Sunday, January 7, 2024
A Faith That Works #JesusFollowers
Without action, nothing is achieved. Jesus told a parable in which a king left a group of servants in charge of some money. The ones who invested and used it were praised upon his return. Those who did nothing and hid the money were scolded.
The same is true with our Faith in God, Whom Jesus reveals to us through his teachings, life and death. We are saved from sin in this life, and eternally, only by the teachings and example of Jesus.
A Faith that rests in smug complacency and pride fails. A Faith that puts our talents to work and tests us makes us spiritually stronger.
Jesus calls us to run, to achieve, to do, to act, to work, to become better, to seek out truth, to be righteous, to be humble, to worship and praise our God, and to love others.
And our works have eternal consequences, as well as being of great benefit to others around us right now.
This is a world desperately in need of a deep, loving faith that can work righteousness in the heart as well as in the mind. It needs a Kingdom of Godly men and women who actively feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, bind up the broken-hearted and tend to the ill. This is the very mission Jesus tells us he was sent to proclaim by his, and our, Creator.
Mere platitudes and a religion based upon “instant salvation,” which leaves our neighbors unloved, unserved, and falsely assured of eternity, cheats both them and us out of experiencing the Kingdom that Jesus announced as his mission.
Jesus taught clearly that we are saved eternally by God according to our works (though not by others' opinions of our works, nor by our high opinion of our own works, nor by how loudly we perform our works.)
God alone judges our Works, but it's clear from Jesus' teachings that mere good intentions alone do not save us, nor do they bring about God's Kingdom on earth.
There is no other teaching claiming the name ‘Christianity” that leads to salvation other than the words of Jesus, our Master. All we need to know about God’s Will for us was revealed in the words and example of Jesus, the one God adopted, chose and commissioned to preach to us.
So, when we encounter what is claimed to be the Gospel, if it fails to challenge us to pursue Good Works, we know that it's a false and easy Faith we've encountered – a wide and false gate, rather than the Gospel preached from the very mouth of Jesus.
That's because Jesus clearly calls us to an active Faith - a Faith that Works. It's a challenge worth accepting and worth LIVING. It leads to a spiritually complete life and to eternal life.
Jesus is a teacher who challenges us, his students, to become spiritually complete by actively seeking and doing Righteousness.
“For I have given you an example,” says our Master, “that you also should do just as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)
Jesus preached in order to challenge us to seek spiritual completeness, and calls us today to be examples in his name. And he, as a human being, demonstrated that we can follow him in all things.
To imagine Jesus teaches anything less is to make him and his teachings into something small, and his Faith into something light, unimportant, and easy to obtain.
We must not degrade Jesus' teachings and the Faith that he proclaimed to the world in this way. And we should not settle for a Faith that doesn't Work Righteousness in this world, which desperately needs it.