a genuine faith, it will have obedient works, it will be a committed life. You will know that your faith is real because you are willing to obey it and you are willing to put everything on the line to be obedient to do what God says. That reveals that your faith is real. Let’s pray together. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. Father, I pray today that You will take Your word and that You will implant it deep in our hearts. And Lord, we will do what James calls upon us to do. Father, it seems like whenever I open this Book of James and read it, I can see James pointing at me saying, “Show me, show me. Show me your faith.” And Father, I pray that today we will take the word of truth and that we will examine our heart. We will ask ourselves this question, “Is my faith genuine? Is it real? Am I obedient? Am I committed to Jesus Christ? Am I willing to obey despite the cost to me personally. Father, examine our hearts, and I pray, Lord, if there is some here today that do not know Jesus Christ, I pray that Holy Spirit of God, You will draw them unto Yourself that they may become children of God today through faith in Jesus Christ. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed, in just a moment we are going to give a hymn of invitation. I am going to invite you to come down; we are going to have ministers down here in the front. You might be here today and you might say, “Do you know what? I don’t know that my faith is real. I don’t know that I am saved, but I want to get saved.” And today Jesus Christ stands before you, He holds out His hands and He says, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” My friend, Jesus waits for you to come, and if you will come in simple faith and repent and say, “Dear Jesus I’m a sinner, cleanse me, save me.” He will save you today. If you are here and you are a believer and God has spoken to your heart, and you want to use this altar you come. If you are here today and you say, “God is leading me to make Ellendale Baptist Church my church home. This is where God wants me to come and worship.” Then you do what the Holy Spirit says. But whatever God says, my friend, you come. You do what the Holy Spirit says. Our ministers are coming; they are going to be down here. Let’s all stand together. I am going to be waiting down here for you. If there is something I can pray with you about, you come. You do what the Holy Spirit says.
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