Summary: You cannot enter heaven based upon your works alone, nor can you get there with a dead faith !!!
Works Are A Response To Our Faith
How many of us know someone that honestly believes that they can get to heaven as a result of their good deeds? I think that we all have met someone like that, haven’t we?
I am saddened when I hear about these people. They truly are lost in all senses of the word. They are not necessarily bad people, just lost and confused. What’s even sadder, is the answer is right here, in the word of God! In plain English, Japanese, Hebrew, and hundreds of other languages. Yet, either they have not seen or heard the truth, or they refuse to accept it as truth!
But today’s sermon is not about those people. It is for us Christians. For the ones that think they are set. They already have their bags packed, and they are ready to go! They are just waiting for Jesus to call them, then they will head off to Glory Land!
Let us first off go to the book of Ephesians. Chapter 2, verse 10. We read, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We are Gods workmanship! We are his artwork! His masterpiece! We must be very special! Salvation is given by only one, the Lord God Almighty! It is his powerful and creative work in us! And since he says we are his works of art, by no means should we treat ourselves or others with malice, disrespect, or as inferior work.
In the book of Matthew 3:8, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance!” John the Baptist is saying a lot here. He says people should live by more than word and rituals. He was telling them that they needed to change their behaviors!
Simply saying you are a Christian, and associating yourself with a church does not mean there is genuine faith.
Our Father sees beyond our words and beyond our religious activities. He looks to see if our conduct backs up by our words. We’ve all heard the saying,” Actions speak much louder than words!” He actually judges our words by the actions that accompany them. Fruits on the trees! I ask you all this morning, Are you walking the walk that you talk?! Are you a Sunday pew warmer, or a true crusader for Christ!?
Are you making a difference as a result of your faith? You see good deeds have never saved anyone. They never will. You can do all the good deeds that you want, that may make you a great philanthropist, but not saved! You are saved by faith alone. Faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Billy Graham had this to say about faith and works and their relationship to each other: "There really is no conflict between faith and works. In the Christian life they go together like inhaling and exhaling. Faith is taking the Gospel in; works is taking the Gospel out." Actually, what James is saying is: you can’t have one without the other.
The works that you do should be a direct response of your gratitude for your salvation! And for the blessing that he pours into your lives!
When you are truly thankful for something that someone has done for you, you show it! If a brother comes to your home and repairs your plumbing, and charges you nothing, don’t you repay him with kindness?
Don’t you do something nice for him too? Maybe send a card of thanks? Maybe prepare a meal for him, at least a cake? You do this as a response to your gratitude for what he has done for you.
What about when someone actually gives their life for you? Is it enough to just cook a meal for them? Wouldn’t you be overwhelmed with gratitude? And what if they also took all the sins from your entire life and covered them with their own blood, so that God could not see them anymore? They let those around them tom whip, mock, and even spit on them out of love for you. That is what Jesus did for you. And for You. And for You. And for me. Do we show our response of gratitude in our everyday life?
When we see that homeless person on the corner, do we just say, “God, I hope that person finds food and shelter tonight. Amen” Or do we stop and help? Now I know that it is virtually impossible to help all the homeless people, but we can at least point them in the right direction. We can at least pray with them, if they want. We may not be able to give them all that they want, but we can at least be the cold cup of water for them.