FAITH TO ENTER GOD’S PROMISES
Faith and Works Operate Together
Jerry A Collins
Must faith be demonstrated by works?
How is faith developed in a person’s life?
How does God respond to a person of faith?
A quote from the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, puts the topic of our message from Joshua two in proper perspective. In one of his messages to the soldiers of the Salvation Army he said “Faith and works should travel side by side, like the legs of men walking. First, faith and then, works; and then faith again, and then works again—until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.” Faith and works are like our legs, they operate together with no inconsistency. The faith of Rahab is demonstrated by her works and we see both in operation. She is an example in the New Testament of a person who had faith that was evidence in her works. What kind of works does faith in God produce?
1. A PERSON OF FAITH IS WILLING TO TAKE RISKS 1-8
This is an essential ingredient of a faith that is demonstrated by works.
A. Spies are sent in Secret
1 Joshua sends two spies in secret. But the
secret is not from
B. The spies are received
by Rahab 2-3 They came to the house of Rahab
the harlot. From God’s perspective, there is no military value to sending spies
C. Rahab takes risk to protect the spies 4-7 Rahab had hidden the spies and lied to the king’s men. Here is an example of a secret to bring about some good. So this kind of secret is okay: (1) If they are about morally right things like preserving a life, giving an anonymous gift or strategy for war. It is never right to intentionally keep a secret about a morally wrong thing. (2) If the secret is short-term. Be sure you understand that the secret will be made known but never have a secret which you want never to be made known. There is no such thing as a long-term secret. Both Joshua and the spies kept short-term secrets with the idea that they would eventually be known. Hiding these messengers was an outworking of her faith calculating the short-term outcome of protection and deliverance to come very shortly. Never attempt to lie. A lie is a deception which one assumes the truth will never be known. A short-term deception where the truth is expected to be known is not the same as a lie which assumes the truth will never be known. Faith requires taking risks. There is no such thing as faith without risks. We can learn this both from Joshua and Rahab. It’s risky to not seek marketplace advancement, to sacrifice to get out of debt, to not defend yourself, to give someone a coat as well as the shirt they ask for. That is a basic element of faith. Commitment before knowledge.
2. THIS FAITH DEVELOPED BY A KNOWLEDGE & FEAR OF GOD Here is the reason why Rahab is remembered and mentioned in the New Testament on three occasions.
(1) She knew God had given the Israelites the land 9. She declared that it was God and not the people who determined the victory. Most of the statement is about Rahab’s fear of God. (2) That terror had fallen on
the land and in the hearts of the people. 3 times mentioned their hearts
‘melted’ showing moral of the people mentally and emotionally drained and deated It is obvious that
the Israelites cannot be stopped. She understood what God was doing at that
time—giving the land to
3. FAITH’S WORKS ARE ALWAYS CONSISTENT WITH WHAT GOD IS DOING 15-24
How do we know that our faith is genuine? Because the works our faith produces are the things God is doing.
A. Rahab and spies negotiate 15-21
used her advantage to preserve herself and her family. It also assume’s that she
will become part of
B. Spies return with the report 22-24 After
the spies left she kept her promise when she could have turned the spies in to
the king. So her faith in God was real. God uses the testimony of the spies to
encourage Joshua to go against
A. Base all of your actions on the fear of God 2:8, 11. Our performance is according to our fears. Develop a fear of God based on a biblical knowledge of God and let that guide you in all of your decision making.
B. Since there is no inconsistency between your faith and your works, work on what you believe as well as what you do .
C. Aim your efforts toward what God is doing in our age learned from the Bible and make your desires align with God’s desires 2:9, 12-21.