Let’s Talk About Faith, Work and Salvation

Faith does involve risk and it’s not done in a blind fashion. In ’97, I was reading an online computer magazine and decided to take a risk in submitting an article. The same thing can be said of Trevor, the Editor of OS/2 Ezine. After all, he had no clue about what I’d be producing. We certainly did not know how the readers would react.

The same principle applies to the things that God has called you and I into doing. Obviously, God has a significant advantage over my poor Editor. There is just one thing and it’s true for both instances. I still need to take a step of faith and see what happens. As James pointed out in James 2:19-21, “Faith without work is useless!”

Are you struggling to put your faith into action? Don’t confuse what James is saying with Paul’s message about salvation. They are not the same thing. I’d like to encourage you to keep reading this article. I believe that it may be of help to you.

If you read the above introduction, then you may confuse me for a Catholic apologist. Though I was raised as a nominal Catholic, I never embraced their theology or way of thinking of God. I was left to my own devices and came to know Jesus in a more personal way, in college. Shocking! Isn’t it?

I asked Jesus to rescue me from the consequences of my sins in the autumn of 1990. From my perspective, I’d thank the Catholic Church for introducing me to Jesus. I’ve been reading the Scriptures as a child and watching shows like Dr. Frederick Price and some Kenneth Copeland. I am so thankful that I did not run into a well-meaning evangelist screaming “false teaching”!

It is always a good idea to ask the person, “What do you believe about the free gift of salvation and the call to put our faith into action?” For we are not called to sit on our butt and stare at the pastor, on Sunday. We are called to bear fruits and it’s shown by what we say and do. What does the Scriptures say?

21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;

James 1:21-23 NASB

I am a definite fan of reading the Scriptures, on a daily basis. These days, we have a choice of either reading the text of Scriptures or listening to the audio version of the Bible. Heck, there are plenty of YouTube channels featuring a daily reading of God’s Word. Here is one such channel that I found on a quick search.

As for me, I sit down and listen to Nicky Gumbel’s Bible in One Year reading plan found in my YouVersion Bible app.

Did you ever notice that the Scriptures doesn’t teach followers of Jesus to sit and do nothing, at all? The only sitting and waiting is in Acts 1. Jesus simply told the disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. After the outpouring, no one was sitting and doing nothing.

Some people were focused on the ministry of prayers and the studying of the Word of God. Others were out waiting on table, one person was busy making clothes for the poor, some people were out teaching the Word and so forth.

Yes, the gift of salvation is free and it can never be repaid. Jesus purchased this precious gift at the cost of his life. God, the Father did this because of his great love for us. Sin has a cost and it needed to be paid for. For it is by God’s grace and mercy that we are rescued from what we deserved. Here’s what Paul says in Ephesians.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB

Did you read that last verse? We are God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus and we have a job to do. Oh, I guess Paul wasn’t disagreeing with James. If you like, I did a search on BibleGateway on “good deeds”. It seems Paul did speak on this topic. Here’s a link to a list of Scriptures related to “good deeds”. In case you missed it, such work needs to come from the overflow of a heart of thankfulness and love for Jesus.

Yet these works can never be used to earn our way into Heaven. It is by saying “Yes” to Jesus and the accepting of the free gift of salvation that open the door. Jesus is more than an escape from Hell. It’s through Jesus that we’re set free from our sins that dragging our butt into Hell.

For it is not God’s desire that any should perish and it is not the Father’s desire that any be sent to the lake of fire. It’s our sinful nature that is dragging us in that direction. It can only be stopped by willingly saying “yes” to the free gift of salvation through Jesus. This gift includes forgiveness for our sins. Hey, we have all fallen away from God and have sinned.

Yes, you did read a relevant set of paragraphs. For faith requires that you take a risk and trust what is proclaimed in the Word of God is true. As for the believes in Christ, we are to step out in faith and take risks in the sharing of the good news. Here’s what Paul says 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Cor 5:19-21 NASB

Before diving in, I’d suggest praying and talk to the Holy Spirit about how Jesus wants you to be an ambassador for Christ Jesus. By the way, we’re not just limited to the message of salvation. Here is what I mean.

How about teaching people the ways of God and how it applies to their lives? How about actively joining others in praying for their country to turn to God? How about caring for poor? The list goes on. Let’s focus on what God is calling us, to do.

As Jesus pointed out in John 15:4-6:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

John 15:4-6

We need to always remember to spend time in abiding in Jesus before rushing off to do anything. We still need to spend time in the Scriptures, prayer and soaking in God’s Presence.

I hope that you have been enjoying my content on this site. If you’d like to receive notification of when a new blog post is available then please subscribe. I regularly post an article on Tuesday and Thursday. Plus, I also do an audio podcast that goes with the article. Same days. My podcasts are available on most podcast platforms.


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