Works and Faith
- Here is something to chew over and then digest:
- What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining
to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath
whereof to glory; but
not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God,
and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh
is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
- (Romans 4:1-4)
- Some people of good intentions and gentle natures give liberally
of their assets to less fortunate than themselves, believing that they
are pleasing God, who will allow them into His permanent Presence one day.
- They may tithe of their income or time to their church.
Now, tithing is a good thing, but do you give it because
the minister comes around and you feel obligated - that you should give
it so that the poor man can also live; or do you give it out of love and
gratefulness to your loving Master who saved your life?
- Take heed that ye do not your alms
before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father
which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not
sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and
in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you,
They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand
know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy
Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
- (Matthew 6:1-4)
- But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even
in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe
in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation.
- (Romans 10:8-10)
- James puts the idea another way.
- At first reading it may appear that one passage contradicts
- Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of
truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore,
my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow
to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore
lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with
meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye
doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For
if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding
his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way,
and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh
into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being
not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed
in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not
his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is
vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To
visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep
himself unspotted from the world.
- (James 1:17-27)
- My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto
your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come
in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth
the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and
say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are
ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world
rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them
that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you,
and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy
name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to
the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But
if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the
law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend
in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit
adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if
thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and
so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall
have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth
against judgment. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man
say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother
or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto
them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding
ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth
it profit? 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. Thou believest
that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not
Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son
upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works
was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham
believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was
called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,
and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified
by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them
out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without
works is dead also.
- (James 2:1-26)
- You see, it's not what you give of your assets of time or
money, but why you give.
- You must believe with the heart; and cleave to Him
with your affections.
- "Blessed is he that heareth my sayings and doeth them."
- There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a
ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him,
Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do
these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered
and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus
saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the
second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of
the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel
not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where
it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence
it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
- (John 3:1-8)