T-Life Guide
Work Your Faith | Week 1: Series Intro | June 04 - 10
Main Point: You gauge your faith by how you work your faith TOGETHER.
Key Verse: Matthew 7:21
Scripture References: James 1:1 Matthew 7:21-23
As we launch this week into our summer-long series on the book of James, we are seeking to answer "What is saving faith?" and "What does church have to do with it?" Many of us wrestle with the reality of transformation that faith makes in our own lives or the lives of those around us. Am I saved? How can I know? The book of James will help us to answer these questions. James was a brother of Jesus Christ who wrote to God's people (Jews) about what it means to "work out" faith in life...particularly by living life together with the church. We know that church is not a building or a program, but rather it is the people who have saving faith in Jesus Christ working out their salvation for His Kingdom's glory. Most important to answer before we launch into the full series though is to ask oneself, "Have I put my faith in Jesus?" From there, true transformation can begin.
Discussion Questions
  1. Last week we were challenged to consider the role that you may play in being part of the Global Impact team at Relevant. Share any promptings from the Lord regarding this calling and any further prayers that you have as you consider this potential reality for yourself.
  2. Why does James being the brother of Jesus add validity to the message of James? Based on your own experience, what would you have said about your brother (or what you know of brothers) instead? How does this impact your willingness to listen to His words?
  3. James was writing this book to believers of Jesus for salvation. It is essential to have an understanding of what saving faith is...share what saving faith is, what it means to believe, and the difference between "believing in Jesus" and "saving faith in Jesus." For assistance, reference Ephesians 2:1-10 alongside Romans 10:9-11.
  4. Talk about your experience with "church." What experiences have you had that have defined for you the value of being part of "church" as well as those that have turned you off from it? As far as you know, what are God's intentions for the body of believers gathered together?
Moving Forward
The real question that James is answering throughout his book is, "How do you know you have saving faith?" The answer: "You gauge your faith by how you work your faith." James consistently shares that our faith is gauged primarily in how we engage with others and particularly with the body of believers of which we are a part. By living out our faith-profession of Jesus as the Forgiver of our sins and the Leader of our lives before the Church as well as before the unchurched, we are fulfilling the purposes of saving faith...to bring glory to God and to expand His Kingdom. This week, we want to commit before the Father your individual response to "Have I put my faith in Jesus?" To answer this, we want to look at how you are "working" your faith. The remainder of this series will help you answer this question, but to establish a baseline to work from throughout this summer, commit some time and space this week to answering the above question based on how faith impacts your day-to-day life. How is my faith determining my actions? What about my words? How about my relationships? How is faith impacting my financial decisions? Or my time commitments? How does faith impact my feelings regarding the past? What about my future? Answer honestly and pray through what's next for your faith.
The Word Speaking Life
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. -Matthew 7:21
For a full recap of Sunday's sermon with media, visit the Work Your Faith - Series Intro page.
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