Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Works Without Faith Are Dead

“… we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” — Ephesians 2:10

It is amazing, I think that God would want to use us, sin prone as we are, for His purposes. In fact, good works is at the center of God’s plan. Why? So the world might see Jesus.

(James 2:14-26)  “….. faith without works is dead.” 

Works without faith are also dead. Good works are a natural product of our faith.  Those works and the fruit that is born from them is for God’s glory not ours.  The problem so many of us have is that what we consider “good works” can supplant our devotion to the One who called us to the work.  In that case faith has nothing to do with the work we do.  Two people can be handing out water to thirsty people.  One is a Christian and one is not.  The thirsty person’s thirst is quenched by both.  You see you can do “good things” and not have the power of God behind what you do.  That is what makes it so easy to abandon God and make what you are doing all your own.  You might still wear a T-shirt or hat or bracelet that makes reference to your faith or to Jesus, but your heart is far from God.  There is no eternal power in what you do.  Like the Pharisees, you have become a “whitewashed tomb filled with dead men’s bones.” I must constantly remind myself that what I do, I do because I am a child of God and I am about my Father’s business.  If I don’t nurture my spiritual life, then my natural life will soon take over.

Some time back we are working on repairing a hurricane damaged home.  It was really a cool house .. in a rustic sense … we had occasion to pour a cement landing outside the back door.  I was doing some shovel work preparing the area when I felt something solid under the point of my shovel.  I scraped the dirt away to find pavers – a brick path.  As I followed the bricks I uncovered a patio.  Time and neglect had taken over what was once a beautiful garden patio.  It took a great deal of effort, but eventually the patio was restored.  It’s the same with our spiritual lives.  If we neglect the disciplines of our faith, soon God’s handiwork will be covered over.  You might still “do” what you were doing before but you have become like those Paul wrote about in 2 Timothy 3:5, “having a form of godliness but denying its power”.  You see – work, no matter how well intentioned or how good or helpful - without faith is dead.  Each of us must examine what we do and why we do it.  Just as with our salvation – saved by grace through faith and not works – we bring glory to God by faith in our work.

The light that shines from our lives is the presence of the Spirit of God and the fruit that is born from the Spirit in a life submitted to the will of God and the leading of the Spirit. Good works are not merely limited to the work of our hands but the outpouring of the love of God from our hearts.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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