“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6)Certainly we are in the age of the iPhone (although I personally am a Blackberry fan). This last weekend, I was speaking in a church where the Pastor gave his cell phone number out to the congregation. As I preached, they could text the Pastor questions about anything I was saying. When I was finished speaking, we took about 5 to 10 minutes to answer the questions that came in. It truly was a cool thing. So interactive!!!!!
Well, as always, a question came in concerning the balance of faith vs. works. I would like to simply say that if those are the only two variables to consider, faith and works, whether we are saved by faith, works, faith plus works, or a faith that works, the issue will never be settled among us as a people. What we are missing is a third ingredient, which if understood, will settle the question forever in each honest person’s heart. That ingredient is—Love!
As long as the only thing well meaning folks are arguing over is faith or works, then the issue will never be settled! But if we can understand love, then it all becomes clear.
“Love is that which activates faith and sets in motion a heart that desires to no longer live for itself but for Him Who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15). “Love, causes the heart level response of faith” (Romans 10:10) and that heart level’s response is always expressive! It manifests itself in works, but not just any works. Not only is faith mightily set in motion by love, but love is the way faith is expressed as well! Love fulfills the whole law. Love, being expressed in our life, is the image of God reproduced in His people. It is the image of Him who is love restored once again in us! (I John 4:8, 9 and Ephesians 5:1, 2) Or as brother Peterson expresses it:
“For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.” (Galatians 5:6, The Message)
So rather than us arguing over faith and works, trying to have enough faith, or enough works, we should rather, stop wasting our time and instead focus simply on how much the God of the universe passionately loves YOU!!!! And then His love for us, believed by us, will awaken in us love for Him and everyone around us as well. (I John 4:19)
My hope is that we are living in the dawning of a new age, where, “above all” (1Peter 4:7,8) we will be known best for understanding the character of our God and how intensely His love is found in the way we relate to one another. This all begins, truly, by understanding what is in His heart for us. May His love for us awaken in us all a faith which works by that love and purifies His church, restoring us into the image of that love once again.
I wish you God’s best this week.