Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the tag “works”

No Works – Dead Faith

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CLTPqxGprL0#!

I was sent this youtube video on Faith without works by Geoff Thomas of sermon jam. It is excellent.

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Greatest Book I Ever Lived

It has been often said of the Bible, “The Greatest Book I Ever Read”. So very true.
Better for every Christian to make the Bible, “The Greatest Book I Ever Lived”.
Better yet; for the Church to say, “The Greatest Book We Ever Lived“.

For although Faith is personal, Faith can only be of value if demonstated in community within the whole of society.

James 2: 14-24 on Faith and Deeds:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

The Chistian life is one of action, a life of ‘Doing’. Doing What? Doing the will of God.

In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. …”

The action therefore is in doing the will, discovering the will of God  for our lives is the important factor. The verse goes on to say,

“… Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’”.

Just professing that we believe in Jesus is not enough. Jesus says we must do “the will of My Father in heaven”, if we expect to be with Him in Heaven. Our faith must be an obedient faith by doing the will of God if it is to be a saving faith; otherwise it is not a saving faith.

A Holy Experience

A Holy Experience

What Does a bit of Radical Christianity Really Look Like?

This was asked by Ann on her blog, “A Holy Experience” (Logo Right) and who goes on to say:
“The poor have made me rich and telling the stories of those who need a voice — has changed mine.”

She was relaying the story of Katie – kissesfromkatie.blogspot.ca

“Katie is with the dirty and lovely in Uganda — forsaking the American dream for God-sized dreams. .. everyday she simply wakes up and just says yes to what God gives her wherever she is ”

“Because all radical Christianity is first rooted in relationship Christianity — with Christ and His children. Right where we are.”

Matthew 28:16-20, The Great Commission

“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.”

Jesus has spoken to His disciples, GO. Are we not all His disciples? Do we not all desire to be disciplined by Christ? To say yes is to be one who is committed to spreading the Word of salvation to all people. That can only be done by doing, doing in faith; doing because of our faith.

Because of our faith in the salvation that Christ bought for us, we are partakers of salvation and therefore doers of the Will of God. The main will of God being that all people worship Him in spirit and in truth. The second job, actually in conjunction with worship, is to love. Love who? Our neighbors. As James is saying in chapter 2, We show our faith by our deeds.

“observe all things whatever I have commanded you:”

The Sermon On The Mount (Matthew 5-7), the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12), and Parables make up the bulk of Jesus’ teachings for us to be advocates for.

First Jesus asked each of us to be fully ware of our limitations, put God then others first, and purify our hearts and minds.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus taught about: comforting, feeding, showing mercy, peacemaking, fair wages, unjust trade, oppression of widows, economic injustices, political corruption, morality, adultery, divorce.

Matthew 5: 16, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Not only are we, the Christian Community, to be advocates, we must be seen for what we believe in. Involved, Active and Vocal.

Matthew 5: 24, “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.

For too long we have allowed secularism to steal God’s Thunder.

Of Rights and Obligations

As a Christian, which comes first, my rights or my obligations?

In almost all democratic nations, within their respective constitutions there contains a clause, almost always within the first paragraph, which reads something as follows, “We are a Nation under God”. The constitution will then list the “Rights” of citizens within that nation, whether it be in the constitution itself or a Declaration of Rights and Freedoms, as in Canada or a Bill of Rights, as in the USA. Every country pre-ambles these rights as “Inalienable and/or God Given”. I have yet to find a democratic country which has a “Bill of Obligations”. I have yet to find a list of “Rights” in the Bible even though biblically we are given many obligations, particularly once we become “a people of God”.

Even the greatest liberty man can receive, salvation, is not a right but, a gift of God. We are not born with it, just the opposite, we are born into sin, into captivity, into death. There is no way we can even earn it.

Ephesians 2:8
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–”

There seems an audacity among many a Christian, even politicians that they will defend the rights of the voters even to quoting scripture out of context to do so. One oft times quoted verse used in a social services context is 2 Thessalonians 3:10;
“….this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

There is no defense of a person’s rights in Paul’s message, just the opposite. One must first read the preceding chapters to understand the verse.

2 Thessalonians 1
3 “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;”
11 “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:”

2 Thessalonians 2
3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:”

The chapters can be summed up in these verses:
“your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth”
“the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power”
“because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
“God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”

Is not Paul’s letter, 2 Thessalonians, basically an testament on Jesus teaching as given in Matthew 25: 34-40 KJV
“34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

James 2:14 KJV
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?”

Just as you did unto others, you did it to me.

This is the Christian’s obligation of which he/she will do, not under compulsion of the law, but willingly as a work of faith in love of the truth as given to us in Christ that the Father be glorified.

Perhaps the closest the Bible comes to expressing a persons rights is in Jeremiah 22: 13-16 and Proverbs 31:8-9 where it is basically stating that a legitimate people/government will uphold the rights of the poor and vulnerable.

All Christians, all persons, should hold to be true that human dignity can only be protected and a prosperous, healthy community be achieved if others rights are protected and our individual, personal responsibilities are met.

Of our obligations we are given:
Leviticus 25:35 KJV
“And if your brother becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you; then you shall help him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with you.”

Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV
8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Isaiah 1:17 NIV
“learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 KJV
“6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”

The main work of the Church, the reason for the Church, is to glorify God by doing the works of Christ who came to comfort the poor and the meek, deliver the underprivileged from their plight, show mercy to the persecuted and be a light to God’s salvation.

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