Faith Without Works
Post date: Sep 29, 2011 4:02:00 PM
Reposted from 2009-05-21
So, over 2000 years ago, a carpenter was abducted, beaten, interrogated, beaten again, then hung until he died. Today, 2.1 billion people claim that this carpenter was the Son of God. Well, this carpenter's name was Jesus, and as the world knows, Christians are those who seek to be "like Christ". Many confess Christ, but how many believe in Him?
Etymology Note: Christian = Christ + ian... the suffix ian means to be like whatever the root is. So Christian means like Christ.
Christ died for our sins. We know this. But what are we doing about it? James 2:17 & 26 both state that Faith without works is dead. By the way, for those scholars out there, the word dead is nekros, which means void of life and is derived from the term nekus which means corpse. So, if faith without works is dead, then we must have faith because we proclaim Christ to be our King. But simply proclaiming Christ as King isn't enough. The word works is ergon which means to toil. So, there's a toiling, a laboring that must ensue when we truly believe Christ is King and died for our sins.
OK, taking a step out of the Greek lesson, just look at the scripture. Matthew 14, we see this incredible story of two people walking on water. It's amazing. Jesus is walking on the water to His disciples. Then Peter gets a boldness and says, "Lord, if it's you, call me and I'll come out to you." When Jesus tells him to come, Peter steps out on the water and begins walking to Jesus. While Peter is walking on the water, he begins to let the surroundings dictate his faith. He then begins to sink, to which Jesus responds, "ye of little faith."
Here's what I see. I see Peter full of faith walking on the water. Peter goes down in history as 1 of 2 people who have walked on water. Peter could've been like the others back in the boat who were scared, but what Jesus said to him was that he was of "little faith". Jesus didn't comment on the faith of the other disciples. I suggest that their lack of action overtly displays that they had no faith.
Without going into much detail, I cite David running to the center line to battle Goliath, Noah building the ark, the Centurion whose servant was sick, and Abraham's bringing Isaac for sacrifices. All three of these stories show a level of faith that was accompanied by action. The Centurion might be a little baffling, so let me expound. He rode out to meet Jesus in hopes that Jesus would cure his servant. In addition to this, the Centurion went home without Jesus and his servant was healed. During that time, the healer would have to come into your home before most healings would take place. By not bringing Christ home, the Centurion was acting in Faith regarding the supplication he made unto Christ.
Everyone in the Bible had to do something to express their faith. This model that you can believe without the goods to show for it is a lie. I challenge you to show me in the Bible where people who believed did nothing. What does happen in the Bible is that God requires action of everyone to express their faith. Even the multitudes who believed in Christ followed Him. Granted, they crucified Him later, but while they believed, they went out of their comfort to follow Christ.
What's the last thing you have done to show your faith? When's the last time you've been inconvenienced for the love of Christ? 1 John 3:18 states that we should not love in lip service, but in action. Again, ergon. It's a shame that many Christians out there proclaim Christ, but are unwilling to step out of their daily lives to make Christ known to the world. I'm glad that God has been patient with me, because I'm not the best about this myself. But even I have remorse for the times when I didn't step out and act, so I resolve to be more bold and step out more and more. If I do not proclaim Christ in my life and with my actions, then I HAVE NO FAITH.
I ask you this simple question....
When is the last time you have toiled for the glory of Christ?
I've heard all sorts of people tell me that they're Christian, but the very Christ they claim to love, they refuse to serve in deed, but love in word only. I've seen it in adults and I've seen it in youth. Age doesn't matter. God always puts upon our hearts something to do to further His kingdom. It's going to cost us something. It always costs us something. Peter was in the middle of a storm and stepping out onto the water would've cost him his life, but He (even for a moment) had faith and did walk over that which sought to kill him.
What do your actions profess? Do they confess a relationship with Christ? Or do your actions proclaim a belief that this world is your reality and inheritance?
Footnote: If you lynch someone, you have hanged them, but if you crucify a person, they were hung on a cross.