Easter - 2018

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Faith and Works : living in Spirit and Truth

Faith and works are united in the heart of the believer. Faith is more then simply believing. Works or deeds is more then being a good person. When we read Paul's teaching concerning salvation through faith and not works, Paul is often referencing the "works of the law." In other words, the Apostle Paul is refuting a trust in the Law as a means of salvation. There is nothing the individual can do to find salvation on their own ... salvation is through faith in Jesus. Paul is not teaching the believer to have faith and go in their merry way. The truth of faith results in the hope found in Jesus. The only response is works of love, sacrifice, and goodness.

I think of Gal 5.6, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love" (ESV). Paul is refuting a faith in doing an act as a means of salvation. In this instance the act is circumcision, which the law required. Paul continues by encouraging his readers to respond and act in love. The "act of love" is the point James is making in his letter. To have faith in Jesus is not enough, a believer demonstrates the truth of God's love in the way they conduct their life.

Another passage of Paul's which speaks to doing faith is Rom 12.1, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (ESV). The believer is doing works when "offering" themselves as living sacrifices which is acceptable to God.

Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4, God is seeking worshipers who worship in spirit and truth. The two fold response to God is to have faith (the spirit) and to show it is our actions (the truth). The truth of our faith is seen in the way in which we conduct our love.

You know I love ya, Don

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