14-17Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
18I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”
Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
19-20Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?
I am not here to bash Christianity. I believe the local church is meant to be the hope of the world. if i didn’t believe it, i wouldn’t work full time in it. We are the bride of Christ…even if we aren’t ready for the wedding yet.
I do however often wish we could ignore this section of scripture. i think many people professing to follow after Christ do ignore this section of scripture. i did for a while…still do sometimes.I was in the camp that said, some people are ‘gifted’ to take care of the action part, others of us are ‘gifted’ to speak the faith and philosophy of it all. But God doesn’t buy that; and thankfully he doesn’t let me use it anymore either.
When we say yes to God, we have to say no to our way of doing things…we’re not really good at that as Christians. We have been really good at speaking what we think is God’s way…oh how we speak it.
I was reading this morning in Acts 6 where Stephen was preaching, healing, taking care of the poor, and following Christ. He was doing the RIGHT thing. But some of the ‘religious-RIGHT’ didn’t like it. They began to take words and sentences out of context, spread rumors, and even brought him to trial over it all. They united themselves in the ‘battle’ against evil and wrong doctrine by signing petitions and sending mass emails. But Stephen was actually doing something…not just believing and defending doctrine. Did Jesus really die on the cross so we now have a simple or christian logo? Did he die and then commission us to be in a battle/war and defend doctrine through marches, picket lines, lobbying, or supreme court cases?
I’m pretty sure God wants us doing something; not simply sitting, waiting, emailing, and looking for things to blog about (guilty). Recently i heard a conversation (part conversation, part gripe) about how the Democrats want to control everything in Washington and not allow the people/state to do what’s right. That was definitely what President Bush’s speech was flavored with. I agree the government shouldn’t control everything, but if we aren’t doing anything about it, why shouldn’t they? If we aren’t going to take care of our finances and get into bad house purchases and screw with the economy why not fix it? If we can’t care for the environment, someone needs to do something. If we keep pushing the poor to the fringes and build bigger house communities in new areas and everyone vacate there leaving them to fund their own schools, why not have the government do something? If we believe so strongly in these things, why hasn’t your church or my church had a capital campaign to build new schools and give it to the city? Why haven’t we(as christ-followers) done something about the food stamp problem.
Faith without Action is dead. I don’t’ know about you, but i have some re-orienting to do. My heart and life don’t yet match fully up with how this scripture teach me to…i guess i have some work to do – join me.