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Much – Blog Carnival

Welcome to the One Word At A Time Blog Carnival – this week’s word is: Much.

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There is Much To Do

At the risk of sounding rather controversial, I’d like to share the argument that being a Christian is MUCH more than saying a prayer… in fact it means there is MUCH to do.

It has grown very popular in this day and age to tell people that Christianity or being ‘saved’ is just a matter of repeating a prayer where you say ‘sorry’ for your sins.

I believe it is much more than that though.

The argument is as old a Christianity itself, in fact it’s seen in the New Testament with Paul saying that faith is ‘not by works’ (Ephesians 2:9) where James says faith WITHOUT works is dead (James 2).

I totally believe that what Paul says is true. Salvation is a free gift. There’s nothing we can do to ‘earn’ it. It is a gift from the grace of God.

However, I believe James is ALSO right. Faith which doesn’t result in works (in most cases) is no faith at all. James says that kind of faith can’t save us and he means that if we claim we have faith but that faith doesn’t result in any change in us, then our faith is not in God but in the prayer of salvation. We have faith that the prayer will keep us from hell, but that’s all.

Obviously there are those who come to faith in Christ so late in life (on their deathbeds, for instance) that they die before demonstrating their faith through works and I completely believe that they are saved because, as Paul says, it’s not our works that save us but accepting the free gift of salvation.

For those of us who DO have time though, how can we say we have faith in Christ, that we repent of our sins and that we are followers of our saviour if there is never any change in us… if our faith is not seen by our works.

If we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came to earth to die in our place, that we are all sinners and have all fallen short of the Glory of God and that we must repent (actually turn from our sin) and accept the free gift of salvation from Jesus Christ then that HAS to do something to us.

If all of those things are true then we understand that ALL are in desperate need of salvation and how can we possibly go another day without starting to tell others the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Add the presence of the Holy Spirit to that and, as Paul says in Galatians 5, those who live led by the spirit will show the fruits of the Spirit which are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. So you see that true faith results in inward change.

It is my belief that there is MUCH to do and my question to you is, does the faith you have agree with that assertion and make you eager to do your part or does your faith simply say, “I’m OK, I’m saved. Who cares about anyone else?”

… because that’s not much like faith at all.


Post Info:
Written By: PeterP
On: April 30th, 2012
See More In: Carnival
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20 Responses to Much – Blog Carnival

  1. Grace can be so hard to keep in focus. You’re right, Paul and James aren’t contradicting each other in the least, but sometimes we seem to vacillate between “no work” and “all work” but it’s so unnecessary. There is much to do and much grace to accomplish His purposes and plans! Once we get this straight, we are on a good and joyful road indeed. It may not be easy, but it’s filled with Him. Thank you, Peter.

  2. Carol wrote:

    So true. When we participate with the Lord in the good works he has planned for us in advance, our life is much more meaningful.

  3. Nancy Franson wrote:

    I like to think about the relationship between faith and works in this way: If we have been born of the Spirit, then we share our Father’s DNA. As we grow we will start developing a family resemblance, reflecting the love our Father has for this world and those who bear his image. And we will find that there is much, indeed, to do to cause his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

  4. katdish wrote:

    When we are compelled by love and gratitude rather than our inherent selfishness, everything makes more sense. To me, anyway.

    • PeterP wrote:

      It always blows my mind that she of the skymall catalog and naked cheese butler can use words like ‘inherent’ in the correct place!

      You’re absolutely right though, and you could have saved me a lot of words in my post if you’d just said that to me yesterday…

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  6. Dusty Rayburn wrote:

    Grace is free. Salvation is given freely.
    He then dwells within us and causes us to overflow. Which then results in our bearing fruit.

    A person who has a committed faith in Him cannot help but work for His Kingdom. The work results form the recognition of who He is and what He has done for us.

    It is not the cause of our salvation. It is the result of it.

  7. HisFireFly wrote:

    How can we keep from singing?

    Saved by grace and His great love, but for the glory of His name.

    Good words Peter!

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  10. Frank wrote:

    Wait, wait. You lost me a “actually turn from our sin”. You mean I’m actually supposed to do that stuff? 🙂

    Great post, Peter. I kept thinking of the song but couldn’t remember all the lyrics: “There is much to do, there are trials on every hand” or something like that.

    Anyway, a conundrum I run into is if, like Dusty and Nancy put it that our “works” are evidence of our faith, then what does that say about the salvation of the hundreds (thousands?) of Sunday-seat-fillers who look as though their faith has not produced anything? Yes, we need to spread the Gospel, but I think a huge part of that in our society today is reaching those who sit next to us every Sunday- to share the passion that we have for the Lord and to “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”

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  12. Hazel Moon wrote:

    Not rules keeping but yes, we must follow and listen to his voice. He does have MUCH for us to do.

  13. Much to do, but we’re not called to do it all. Heaven knows I’ve tried. In the being comes the doing of those things designed for us. I like Nancy’s take.

  14. TC Avey wrote:

    I think you might have stepped on some toes here- good job!

    My heart aches when I see Christians live only for Christ on Sundays- I’m not perfect, but I want to live my faith daily. My salvation cost God his son. My salvation is free to me- but it cost my Savior dearly. Grace is costly, to cheapen it is wrong.

    This reminds me of the book, “The cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Coming in June I am going to do a series of posts on that book- it really motivates Christians to live as followers of Christ.

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