Friday, August 15, 2008

Living Faith

How do we know if a person has faith in Christ Jesus? While faith starts out with belief, it grows into action. Faith that is living is faith is seen in the way that we live life. If you took time to examine the people who make up your church family you would discover people who had varying degrees of belief, but whose belief was not reflected in their lives. We can say that we believe something, but that doesn’t mean it has made an impact in the way we live life.

William Lane in his book Hebrews: A Call to Commitment wrote; “A Godly life is the response of committed faith to the call of God” (p. 151). If we want to know about a person’s faith then we need to examine their life. Wait a moment. If we want to know about our faith we need to examine our lives. The choices that we make and the priorities that we have will reveal whether or not we really believe all this stuff about God and Jesus. Our faith is reflected in the way we live our lives.

I think one thing that we need to emphasis more in the Church is the call of God in our lives. That call is more than a call to moral living, it is a call to do good. One of the ways we live a moral life, a life free from the dominance of sin, is to do those things that are right. Understanding God’s will, His call, for our lives will lead us away from sin and to the life He created us to live.

The foundation of God’s call for us is the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The reality of Jesus should provide the greatest example, as well as motivator, for living a righteous life. How can we still live a sinful lifestyle when we realize Jesus did for our sins? How can we not struggle with sin when Jesus struggled to go to the cross? How can we not live differently when Jesus has conquered death? How can we not serve others when Jesus laid down His life in service to us?

The apostle Paul tells us:
14 The love of Christ controls us, for we are convinced of this: that one person died for all people; therefore, all people have died. 15 He died for all people, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for the one who died and rose for them. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15; ISV)

The love Jesus showed in His life, His death, and His resurrection should provide us with an example as well as a motivation for living differently. We will love God and people if we trust that Jesus loves us.

Faith expresses itself in the way we live. So if we are not striving to become more like Jesus, to live a life that pleases God, means that our “faith” is not real faith. We may believe the right things about Jesus and about God, but those ideas are not translated into how we live. To believe the right things, but not do the right things, makes us fools in the eyes of God.

James wrote:
14 What good does it do, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but does not have any works? This kind of faith cannot save him, can it? 15 Suppose a brother or sister does not have any clothes or daily food 16 and one of you tells them, “Go in peace! Stay warm and eat heartily.” If you do not provide for their bodily needs, what good does it do? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it does not have any works, is dead. (James 2:14-17, ISV)

Living faith is right believing that is expressed in right living. This truth takes us back to the call of God. God has not called us to be pew sitters and proposition believers, but He has called us to be Christ Followers. The call of God is a call to action and not just a call to belief. If we truly believe the right things about God it will be seen in the way we live. Our faith is proved true by the way we live.

  • Point to Ponder: Living faith is right believing that is expressed in right living.
  • Passage to Remember: James 2:14-17
  • Question to Consider: Is your faith seen in the way you live?

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