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The Transformation of True Faith



The goal is to have an encounter with Jesus Christ that is so powerful and so transformational that we go from being a scoffer to a servant of God.”

James, the brother of Jesus, had one of these moments… he must have. After all, he went from believing that his brother Jesus had lost his mind to believing that He was the one true Lord and even dying for Him. As Louie Giglio kicks off our journey through the book of James, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING; he is challenging us to open up our lives and let Jesus into the mix of all of it, to believe for an encounter with Him that will change everything.

Key Takeaway

Jesus wants to radically transform your life. He is open to investigation. He will turn you from scoffer to servant.

James wants to strip away the exterior and start with the interior of who we are. That's the opposite of what we do most of the time, which is lead with the exterior when God really wants to focus on the interior. We operate out of our identity. James immediately hones in on identity. Our identity changes everything.

If you are truly born again and a real person of faith, it's going to change:

  • How you talk to and about other people
  • How you make your plans
  • How you go through hardships and face trials
  • How you process Scripture
  • It will torpedo your pride
  • Your attitude toward the poor
  • How you deal with temptation
  • How you prove out your faith

The hinge verse of the book is James 2:26. True faith proves itself and works itself out in every area of our lives.

The Gospel is the Gospel of grace. Paul establishes that in Ephesians 2:8-9. Our salvation is not because of our works. James says, yes! We are saved by grace, but real faith and real grace is alive. It moves into every area of your life, and things change. If things aren't changing, you need to ask yourself, is there real faith in your life? If you said a prayer, filled out a card, and made a decision at camp, but you lead a life completely contrary to God, and your decision-making is opposite of what it looks like to have God leading your life - you need to ask yourself about true faith.

Faith without deeds is worthless, pointless, and dead.

Who is James, and what right does he have to say these things?

  • He is the brother of Jesus
  • He started out as a naysayer and a scoffer of Jesus. See Matthew 13:53, Make 3:20-21, and John 7:1-5. He didn't stay that way.
  • Galatians 2:9, Paul calls him a pillar of the Church
  • Acts 12:17, Peter asks that James be made aware of his situation because James is a leader in the Church
  • Acts 15:13, James takes control as an authority during a massive debate
  • He identifies himself as a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 15: 1-8

James didn't believe Jesus was who He said He was, but then the resurrection happened. The Gospel is open to investigation. It's all public. Jesus lived in public, died in public, was buried in public, and rose in public. He appeared to the 12 disciples, then 500 people at the same time. When Paul was writing, most of those who saw the resurrected Jesus were still alive, so he said to go ask them what they saw.

The Gospel is an objective truth. Yes, faith is a subjective thing, but it's faith in an objective reality. You can investigate. You can test out the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Every crazy spiritual movement that has ever happened is based on some subjective thought or experience that happened in private that only that person knows. They have secret knowledge, only they are able to understand, only they were chosen, etc. They claim to have all the answers and are God; you just have to follow them. Jesus doesn't do that. Jesus says all of the faith rests on an event that happened in the wide-open public spaces. Any form of investigation or legal process proves that it really happened. It's a fact.

Jesus then appeared to James. We don't know what happened during their meeting, but we can infer that the scoffer became a pillar of the Church, the "he's out of his mind" became "He's the Son of God." The historians of 62 AD, only 30 years after Jesus rose from the dead, record James being martyred for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What happened to James that made his heart change?

  1. The factual nature of the resurrection of Jesus was undeniable. Jesus stood right in front of him.
  2. The reason for the resurrection is clear. He came to save James. He came for us so that we would have a way to God, our bridge to forgiveness. James was radically changed.

James didn't brag about being the brother of Jesus. He rightly recognizes Jesus as Lord and himself as a servant of God. Jesus, without shame but with grace, brought James into His story.

God wants to transform you into His servant. This is where James starts: the admission that you need Him.


"Safe?" said Mr Beaver..." Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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Scripture References

  • James 2:26
  • 1 Corinthians 15:1
  • Mark 3:20
  • Galatians 2:9
  • John 7:1
  • Matthew 13:53
  • James 1:1
Louie Giglio

Global Pastor

Louie Giglio Louie Giglio is the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, comprised of Passion Conferences, Passion City Church, Passion Publishing and sixstepsrecords, and the founder of Passion Institute.