Friday, June 17, 2016

Faith and Actions

Chuckle: A cop to a lady stopped for speeding: "So you didn't think we gave tickets to pretty women? You're right, we don't. . .! Sign here."
Quote: "Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." --Corrie Ten Boom
"Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can't save anyone. . . Now some may argue, 'Some people have faith; others have good deeds.' I say, 'I can't see your faith if you don't have good deeds; but I will show you my faith through my good deeds . . . Just as the body is dead without a spirit, so faith is dead without good deeds" (James 2:14,18,26 NLT).
Here, James is alarmed by some in the church who professed to have faith but refused to do what Christians should. He was dealing with people who considered themselves as belonging to the Christian community, but did not feel that ethical or moral actions were necessary. They had divorced faith from works.
James Peterson & Peter Kim wrote a book: "The Day America Told the Truth." They found that many people keep their religious lives (one or two hours on Sunday) separate from their daily lives. However, James says real (authentic) faith will be reflected by our actions -- how we live each day. It will permeate everything we do. Genuine faith is always followed by a Godly life of love, morality, happiness, service, and ministry. Our faith should change the way we live.
When someone claims to have faith, what he or she may have is intellectual assent -- agreement with a set of Christian teachings -- and as such it is incomplete faith. True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts. If our lives remain unchanged, we don't truly believe the truths we claim to believe. In other words, doing good deeds for others will not save us, but if we have been genuinely "born again," our salvation experience and ensuing faith will be authenticated by how we live -- by how much we love, accept, and minister to the needs of others in the name of Jesus.
"Martin Luther, who had made himself the apostle and champion of faith alone, wrote the following: 'Faith is a living, busy, active, powerful thing; it is impossible for it not to do us good continually. It never asks whether good works are to be done, but has done them before there is time to ask the question, and it is always doing them."
Deeds of loving service are not a substitute for, but rather a verification of, our saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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