CHAPTER 13

Signs Of Life (Continued)
 

SIGN OF LIFE # 7--The person who has life PERFORMS GOOD WORKS (2 John 3:11).

Read Ephesians 2:8-9 and Ephesians 2:10 and answer True or False:

1. ______ Good works are necessary for salvation.
2. ______ If salvation were of good works, then it would be possible for a man to boast before God.
3. ______ Some people will someday be able to glory and boast in the presence of God (1 Corinthians 1:29-31; Romans 3:27).
4. ______ Good works are the fruit of salvation because God will work in the life of the true believer to produce good works.
5. ______ Only true believers can perform good works that are pleasing to God (compare Romans 8:8-9).
6. ______ God’s perfect plan for the believer is that he might walk in good works and live a fruitful life (compare John 15:16).

            What two verses in Ephesians chapter 2 teach the same truth as Titus 3:5? Verses ______ and ______. What verse in Ephesians chapter 2 teaches the same truth as Titus 3:1,8,14? Verse _____

            What is true about the person who truly belongs to God (3 John 11)?  __________________________________ What do we know about the person who keeps on (present tense) doing evil (3 John 11)? ______________________________________ According to 1 John 3:6, the person who has not seen God is the person who has not ______________ God. Is this person saved? _______ Do you think that 3 John 11 means that to be saved a person must do good (compare Titus 3:5 and Acts 16:31)? _______

            Our Lord Jesus warned His disciples about what group of men (Matthew 7:15)?  _____________________________ What are these men like according to their outward appearance (Matthew 7:15)? _________________ What are they really like on the inside (Matthew 7:15)? _____________ Find the verse in Acts 20 where Paul warns about this same danger: Verse: _______  How can these men be known and recognized for what they really are (Matthew 7:16,20)? _______________________ Will a thorn bush bring forth grapes? ______ Will a grapevine bring forth thorns? _________What should we expect from a grapevine? ______________ What should we expect from an apple tree? _______________ What should we expect from a good tree (Matthew 7:17)? ________________________ What should we expect from a bad tree? __________________What will, a corrupt tree produce (Matthew 7:17)? ____________________ It's impossible for a good tree to produce ____________________ and it's impossible for a _________________ to produce _____________________ (Matthew 7:18). What kind of tree does not bring forth good fruit (Matthew 7:18-19)? ________________ What will happen to every corrupt tree (Matthew 7:19)? _______________________________________ Therefore what will happen to such false teachers and false prophets (compare 2 Peter 2:1)? _____________________________________________

            Are all true believers fruitful (Matthew 13:8,23)? ______ Are some believers more fruitful than others (Matthew 13:8,23)? _____ God desires that His children might bring forth _________ fruit (John 15:2) and that they might bear _______ fruit (John 15:8, also verse 5). What is this fruit that the Lord was speaking about? In Galatians 5:22 we are told that the _____________ of the _________ is 1) L__________   2) J_______ 3) P_________. Let's find out if this is the same fruit that the Lord Jesus was speaking of in John chapters 14-16. In John 15:9-10 what fruit is being considered? ______________________ In John 14:27; 16:33 what fruit is being considered? _______________ In John 15:11; 16:20,22 what fruit is being considered? ____________ Is this the same fruit as in Galatians 5:22? ________

            Faith without works is ____________ (James 2:17,20,26). Please match the following:

1. _____ Dead Faith A. Faith and works
2. _____ Living Faith B. Body only (body without the spirit)
3. _____ Dead Body (v.26) C. Body and spirit
4. _____ Living Body (v.26) D. Faith only (faith without works)

            James teaches that a man is justified (declared righteous) by ___________ (James 2:21,24) and Paul teaches that a man is justified by ______________ (Romans 5:1). James teaches that Abraham was justified by ____________ (James 2:21) and Paul teaches that Abraham was justified not by ____________ but by __________ (Romans 4:1-5 and compare Romans 3:26-28). Does the Bible have any contradictions or mistakes (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 119:89; 119:160; etc.)? ______

            How was Abraham saved? What does the Bible teach (Romans 4:3)? __________________________________________ Therefore, was Abraham saved by faith or by works? _____________________ Find the verse in Genesis 15 that teaches us that Abraham was justified (declared righteous) by faith: Verse ______. Do Paul and James both quote this verse (Romans 4:3 and James 2:23)? __________

            When was Abraham justified by works (James 2:21)? ____________________________________________________ Did this event take place before or after Abraham was justified by faith (compare Genesis 15:6 with Genesis 22)? _____________________________________________________________

TRUE or FALSE:

________ Abraham was first justified by works and then later he was justified by faith.
________ Abraham was first justified by faith and then later he was justified by works.
________ In God’s sight Abraham was declared righteous the moment he believed on the Lord (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3-5).

            If it were true that Abraham earned his salvation by works, then what would it have been possible for him to do (Ephesians 2:9; Romans 4:2)? ___________

            Did the Lord know that Abraham was a true believer (Genesis 15:5-6)? _____ Does the Lord know whether or not you are a true believer (2 Timothy 2:19)? ______ Who is the only person who really knows our hearts and is able to see if we really have faith in Christ (Jeremiah 17:10)? ________________ The question we must answer is this: How did men know that Abraham was a man of faith? Was there anything in Abraham's life that showed that he had genuine faith in the Lord? How did Abraham demonstrate that he had living and vital faith in his God? We will now seek to answer these questions.

            In Genesis 12:2 God promised that out of Abraham would come a G__________ N_____________. What problem did Abraham have which made the promise seem as if it would not be fulfilled (Genesis 15:2-3)? _____________________________  What great promise did the Lord give to Abraham in Genesis 15:5? __________________________________________ Did Abraham believe this promise (Genesis 15:6)? _____ Was he justified (Genesis 15:6)? ________ Was be justified by works or by faith? _____________________ What problem do we find in Genesis 16:1? ___________________________________________ What did God promise to make Abraham (Genesis 17:5)? _______________________________ Did the Lord promise to give Abraham seed (descendants, children)--see Genesis 17:6-8? _____ What did the Lord promise to give to Abraham in Genesis 17:15-16)? ______________ In Genesis 17:19 God again promises to give Abraham a ________ and his name would be ______________. Did the Lord promise to give Isaac seed (Genesis 17:19)? ______ Therefore Abraham knew that Isaac must have children! How was it possible for Sarah to have a son in her old age (Genesis 18:14)? ____________________________________________ (compare Luke 1:34-37). Did the Lord keep His promise (Genesis 21:1-2)? ______ Read Romans 4:16-22.

            In whom would Abraham's descendants be called, in Ishmael (Hagar's son) or in Isaac (Sarah's son)?--see Genesis 21:10-12 and Romans 9:7. ________________ This means that the seed of Abraham promised in Genesis 15:5 would be the descendants of Isaac and not Ishmael. Who served as slaves in Egypt for 400 years, the seed of Ishmael or the seed of Isaac (Genesis 15:13)? __________________________  True or False: ____________ Because of God's promises in Genesis 17:19 and 21:12, Abraham knew that Isaac must have children.

            In Genesis 22 God put Abraham's faith to the test (see verse 1) and He gave Abraham an opportunity to prove to everyone that he was indeed a man of faith. James says that this was when Abraham was __________________ by __________ (James 2:21). Here in Genesis 22 Abraham showed the world that his faith was not a dead faith, but his was a faith that worked!

            What command did God give to Abraham (Genesis 22:2)? ___________________________________________________ (In other words, God told him to sacrifice and put to death his only son!) When God gives a command, how does the man of faith respond (Hebrews 11:8)? __________________________ Did Abraham hasten to obey the command (Genesis 22:3)? ______ We know that God prevented Abraham from killing his son (Genesis 22:10-13), but did Abraham know that God was going to do this?  _______  What did Abraham intend to do when he came to the place where God had told him of (Genesis 22:9-10)? ____________________ Did he actually intend to slay his son upon the altar? ______ THUS, ABRAHAM FACED AN IMPOSSIBLE PROBLEM:

1) God had given him a PROMISE:  Isaac will have children.

The man of faith must believe the promise. Abraham did believe the promise and Abraham knew that Isaac would have children because he was "fully persuaded that, what God had ________________ He was _________ also to ______________" (Romans 4:21).

2) God had given him a COMMAND:  Kill your son!

The man of faith must obey the command. Abraham fully intended to obey the command and as far as he was concerned he was going to put the knife to his son. Abraham knew that his son would soon be dead!

Thus Abraham was presented with this great dilemma:

How Can A Dead Son Have Children ?

            Such a thing is unthinkable! It is impossible! But God had given Abraham previous experience with impossible things! What else was impossible (Genesis 18:11-13)? _________________________________________________ Was God able to bring forth life out of death (Romans 4:18-19)? ______Abraham knew that it was impossible for dead Isaac to have children, but what else did he know (Genesis 18:14)? ____________________________________________

            Abraham knew that Isaac must die and he also knew that Isaac must have children! How can this be? By FAITH Abraham saw the solution!! He believed that God was __________ to ____________      _____    ____ even from the __________ (Hebrews 11:19; read also verses 17-18). Look carefully at Genesis 22:5. Abraham told these men to wait behind because he and Isaac were going to go and worship (to Abraham "WORSHIP" meant that he would go and do exactly what God said, namely, sacrifice his son). In other words, Abraham was saying, "I and the lad will go yonder. I will then sacrifice my son, and "we will ______________________ to you" (Genesis 22:5). "I'm going to put my son to death, but we are going to return to you alive!" Abraham believed God would take his dead son, raise him up and bring him back to life! What tremendous faith this man had! God tested his faith and Abraham gloriously passed the test!

            This account in Genesis 22 is only a F______________ (Hebrews 11:19) of a much greater sacrifice and a much greater resurrection. God prevented Abraham from delivering up his only son whom he loved (Genesis 22:12). But what did God eventually do many hundreds of years later (Romans 8:32)? ______________________________________________________________________ But the Lord Jesus could not stay dead (see Acts 2:24) because He must have SEED (Isaiah 53:10) and He must bring __________     ________ unto glory (Hebrews 2:10). So what did God do (Acts 4:10)? _____________________________________________________

            Let us now return again to James 2. Is James 2:14 talking about a person who has faith or about a person who says he has faith? ___________________________ Is it possible to actually see a person's faith?  ______ If you were to meet a total stranger, could you tell whether or not he was a believer just by looking at him? _____ In order for a person to prove that he has faith, he needs to perform the good works which ought to accompany genuine saving faith (see Ephesians 2:10 and Titus 3:8).

            Did the person described in James 2:16 demonstrate that he had a living faith? ______ What did he really prove (1 John 3:14)? _________________________ Even though he claimed to have faith, what kind of faith did he really have (James 2:17)? _________________________ Verse 18 (in James 2) teaches us that a person shows his faith by whether or not he performs good works! Saving faith is a faith that works! John Calvin once said, "Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone." Works are the fruit of justification! The world is sick and tired of Christians shouting about grace and living like the devil!

            Did the Apostle Paul teach that faith and works should go together (Ephesians 2:8-10 and Titus 3:8)? _______ Did Paul and James both agree that Abraham was justified by faith (Romans 4:2-3 and James 2:23)? _______ Did the writer of Hebrews (maybe Paul?) and James both agree that Abraham was justified by works when he offered his son (Hebrews 11:17-19 and James 2:21)?____ Do the Scriptures contradict or do they harmonize perfectly? ___________________

            A person with dead faith can easily believe there is one God, but who else believes this (James 2:19)? ______________________ Where are they going to end up (Matthew 25:41)? ___________________________________________

            Consider James 2:26. To tell if a body has life in it, you must look for signs of life! What are some signs of physical life?   (see Chapter 9

  1. ___________________________________
  2. ___________________________________
  3. ___________________________________

            To tell if a person really has saving faith, you must look for signs of life also! What are some signs of spiritual life? 1. (1 John 3:14) ____________________________   2. (1 John 2:3) _________________________________  3. (1 John 3:9) _______________________ 4. (1 Peter 2:2) ______________________________

            Is your life fruitful or is it barren (see 2 Peter 1:8)? Are you careful to maintain good works? Do you prove by your works that you are a true believer? Do you have a living faith or a dead faith? "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith!" Are you dead or alive?

* * * * * * * * * *

            We have carefully studied seven signs of spiritual life (there are more than seven, but these are seven important and obvious ones). Are these SIGNS evident in your life? Do you show forth the signs of life or the signs of death? Are you a true possessor ("he that has the Son has life"--l John 5:12) or a mere professor?

            If these signs of life do not characterize your life, then this means one of two things: 1) You are spiritually sick. That is, you are a true believer who is very carnal and in a backslidden state (1 Cor. 3:1-4). You need to get right with God. 2) You are spiritually dead. That is, you are not a true believer and you donít have Godís life. You may have professed salvation but you may never have possessed salvation. You need to receive Christ as your personal Saviour and trust in Him and Him alone (John 1:12; 6:47).

            There are two important questions that must be faced:  1) AM I ALIVE?    2) IF I AM NOT ALIVE, HOW CAN I BE MADE ALIVE?  In our study we have examined our own lives and have tried to answer the first question. If I really have God's life, then I should manifest these seven signs of life.

            How should the second question be answered? There is a wrong answer that will lead a person to eternal death and there is a correct answer that will lead a person to eternal life. The wrong answer is this: "To be made alive, I must believe in Adam and Eve, desire God's Word, love the brethren, obey God's commandments, not continue in sin, perform good works, etc." Titus 3:5 and Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly show that people are not saved by trying to do these things! It’s impossible for unsaved people (lifeless people) to do these things.

            The correct answer is this: "To be made alive, I must receive Christ (John 1:12), the One who said, "I AM THE LIFE" (John 14:6). He that has the Son has life (1 John 5:12).  Have you done this?   If you are not sure, please see the important paper entitled:  Am I a True Believer?

            If this study has made you uncertain about whether or not you have God's gift of eternal life, then I would strongly urge you to do the following:

1) Have a talk with your Pastor or with some mature Christian believer who will be able to help you understand how you can receive God's gift of eternal life.

2) Prayerfully and carefully read the gospel of John (see John 20:31). When you finish this read the book of Romans which clearly sets forth the gospel of God (see Romans 1:1,16).

3) Read (or re-read) and study the first six chapters in this set of notes [these chapters deal with salvation and answer the all-important question, "WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?" (Acts 16:31)].


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