Illustration results for faith vs works
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R. Darrel Davis
Just before the death of actor W.C. Fields, a friend visited Fields? hospital room and was surprised to find him thumbing through a Bible. Asked what he was doing with a Bible, Fields replied, "I?m looking for loopholes."
Tolstoy wrote, “Don’t judge God’s holy ideals by my inability to meet them. Don’t judge Christ by those of us who imperfectly bear His Name…Attack me, rather than the path I follow.”
Faith is the first step you must take to receive mercy from God. Faith is not just believing God exists, it is acting on that belief. It is staking your entire eternity on the offer God has extended for you to have a personal relationship with Him.
The Pharisees and teachers of the law competed with one another in strictness. They had atomized God’s law into 613 rules and bolstered these with 1,521 emendations (Yancey 132).
We can see the length to which this went from the following facts. For many generations the Scribal Law was never written down; it was the oral law, and it was handed down in the memory of generations of Scribes. In the middle of the third century A.D. a summary of it was made and codified. That summary is known as the Mishnah; it contains sixty-three tractates on various subjects of the Law, and in English makes a book of almost eight hundred pages. (Barclay 129)
The Law as originally given by God was based on the Ten Commandments. The 1521 emendations from the teachers of the law had reduced the commandments to a legalistic code that completely disregarded the principles intended by God.
A good example of this can be seen in the treatment of the Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath and Keep It Holy. First, one of the things considered to be unholy on the Sabbath was work. Work had to be defined, and one of the things considered to be work was writing; but how much writing constituted work? Here is what the teachers of the law said: He who writes two letters of the alphabet with his right or with his left hand, whether of one kind or of two kinds, if they are written with different inks or in different languages, is guilty. Even if he should write two letters from forgetfulness, he is guilty, whether he has written them with ink or with paint, red chalk,...
In other words, we begin our Christian life in God’s grace, and then quickly abandon grace, and try to live our life, and almost to continue to earn our salvation, - by what we do, by our works.
Author Jerry Bridges puts it like this: "We tend to give an unbeliever just enough of the gospel to get him or her to pray a prayer to receive Christ. Then we immediately put the gospel on the shelf, so to speak, and go on to the duties of discipleship. The grace that brought salvation to you is the same grace that teaches or disciplines you. But you must respond on the basis of grace, not law."
Jerry Bridges - from his book Transforming Grace
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) said, "A Christian should always remember that the value of his good works is not based on their number and excellence, but on the love of God which prompts him to do these things."
"A lot of people are leaving the church and going back to God." Lenny Bruce
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
In their recent book "Unveiling Islam," Emir and Ergun Caner, former Sunni Muslims cite the major differences between Islam and Christianity as the "personalness" of God, and "grace as opposed to works."
"Jesus Christ ... is ultimately personal and wants to have a relationship with me," Ergun Caner said.
The Koran says Allah "is as close as your jugular vein, which is a place of fear, not of faith," Emir Caner said. "As Muslims, grace was a foreign word to us," he said, having noted in an earlier interview that the only way a Muslim can be assured of heaven outside of dying in jihad is whether his good works outweigh his bad ones.
"So do my beliefs dictate that good Muslims will go to hell?" Ergun Caner asked. "The answer to that is: Good Southern Baptists will go to hell. The issue at hand is not one of religious practice, it is one of personal relationship."
Christianity is "exclusivistic" in its claims, but universal in its appeal to others, Ergun Caner s...
Sermon Central Staff
UNDERDOING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Craig Groeschel, a well known pastor and author of the "Christian Atheist" says:
"As Christians, we can be tempted to 'overdo faith.' I put that in quotes because it would be more accurate to say it's 'underdoing personal responsibility.' There's really no way to have too much faith, assuming you understand faith the way God does. Some people think faith is doing nothing in order to let God do everything for them. For example, I have an out-of-work friend who believed that God was going to provide a new job for him.
I said, "So, have you been looking for a job?"
My friend said, "Nope."
"Well, do you have a resume?"
"Are you networking? Out trying to meet people?"
"Well, uh . . . what exactly are you doing?"
"I'm trying not to freak out while I'm hoping that God will bring me a job."
"I've known many people like this in a variety of different situations. You probably have too."
SOURCE: From a sermon by Sean Harder, Managing Money, 6/16/2010
W. H. Auden said: "Our bodies cannot love. But without them, what works of love could we do?"