Thursday, November 02, 2006



Yesterday I used the famous quote, FAITH ALONE SAVES, BUT THE FAITH THAT SAVES IS NOT ALONE. The faith that saves or the faith that is genuine and complete has a balance of faith and works.

Today I want to turn to another of the many passages that teaches that the faith that saves is not alone. I just ran across another time where Jesus chides those who claim Jesus as Lord of their lives, but He is stumped that these same people don’t do what He says to do. "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46

In the book of James there is a great visual of those who hear the word of God—they hear Jesus, they receive His words, but again they don’t do them. James speaks to hearers who actually do hear and welcome the word of God, but because they are not doers they delude themselves into thinking somehow they have already applied what they have just heard.

In James 1:19-25 he says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Those who listen to the word but do not do what it says are like people who look at their faces in a mirror and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like. But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continue in it—not forgetting what they have heard but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

As a good friend continues to say, “Look at what Jesus said and did and go do it. It is just too simple. If you believe it, then act like it.

You see, Christianity or any other religious system can be distributed by a class or a lecture. In this case, it is entirely possible to fill up people’s ears with so much stuff that they will never be able to do much of it at all. And after hearing these theological gems, they are able to pass along the thoughts point by point to others without ever allowing these teachings to be fleshed out in real life.

I find myself moving with the same innate tendency to disciple those who are interested by gathering them together in a seminar or workshop setting. But this is precisely what is totally different responding to Jesus’ revolutionary call to “FOLLOW ME!” Following Jesus is not a lecture, but a lab which demands definition & demonstration!

Jesus ends His first speaking session with these words:
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Be a doer of the words of Jesus and not a hearer who deludes himself.