May Partner Letter

May Partner Letter

Dear Faith Partner,

Did you know that faith is not really faith without corresponding action? One of the greatest mistakes that believers make is to confess their faith in the Word of God and yet at the same time contradict their confession by wrong actions. So in other words you make a faith confession and then turn around and act in a way that contradicts your faith. As a believer, you must act on the Word of God, in which you believe; and the correct corresponding action is doing what God tells you to do.

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Let’s look to the Word of God in Mark 5:35-36, “While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house (Jairus) who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” At that time Jairus’ corresponding action was to not be afraid and only believe; simply to do what Jesus told him to do. We know, as a result of Jairus’ obedience, in verse 41 Jesus took his daughter by the hand, and God raise her up from the dead! Our actions must correspond with our belief or else our faith is not really operative; in other words our faith is dead.

In Mark the second chapter, Jesus was conducting a house meeting and the Word was so powerful that people came in from all around and filled the house until no one else could enter. A sick man had several friends who were so in faith concerning their friend’s healing that their faith was able to be seen. “And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Mark 2:1-5)

Notice, faith can be seen. When you are really in faith your actions will be in agreement with your faith. When you are really in faith your conversation will reveal your faith. When you are in faith there will always be a demonstration of your faith in your corresponding actions and in your conversation: there will be unity between your confession of faith, your actions and your conversation. When you are really in faith your faith will be visible.

The word corresponding means to be consistent, compatible, or harmonious; to be equal or similar. Our corresponding action must be compatible or consistent with our belief. To just say we are trusting God to provide for our financial need, while at the same time worrying about how we are going to pay our bills, those do not correspond. If one minute we confess the Word of God is true and then we contradict everything we have said by wrong actions (actions contrary to the Word of God, contrary to what we say we believe), that’s not corresponding faith. Then often many wonder and question why they are not receiving what they prayed for “in faith” from God. If you are to ever receive from God your actions must correspond, be harmonious, consistent and equal with your believing.

In James 2:17, God says, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone”. Notice, faith being alone without works is dead. Let’s look at several other translations to fully understand this concept. The Amplified says “So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).” The New Living Translation records it this way, “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” Finally, the Message translates the scripture saying, “Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense ” So we can see through these different translations that faith is more than just mere words, but it generates corresponding action that compliments what one is saying.

Often, people with dead faith, tend to substitute words for deeds. They know the correct language for their praying and testimony, and can even quote the right scripture from the Word of God, but their action doesn’t

line up with their confession. James gives us an awesome illustration in James 2:14-16 (MSG), “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you?” In other words James is saying faith without action to meet that man’s need would be dead faith – you haven’t helped that man at all by just being religious in your talk.

James goes on to say in verse 18, “But someone will say, you have faith, and I have works, show me your faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works”. If you’re going to show me your faith by not doing anything but believing, I’ll show you my faith by what I do for him. In other words, I’ll give him some food and clothes. Then I will believe God to supply my needs. Earlier in James 1:22 he admonishes us with these words,“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” We must “do!”

James 2:19-21 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (Just to believe intellectually doesn’t change anything and it is not faith to believe something when I see it.) But wilt thou know, O vain man (or foolish or empty 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?” Watch this, Abraham was justified because he said, “I believe You God”. His faith in God and His Word (God and His Word are one) caused Abraham to act (corresponding action) on what he believed from God’s Word as he offered up Isaac upon the altar trusting, that if necessary God would raise him right back up from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-29). This does not contradict Paul’s clear teaching that Abraham was justified before God by grace alone through faith alone (Romans 3:20; 4:1-25; Galatians 3:6, 11).

James 2:22-24 says, “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? (This refers to bringing something to its end or to its fullness.) And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (credited) to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only”. The Amplified Bible says it this way, “You see that a man is justified (pronounced righteous before God) through what he does and not alone through faith [through works of obedience as well as by what he believes].”

Let’s look at the last two verses of James chapter 2. James 2:25-26 (AMP) says, “So also with Rahab the harlot—was she not shown to be justified (pronounced righteous before God) by [good] deeds when she took in the scouts (spies) and sent them away by a different route? For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead.” Again James shows us through Scripture that you must have corresponding action to go along with your faith. Faith without corresponding action is dead. Rahab was a harlot, not what most would consider a righteous person; however she believed that if she would help the spies who came, God would spare her and her family. Her action could have been contrary to what she believed, but we see her action corresponded to her faith in God’s ability to save her and her household, and that is exactly what He did.

In closing let me encourage each of you to start speaking in line with what you believe from God’s Word and to act in a way that corresponds to the faith that you speak. Make a decision to not be just a hearer of the Word but a doer. Remember the correct corresponding action in any situation is whatever God tells you to do.

Janice and I appreciate you so much; your prayers, love, and support continues to bless us. It is through the faithfulness of our partners that we are able to continue in the vision God has called us to, thank you very much. We continue to pray for you all without ceasing.

 

pastors_bottom_letterJanice and I love each of you and want you to experience the freedom, the liberty that has already been secured for you. It is our prayer that each of you, your spouses, your children, your children’s children, your congregations, and your other covenant partners abide in that freedom! Thank you for your continued commitment to RBP Ministries and the covenant relationship we have with each other and with God!  We sincerely appreciate you.

Your Partner in the Faith,

RBP Signature

Richard B. Peoples, Sr.

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