Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Andy concluded our series on the book of James with a compelling message about "Active Faith". He started off by saying that genuine faith produces action and where there is no action, there is no faith.
I loved how Andy had a mannequin on stage with him. I think it kinda startled people when they looked up after the prayer closing out the worship set and suddenly there was a tall "I Am Legend" looking creature on the stage dressed in Oakland A's apparel. And it added to the humor when Andy broke the poor guy's arm during the second service!
So what was the point of the visual aide? Faith without action is dead. Not just lazy or lying dormant. Dead. No life, no brain waves, no heart beat, no breath. If what we say we believe does not match up with the way we live, we need to evaluate if we have genuine faith at all. True faith compels us to live differently.
The most powerful part of the message for me was when Andy said, "The worst thing I could do for some of you is to try to make you feel okay about your relationship with God." He walked over and put his arm around the mannequin and said, "It's okay, buddy. You're alright. I believe you have life." That is what so many Christian circles do. We don't want people to doubt their salvation so we coddle them and tell them that their lack of obedience is okay, when actually it could be a sign that they are not saved at all.
Andy concluded by acknowledging that we all have some level of hypocrisy in our lives. Even the most faithful followers of Christ may have a gimp arm or at least a stubbed toe. But that is drastically different than being dead. Andy challenged each of us to evaluate our own lives to see if there would be enough evidence to convict us of being a follower of Christ. Do our actions display that we have experienced genuine faith? If not, we may be as lifeless as the mannequin while trying to convince ourselves that we're okay.
Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17
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