Message Scripture:

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” – James 2:17-18 (KJV)

A Faith That Works:

Greetings Everyone,

I am sorry I haven’t written much lately, but I’ve hit a bit of a rough patch.  I’ve started a few things that I know I’m supposed to be working on, but even with the anointing to write I hit moments where I don’t really like anything I’m writing.  So, I have a bunch of messages in draft mode, and I’m hoping to catch fire today so I can publish some of the things I’ve been working on over the weekend.  In the mean time…here’s a side journey message…and hopefully I’ll be able to write something I like enough to actually publish it.

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” – James 2:17-18 (KJV)

Faith without works is deed.  One of the biggest arguments in Christianity is about faith and works.  However, the Bible is clear that good works are the fruit of our faith, and that’s the point that is always missed when we hear messages about what we like to call “sloppy grace”.  We are saved by grace through faith, and in addition to that everything we have and do comes to us by grace through faith.  There’s nothing that comes to us in the Kingdom of God apart from grace through faith.  However, when it comes to the fruit of our lives, or the evidence of our salvation…the proof is in our fruit.  Now, this is where we talk about the fact that when we become born again, spirit-filled Christians we are no longer judged according to our sin, but we’re judged according to our works.  This is also where the “Once Saved Always Saved” arguments come in with the belief that we can sin so much we’ll lose our salvation.  They talk about willful sin, and all kinds of other stuff…and use all kinds of scripture to pad their arguments…but I’m not interested in arguing I’m interested in the truth.

First of all, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NASB) more specifically verse 19 “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.”.  God is no longer counting our sins against us because He added all of our sins and the punishment for them and put them all on Jesus.  Listen.  He became sin who knew no sin that we might become righteous.  We are the righteousness of God in Christ because of the fact that Jesus took upon Himself our sin and the punishment for our sin.

Here’s the deal…God isn’t judging believers according to their sin any longer.  We are judged according to our works.  Do you want to know why I know that?  It’s in the Bible…specifically 1 Corinthians 3:11 – 15 (NLT)

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”

When you build a house the first thing you lay is the foundation, and when we become whosoever’s that call upon the name of the Lord to be saved Jesus then becomes the foundation of our lives.  Just like we use different materials to build our earthly houses from we also have different materials to build heavenly homes with, and those materials are either hay, wood, and stubble…or gold, silver, and precious jewels.  The kind of works we do determine the kind of materials we are building our homes with.  The good works are the gold, silver, and precious jewels.  The bad works are the wood, hay, and stubble.  So, the day we as believers stand before the Lord to be judged for our works as Revelation 20:12 (KJV) says we will be…our heavenly homes will be thrown into the fire…and what survives that fire will be our reward.  So, obviously…the bad works being the hay, wood, and stubble are all materials that will be consumed by the fire…but how many of you know that when a home burns down to the ground the foundation is still left…so it is with our lives.  We never lose our Foundation.

Second, I think that we in the Body of Christ completely misunderstand this whole thing about faith and works. We show people our faith by our works, but just because we don’t always have perfectly good works that doesn’t mean we don’t have faith.  It also doesn’t mean that we’re not saved.  I say this all the time, and I’m going to say it again.  I’m not saved because of anything I’ve done I’m saved because of Jesus.  I’m not perfect because I never make a mistake, I never sin, and I never miss God.  I am perfect because I am in Christ…and I have Christ’s perfection to thank for making me perfect.  I am not holy because I spend every waking moment reading the Bible, listening to nothing but worship music, watching nothing but preachers preaching, and because I spend every other moment that I’m not reading the Bible praying and speaking in tongues.  I am holy because Jesus is holy, and because I receive His holiness as my holiness when I am in Christ.  Everything I am, do, and have become I received by grace through faith.  I didn’t work for my holiness I received it by grace through faith in Christ…so I’m not holy based upon my lifestyle…I’m holy because of Jesus.

In reality what these verses are talking about are those that say tongue in cheek that they believe in God, but their lifestyles don’t reflect that belief.  I always say that there should be some kind of evidence that God is working in our lives.  I’ve yet to meet anyone that has everything in the Christian life and walk figured out.  I’ve met some that think they have it all figured out, but the funny thing is those who feel they know it all are really unaware of how full of pride they are. 

I don’t know about all the points and arguments and all that stuff.  I know this.  I know time is too short to be arguing about doctrine, philosophies, and other topics that seem to divide the church today.  I don’t want to waste time arguing about theology…I just want people to know there is a God that loves them and desires to have a relationship with them…and the only way to enter in a relationship with this God is by grace through faith. 

Let’s Pray:

Holy God, we can never thank You enough for sending Jesus and paying the debt for our sin. May we never presume on Your grace or take the cost of Your gift lightly. At the same time, Father, we want to live confidently, knowing that our salvation is not dependent on our works or our mistakes but upon Your grace. Because of such a lavish gift, we want to live for You today in a way that reflects the joy we have at receiving such an awesome gift. And we want the fruit of our lives to be proof of the faith in You that resides in our hearts.  My all that we do bring You glory, honor, and draw people to You.  In the name of Jesus, our source of hope and grace, I pray. Amen.

In Closing:

The result of salvation is that we are His workmanship, not our own, but HIS. A born again believer is a brand new masterpiece of God.  You see, we’re not redeemed and saved because of our good works…we’re saved FOR good works.  For example, this ministry that I do I don’t write these message hoping that I’ll write enough good ones that God will approve of me, and that I’ll earn my place in Heaven.  I write these messages because I already have my place in Heaven, the ability to write is the gift God gave me so that I could serve Him, and do my part to fulfill the Great Commission.  I don’t to this because I’m trying to get something from God, but because I want to do something for Him.

When you serve God out of a desire to want to instead of the burden of feeling like you have to…that is when you really come to understand grace and works and faith and how it all works together.  That’s when you have a faith that works.

Have a blessed night & God Bless!

Blessings & Grace;

Pastor B

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