Today's Christian thought: Thursday October 9th, 2003
Over the last few days, through the example of Noah and the sermon of the Reverend Mr. Jonathan Edwards of 1740, we have looked at and studied how those who are Saved must work for the Lord. In ChristianPatriot.com/10_06_2003.htm , ChristianPatriot.com/10_07_2003.htm , and ChristianPatriot.com/10_08_2003.htm , we saw that there is a huge fallacy in the thinking that all are going to heaven, or that to be saved all one must do is be baptized. We saw that while no man can work his way into Salvation, no one is going to be Saved that does not, after being Saved prove it by doing good works. Today, I will submit Biblical proof of that. And we will then look at what is meant by works.
In James 2:14, the half brother of Jesus ask this question "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" Let's look at it in context and see what James was getting at.
But, first let me warn you. Those of you who use the gifts the Lord has given you for your own personal profit and not for the betterment of God's creations, are not going to like this.
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? That is a very good question, and goes straight to the heart of the misleading and outright lying statement made by many claiming that "Once saved always saved and salvation comes to all who simply ask Jesus to come into their hearts." Let's see how James answers the question he has asked.
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled," notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? To many today, who claim to be Saved, when faced with one in need, say "I'll pray for you." yet, do not reach into their pocket to help. I have run into doctors, dentist, mechanics, plumbers, and others who profess to be born again, yet are very hesitant to use the knowledge the Lord gave them to help another for no money. They will offer to pray, but they will not lift a finger to help. Let's go back to James and see what he has to say about those who don't help.
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, "Thou hast faith, and I have works:" Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Read what James says here, he is plainly stating that faith without works is dead. Now, I know that a lot of preachers contradict these teachings of James, but, I would ask you to think about this. James was the younger of Mary and Joseph, he was born into the home where the Lord Jesus Christ was the older brother. James was raised with Jesus, James knew Jesus personally. James talked with Jesus, played with Jesus, and in all probability, like all younger brothers played tricks on the Lord and tried even to get Him in trouble. Doesn't it make sense that he probably knew and understood the will of the Lord a little better than those who preach doctrine contrary to the teachings of James? I might add that the teachings of James are the teachings of God, for it is in God's book that we find the teachings of James.
But, you say, "I know I'm saved, for I believe in God." Read on: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:14-20)
Yes, faith without works is dead! Let's look at a bit more of James for proof and understanding of why "faith without works is dead".
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? See thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:21-26)
What about Noah, do you think the ark built itself over a 120 year period? No, Noah and his sons worked and used up tons of money building and paying for the construction of the ark. Do you doubt that Noah had faith? Does not his 120 years of labor constitute works?
Before I try to explain to you what the word "works" means, let us look at some of the things Jesus said about works.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27)
Let me try to explain, using Scripture, what is meant by "works". "Then said they unto Jesus, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him (God the Son, Jesus) whom He (God the Father Jehovah) hath sent." (John 6:28&29)
No, you don't have to go out and build and ark, you don't have to take your son to the top of mountain and offer him as a sacrifice, but what you do have to do is prove that you are a Christian every minute of every day by your deeds and actions. Everyone who crosses your path should know that you are a Born Again Christian by the works that you do. If you are a dentist and a brother or sister is in need of dental care, think first of him or her and your profit second. If you are a doctor, plumber, electrician, auto mechanic or what ever, do likewise. Remember, God gave you the skills that you have, He entrusted you with those skills not for your profit but for His glory.
Let me close with this Scriptural proof: And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (John 9:1-3)
If I bumped into you on the street, would I know by your behavior, your speech, your works that you are a Christian? If I came into your place of business in need and without money, would I know that you were saved? If I subbed in your classroom, would I know from the books in your bookcase and the behavior of your students that you were a Christian? If I preached in your church or met one of your congregation on the street, would I know that you preached the truth of God's word? If I met your kids, would I know from their language, dress, and demeanor that you are Saved? If I heard you on the radio or read an article you printed, would I know that you serve Jesus?
Do you proclaim Christ by your speech, deeds, and actions, your works or do you deny Him? Today's thought has nothing to do with death bed conversions.
The Lord be with and bless you all and may you all keep this very important point in mind. It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
Lord I would also ask You to be with my friend Mac, and for the salvation of Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh. Amen.
All Scripture is quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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