Summary: It’s not the works that produce the faith but the faith that produces the works. It’s our actions that prove our faith.
* Being Salt & Light – ZESTY! – Rev. Magazine, September/October issue, pg. 28
It could be that one of the greatest hindrances to evangelism today is the poverty of our own experience – Billy Graham
Christians have become famous for what they don’t do.
We don’t drink We don’t smoke We don’t chew
We don’t go with girls that do
We don’t dance We don’t gamble
We don’t go to the wrong movies, listen to the wrong music or hang out with the wrong crowd
We don’t date the wrong people
We don’t kiss on the first date
We don’t make out We don’t have sex – ever!
We don’t really DO anything
It seems that we have adopted the evangelism strategy that the best way to witness is to bore people into the kingdom.
Of course most Christians have unofficially adopted several other don’ts.
We don’t study the Bible We don’t pray
We don’t give sacrificially We don’t serve
We don’t share our faith We don’t pray for the sick
We don’t help the homeless We don’t visit those in prison
We don’t keep each other accountable
We don’t understand words like commitment, righteousness, holiness, sanctification and transformation.
One of the main problems with the church today is that most people who call themselves Christians just don’t DO anything!
* John Wimber’s Story
Many Christians treat their relationship with God like the husband that, when asked by his wife, “Why don’t you tell me you love me anymore?” replies, “I told you I loved you when we got married. If anything changes I’ll let you know.”
It’s like we’re telling God with our actions – “Thanks for salvation and everything. If I need anything else, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’m gonna do my own thing.”
You know – “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”
What a slap in the face of a Holy God!
For most Christians today, the sin that keeps them separated from God are not the sins they commit but the good things God has called them to do that they omit. God calls that sin.
James 4:17 - it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.1
But in the church, we have become experts of glossing over sin. We say things like; “I know I ought to… I’m sure I should… But I’m not as bad as…” And we pacify our conscience and offend God.
Post-moderns are demanding experience. They don’t want to be told, they want to be shown
The Evidence of Faith
James 2:14, 17 - What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?… faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 2
Deeds - the result of faith3
It’s not the works that produce the faith but the faith that produces the works. It’s our actions that prove our faith.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 4
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.5
It is amazing to me how many Christians today are so willing to settle for mediocrity. We’ve been given this opportunity to walk on water and we whine about how busy we are.
The Cost of Following Jesus
When Jesus talked about the cost of discipleship, He used phrases like; dying to self, carrying your cross, losing your life, and giving up everything.
Sounds kind of demanding doesn’t it?
Jesus was continually pointing to the cost of following Him.
Too often we hear these passages and we dismiss them saying that Jesus was just being overly harsh to make a point.
Yea He was! His point is this. NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST AND SERVING HIM AND HIM ONLY!!!
Jesus said; “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” While many of us might say that we have given our lives to Christ, our lifestyle screams otherwise.
God wants to be everything to every one of us at every moment.
– B. Catherine Ray
Do we think so little of God’s power? If it’s Him that regenerates us, if it’s Him that re-creates us, if it’s Him that gives us faith then don’t we think that that faith will produce in us a desire for Him? Shouldn’t a faith that is given by God produce in us a desire for obedience? Shouldn’t the power of the Holy Spirit of God that is supposed to resident in every Christian’s heart produce in a Christian’s life a hunger to serve God that overcomes all else.