Sermon Discussion Questions

Sermon Discussion Questions

“Faith That Works” – James 5:13-20 [August 11]

  1. The instructions on prayer in these verses follows a passage on being patient during suffering. Discuss the connection between the two.

  2. James says we should pray when we are in trouble, happy or sick. Do you find you pray more when you are happy or in need?

  3. Why do you think this is the case?

  4. Verse 15 says the prayer offered in faith will make a sick person well. Many sick people have been prayed for by the elders of Grace Chapel, but not all have been healed. Why?

  5. Why would confessing our sins to one another (v. 16) be a part of this healing process?

  6. What is the point of saying Elijah was a person just like us? How is this helpful to your prayer life?

  1. Verse 7 tells us to be patient…until when? With what?

  2. How does the illustration of the farmer and his crops help you understand James’ point?

  3. Verse 8 says the Lord’s coming is “near.” If this was written 2000 years ago, what does James mean by this word?

  4. Verse 11 says those who have persevered will be blessed. What have they endured?

  5. Verse 12 indicates the most important aspect of persevering is our manner of speech. Why does James once again make a big deal about our words?

  6. How does the reality of Jesus’ return impact the way you live?

“Faith That Works” – James 5:1-6 [July 28]

  • Is there anything wrong with being rich? If not, how do you explain verse 1?

  • What does the Bible teach about money and riches? (See Mt. 6:19-24; 1 Timothy 6:6-10)

  • We typically think of rich people as having fewer miseries in their lives – is this true?

  • Verses 3-6 list several reasons why wealthy people will be judged harshly. What are they?

  • Are these reasons exclusively connected to being rich?

“Faith That Works” – James 4:1-12 [July 7]

  1. What is the root cause of fights and quarrels among people?

  2. What behaviors does James criticize in verses 2-3?

  3. Why doesn’t God give some people what they ask for?

  4. Why can’t we love both God and the world? What happens when we try to love both? (See 1 John 2:15-16; Matthew 6:24)

  5. Interestingly, James gives 10 commandments in verses 7-10. What are they?

  6. While this passage contains many convicting statements, there are also plenty of reminders of God’ grace. Explain.

“Faith That Works”- James 3:13-18 [June 30]

  1. This is the second time James has taken up the topic of wisdom. How did he describe it previously (1:5-8)?

  2. According to verse 13, what are some signs of wisdom? Why do you think James makes note of them?

  3. How does James characterize earthly wisdom (vv. 14-15)?

  4. According to verse 16, where does earthly wisdom lead? Give an example of this.

  5. How does James describe heavenly wisdom (v. 17)? How does a “heavenly-wise” person act?

  6. Compare Galatians 5:22-23 with verses 17-18. What is the connection between faith, works, and wisdom in these passages?

“Faith That Works” – James 3:1-12 [June 23]

  1. Other than being judged more strictly, why do you think James encourages only a few people to become teachers?

  2. In verse 2 James begins the discussion about the power of our words. How does this relate to verse 1?

  3. James uses the examples of a horse’s bridle and the rudder of a ship to indicate how powerful the tongue is. How is what we say connected to the rest of who we are?

  4. In verse 6 it is our tongue that causes “a world of evil,” but it’s not the root of the problem. What is?

  5. If no human being can tame the tongue (v. 8), then who can?

  6. Verses 9-12 demonstrate how we can use our words for both good and evil – James indicates this shouldn’t be so. Good and evil have two different sources. How does this happen, and how do we address it?

“Faith That Works” – James 2:14-26 [June 16]

  • In verse 14 James asks two questions. How would you answer each of them?

  • Verses 15-16 are likely an exaggeration, but they illustrate an important point. What is it?

  • According to verses 17-18, how can we tell if our faith in Jesus Christ is genuine?

  • Many people think that being a Christian means believing in God and being a good person. What does verse 19 say about this idea?

  • How do verses 20-24 connect with Matthew 7:15-20 and Ephesians 2:10?

  • How has this passage made you feel? If you have been convicted that your faith lacks fruit, what are your next steps? (hint: it’s NOT trying harder to do good works)

“Faith That Works” – James 2:1-13 [June 2]
  1. Why is favoritism considered a sin?

  2. How is it damaging to the message of the gospel?

  3. Read verses 3-4. What does favoritism expose about the person who is engaging in it?

  4. Explain the “upside-down” nature of verses 5-7.

  5. The “royal law” of verse 8 is the greatest commandment found in Matthew 22:36-40. Why do you think James calls it the royal law? How does it apply to favoritism?

  6. Doesn’t verse 10 seem to blow things out of proportion? How can a single act of favoritism be the same as breaking every one of God’s laws?

  7. Explain verses 12-13 in your own words. Why is mercy so important to offer? Why is it so important to receive?

“Faith That Works” – James 1:19-27 [May 26]

  1. In what ways do the words “listen,” “speak,” and “anger” in verse 19 relate to the phrase “word of truth” in verse 18?

  2. Why doesn’t anger result in the righteousness God desires?

  3. How do we get rid of moral filth and evil (v. 21)? What is the “word planted in you,” and how can it save you?

  4. Think of a Bible teaching that you’ve heard but failed to act upon. How were you “deceived?” (v 22)

  5. In verse 25 we’re told that the law brings freedom and blessing, but the apostle Psul in Romans 7:4 & 1 Corinthians 15:56 seems to be saying something different. How do you reconcile these verses?

  6. Why is controlling your tongue and caring for widows and orphans such an essential aspect of being a Christian (v. 26-27)?

“Faith That Works” – James 1:12-18 [May 12]

  1. How is verse 12 connected to verses 2-4?

  2. We are saved by grace through faith, not works. Why, then, is receiving the crown of life dependent upon persevering under trial?

  3. Verse 13 reminds us that God does not tempt us, but He does seem to test us. What is the difference?

  4. If God does not tempt us, where do our evil desires come from?

  5. How are verses 14-15 similar to verses 6-8?

  6. What kind of deception are verse 16-18 speaking against?

“Faith That Works” – James 1:9-11 [May 5]

  1. Consider the larger context of chapter one – what topic is James addressing before and after this passage?

  2. How can someone in a humble position also be in a high position (Think about the Beatitudes in Matthew 5)?

  3. Given the context of the passage, what do you think causes a rich person to be humbled?

  4. Why should a rich person take pride in their humiliation?

  5. The riches of this world will certainly fade away, but James says the rich person will fade away (verse 11). What do you think he means by this? (Hint: think about how a rich person’s identity is wrapped up in their wealth)

  6. What is the lesson for both the poor and the rich person?

“Faith That Works” – James 1:1-8 [April 28]

  1. James is not addressed to a particular town or church, rather it is directed to the  “twelve tribes scattered among the nations.” What does this mean?

  2. Verse 2 says we should approach our trials with “pure joy.” How is this possible?

  3. According to verse 3, what does the testing of our faith produce? What does this mean?

  4. Verse 5 indicates that wisdom is available from God to all who ask. What is the stipulation that follows in verse 6?

  5. List examples of what it means to be “blown and tossed by the wind,” or “double-minded and unstable.”

  6. Consider this passage in two distinct ways: First, as a sound piece of advice without any context, and second, as an outworking of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Note the differences.