Faith at Work

A pastor once shared this observation with me, “There is more to Christianity than simply being right.” His point was a good one: knowing and believing the Word of God is essential to eternal life, for “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord,”1 yet giving and serving in its truth and power is every bit as vital in the Kingdom of God. “As the body without the spirit is dead,” explained James, “so faith without deeds is dead.”2 Conversely, Paul warns against deeds without faith: “Everything that does not come from faith is sin,”3 he wrote. Faith and deeds—one does not live without the other; real faith lives in the company of obedience.4

Sometimes we are tempted to pursue good deeds in perpetual toil of gaining God’s favor. But works are not means of earning God’s approval; they are, instead, the gracious result of it. Paul reminds us, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”5 Then into all who trust in Him God breathes new life of eternal significance: “For we are God’s handiwork,” Paul continues, “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”6 God saves us unto purposeful life.

Yet even our “yes!” to the Spirit’s daily call is the outcome of God’s grace in us: it is the overflow of our faith in His promises. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,”7 Jesus promised, and indeed it does. For “we love because he first loved us,”8 and we “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”9 Yes, Pastor, there is more to Christianity than simply being right—much more. For our acts of obedience flow from what we know to be true. So we go forward in faith today, for we have work to do.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”—2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV

Father, “fill [us] with the knowledge of [Your] will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that [we] may live a life worthy of [You] and please [You] in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God . . .”11 In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 Deuteronomy 8:3
2 James 2:26
3 Romans 14:3
4 James 2:17
5 Ephesians 2:8-9
6 Ephesians 2:10
7 John 8:32
8 1 John 4:19
9 2 Corinthians 1:4
10 Colossians 1:9-10

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