Can Paul and James be friends?

What does scripture say?

 ‘Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness’ (Genesis 15:6)

When the apostle Paul cites this verse in Roman 4:3 he uses it to make the claim that a person is justified by faith alone.

James in his epistle also cites this verse in James 2:23 yet he used it to suggest that ‘a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

It appears the Paul and James are at odds.

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Sermon – Faith: Sure and Certain

It is one thing to say that you believe in what Jesus had done to save you – it is another step to act on that belief.

James 2:14 asks the question: ‘What good is it brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such a faith save them?’.

This third talk on the topic of ‘faith’ looks at faith in action.

Read the Bible Text – Hebrews 12:1-3 James 2:14-26

Talk Outline – Hebrews 12 and James 2

Talk - Hebrews 12 & James 2.gif

– Ken Noakes

Sermon – Faith: Fully Persuaded

‘Faith’ is the Christian calling. And one could ask: ‘How do I know my faith is real?’ or ‘Does doubt mean I have a shallow faith?’. Yet, you don’t need to be Christian to have questions about ‘faith’: ‘How do I get faith?’ or ‘What does faith achieve?’.

This talk, the second in a series on ‘Faith’, looks how faith comes to a person.

Read the Bible Text – Hebrews 11:1-39 Joshua 2:1-24

Talk Outline – Hebrews 11 and Acts 10

Talk - Hebrews 11 & Acts 10 PPT

 

– Ken Noakes

Sermon – Faith: Fully-Convinced

Faith=fully convinced 16.9 title slide

 

 

 

 

What is faith? We use the term ‘faith’ all the time. Do we stop and think about what it means to have faith, especially when it comes to having faith in God.

This is the first of three talks exploring the biblical idea of faith – and hopefully they will help us to think about how great it is to be a person of faith in God.

Read the Bible Text – Hebrews 11:1-39; Joshua 2:1-24

Talk – Hebrews 11 & Josh 2 (Outline)

Talk - Hebrews 11 & Joshua 2

– Ken Noakes

 

Sermon – By Faith Alone (Romans 3:27-4:25)

Romans 1-8 Slide

‘Happy’. He said to me.

As I looked into the face of my friend, with the dark rings under his eyes, hair a little dishevelled, hands grasping the double shot expresso, which was his heart starter for the day, he said:

‘My goal in life is just to be happy’.

So much about what we relentlessly pursue in life aims to create an end result in which we will be happy. Burden now, achieve lots, sacrifice in the present – so that at some point it will all be worth it. We will be able to count up the coins, list off the achievements, bow to acknowledge the praise that is being directed our way – and then, we hope, we will be happy.

Some people call it the rat race.

There is nothing wrong with working hard, striving to reach goals, aiming to achieve much – that is the world we live in. In fact, it can be quite satisfying. Does it make us ‘happy’?

Yet, when it comes to faith, God works on a different spectrum – and for that reason Christians do well to recognise works, although they might be good, are not the measure used to determine godly happiness.

‘Happy is the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works’ (Rom 4:6). Let’s look at how…

Read the Bible Text – Romans 3:27-4:25

Sermon – The Goal of Ministry (Romans 1:5-17)

Romans 1-8 Slide

In the Old Testament we meet a brave prophet named Habakkuk (great name – imagine naming your child Habakkuk!). His role was to bring God’s people back to obedience to the covenantal promises which God has made with Israel at Mt Sinai. By the promises and under the law (10 Commandments and Covenant Code) Israel would know how to live as righteous ones. If the covenantal obligations were neglected, ignored, abandoned, then punishment would come. God’s gift had been the prophet Habakkuk, who spoke what was often thought to be an offensive message, for the sake of saving Israel and calling them to repent of their unrighteous attitudes or behaviours. In other words, to call God’s people back to the righteousness of faith.

Habakkuk admonished Israel by saying the righteous person will live by his faith’ (Hab 2:4)

Fast forward to the Apostle Paul in AD57. He writes to the church of Rome. Similarly his message was often deemed offensive. To him he understands how the promises of God in the Old Testament find their fulfilment in Jesus. So, he proclaims God’s gospel and, like Habakkuk, calls people to faith.

Quoting Habakkuk, he reminds us that ‘The righteous will live by faith’ (Rom 1:17).

In this sermon, we look at Romans 1:5-17 and we should see that faith in Jesus is the most fundamental response to God’s gospel and the way by which Christians most honour Jesus as Lord.

Read the Bible Text – Romans 1:1-17

Talk – Romans 1.5-17 (Outline)

– Ken Noakes

 

Sermon – The Essential Gospel (Romans 1:1-4)

Romans 1-8 Slide

“The most important letter ever written.”

“An open door to all the most profound treasures of Scripture.”

That – and much more – is what people have said about Paul’s letter to the Romans.

Without question, this letter has had a huge influence on our world. From Augustine in the 4th century to Luther in the 16th century to the evangelical revivals and the arrival of the gospel in Australia in the 18th century, all the major events of Christian history seem to have been ignited in some way by this magnificent letter.

In this sermon we begin with a wonderfully succinct yet profoundly deep summary of the gospel message – the core truths at the very heart of the Christian faith boiled down to just four words!

Read the Bible Text – Romans 1:1-4

Talk – Romans 1.1-4 (Outline)

– Ken Noakes

 

 

Sermon – The True Faith: lived (Titus 3)

Titus Cropped

Does Christianity work? Do Christians offer anything of value to our modern, contemporary, progressive world today?

The answers could be offered in well-articulated arguments which aim to defend and describe the true faith established by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The answers could be influenced in the way that followers of Jesus Christ pass on their faith from generation to generation. Both are valid.

Yet there is a way that the established and passed on faith can be most clearly valued by our world today – it is when the faith is lived out and visible to the world around.

The salvation offered in the gospel should be lived out in the godly lives of those who have been saved and for the benefit of those who might be saved through the proclamation of this true faith supported by the testimony of transformed lives.

This talk is about how Christianity works, when it is seen in Christians devoted to doing good works.

Read the Bible Text – Titus 3:1-15

Talk – Titus 3 (Outline)

– Ken Noakes