By: Rev. Chris Troxel, Associate Pastor of Christian Growth
You cannot have one without the other.
Faith is empty and dead without deeds. Deeds, or works, are nothing and meaningless without faith. Your faith and what you do with it are inseparable. If that is the case, why do people who don’t know Jesus also do good things? If I can do good all by myself, why do I need faith? If I can believe just fine on my own, why do I have to do good things?
Jesus was and is free of this confusion and struggle. He is God, yet humble and only pointed out His “God-ness” when it benefited others. He is the Son of God, and knowing the mission, loved people perfectly. People without faith still do good because they are formed by the Creator. They are marred by sin, yet still have some working aspect His created beings. Faith matters because that is how God claims and empowers you. Jesus transforms and continues to transform you through communion, God’s Word, and relationships of forgiveness. Faith alone can receive all these Gifts of God in a way that is useful to you. If you have faith in Jesus, receive these gifts as well as the call to a new obedience. We love others because Christ first loved us. Jesus very clearly told his followers to “love one another as I have loved you” and “love your enemies.”
So you see, its never one or the other; its always both. God fuels you by His Spirit through faith to do the good things he’s prepared for you to do. May love of Jesus continue to transform our thoughts, our words, and our actions so that others see and hear in way where they too are filled with Christ’s story of love.