dead on arrival

 

James 2:14 & 17|

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisers, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone…So you see, faith by itself isn’t  enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”

Have you ever experienced one of those days when you wake up, lie in bed, only to realize you want to call in sick to work? At my previous place of employment I had a number of those days. I had very little desire to exert any energy into getting into my vehicle, driving 45 minutes and then working.

Perhaps you  feel under the weather or the day is too perfect to go to work. Regardless of the reasons why not go, there are always reasons to go. For starters, calling out makes one look like they’re not dependable. When you’re not working, you’re not getting paid and there are always bills to pay. So, for me, its always been a struggle to call out of work because I over think the good and the bad. More often than not, I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

The basic principle we live under is this; first you work, then you receive.  After 2 weeks of working, I get a paycheck. After years of studying, I received a diploma. The process is rather simple, first I put in my own efforts and then I receive the fruits of my labor.

Should we expect anything different when it comes to Gods way? Well the truth is, God operates quite different than we do and think. God provides what we need and accomplished what we couldn’t. That is the starting point for God and from that starting point, God calls us.

 

[God provides all the essentials for good works to be produced.]

First, we must begin with the acknowledgement that ALL good works come from God himself. (Heb. 13:21)

 

Secondly, it is not us believers producing good works but rather they are being produced in and through us as we abide in Christ. (John 15:4-5)

 

Third, while faith is not idle; we are saved by grace through faith alone. As such, our good works are a response to the salvation we have already received. (Eph. 2:8-9 & Phil. 2:12)

 

So what is dead faith as James is describing?

James discussion on faith is a hot topic among Christianity because it is focused so much on works and that paints a very different picture than Paul who penned much of New Testament spoke of salvation as the free gift of grace which comes through faith alone.

 

We can move beyond the argument that James is not discussing the assurance of salvation but the assurance of rewards in heaven. As believers, we are called to good works because they show the faith we already profess and those works point to the Savior Jesus.

 

Dead faith paints the picture of a believer who believes the gospel message and receives it by faith but fails to “work out their salvation…”  Salvation is from God and is a work of God. Our contribution to salvation is to believe.

 

[We don’t work for our salvation, we work from our salvation. ]

 

》Good Works reflect the internal transformation which is Christ in us working his will and purpose for our lives.

 

[We are called to a faith that works.]

 

》Living for God begins and continues as we surrender to God.

 

[We are called to have faith that bleeds.]

 

》Our faith is alive. When we exercise our faith, it reflects the reality of God’s existence. Our faith should bleed as we live for Christ and participate in his sufferings.

 

As followers of Christ, we should continually encorage and motivate each other to good works, bringing glory to the Father.

 

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Dead on arrival| written by mike monica

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2 thoughts on “dead on arrival

  1. A beloved spiritual mentor of mine often prayed, “Lord, get me out of Your Way,” meaning she wanted to be in the flow of God’s grace and goodness with all glory given to Him. This article reminds me of that grace and our response as we live and breathe and write in Jesus’ Name.

    Thanks, Mike. I’ll highlight this on the Christian Poets & Writers blog – http://christianpoetsandwriters.blogspot.com.

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