United through Christ
Divided by man
I know the tongue is as fire, I have been as a sounding gong and I have known almost immediately afterwards that I have wronged
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 KJV), that I have sinned. No man can be perfect in all manner and not all know the will of God.
Many have heard the Word of the LORD and those who have received His message and persevere even as tragedy lay at their feet, have faith indeed and nothing will keep them from action that is born of their faith.
A message I have received through reading and hearing the letter written by James; this James the brother of Jesus and the one who had been with him since their birth and even before the apostles knew of Him. Read this short letter or listen to it in its entirety, James is the one who says "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." (James 2:26 NIV1984)
I have been reproached in my belief for wanting to adhere to what I have heard and read about "faith and works" and I had even considered revising my interpretation of this book.
But just as bobber is pulled under the surface by the fish, I kept rising back to my own interpretation, I kept reaching forth towards the light that had been revealed to me. My word means only as much as I back it and to me my word is my bond and yet I have failed. But the Word and the word of the LORD will last forever. I don't want to deceive nor be deceived, I want to stand before Jesus as a sheep and not a goat (Matthew 25:31-46 ESV), I know who my shepherd is.
Please read again for yourself the scriptures; you can start at James or anywhere else I'm not wanting to convict you of your belief nor do I want conviction of mine by men, I want Jesus and I know you do as well.
United through the Word
"Works" is not the same as "Law"
The "Law" was given to Moses and through his oration a nation would be led. Yet this nation was full of those who knew the law and followed the law and held themselves in high esteem for obeying the law. Apostle Paul speaks about the law and its relevance to sin, he speaks of how we should never forget the law, the law speaks of and convicts all of wrongdoing we don't forget the law we uphold it. But the law by itself will never save anyone, try as one will there comes a time all will break it all will sin and fall short.
Proverbs 28:9 (NIV1984) If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.
Enter Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
Jesus says of the law in Matthew 5:17-20 (NIV1984) 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus sums up the law in Matthew 7:12 (NIV1984) 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Doing works or otherwise known as "Good deeds" are not the same as "Law" and we are not saved by them either, just as we are not saved by following only the "Law". We must have FAITH and abundantly, but we must remember Jesus says to love and that requires not only faith, it also requires action. If you don't believe that faith and works are both needed let us test this.
You are doing something, anything, and another comes along and stops you cold and does not excuse themselves or even acknowledge your existence. Then they do it again and again. What do you do? What does the Bible say to do? Does the Bible not say forgive? Forgiving requires action in the form of self-control which is a fruit of the Spirit and along with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness all of these are shown outwardly and by our deeds or works, these are not about law, laws are rules these are marks of good character, these are from the Spirit and through faith yes, but they are from our will's submission to God's will which is again an action or work.
Matthew 22:39-40 (NIV1984) And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 25 speaks of active faith or rather faith in action through works, please read this if you have time. Finally to what I have read, understood and try daily to apply we can read from Luke 10 as well; this is the "Good Samaritan" chapter and also where He sends out the seventy-two, but at the end it speaks of two sisters one is bustling and hurried and complaining of her sister's lack of help. Jesus just says she has chosen what is better. Faith requires participation and Mary was listening to what Jesus was teaching while Martha was just doing, she was being busy and she was stressed and she was caring in her way. Let us not forget that Mary had shown her caring through the washing of the Lord's feet with the expensive perfume in addition to believing what was spoken. John 12:3 and perhaps four days later with the remaining perfume Mark 14:3.
John 13:14-15 (NIV1984) 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.