Faith and Works

August 23, 2017

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8

 To know God is to love God. To love God is to fear God. To fear God is to obey God.

The foremost reason you and I were put on this planet and the only thing that gives meaning to life is to know God. We cannot fear what we do not know. That is why young children will touch a hot stove or pick up a snake without hesitation. They do not know better. In the same way, none of us “naturally” knows God. Our natural instinct is towards sin. That is why God sent His Son, Jesus, to be one of us…to lead the way to the Father: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Knowing God leads to loving God. Loving God leads to obeying God. The order here is important. No one gets to know God by obeying God. Rather, once we get to know God, we will want to obey God. That is why in the Bible, faith always comes before works. Works will never produce faith; but faith always produces works. In Ephesians 2:8-9 the Apostle Paul wrote, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” Again in his letter to the believers at Corinth he encouraged them by writing, “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the Gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else” (2 Corinthians 9:13). There is an obedience that will accompany our faith.

When we fear God we will love what God loves and hate what God hates. God loves good; and He hates evil. Therefore, the more we know and love God, the greater our desire to do good and avoid evil will be. Simply put: To know God personally is to fear God correctly. To fear God correctly is to trust God completely. To trust God completely is to love God supremely. To love God supremely is to obey God totally.

It is more than our duty to trust and obey God; it is the meaning of life. It is what we were made to do.

Application: Is there obedience in your life that accompanies your confession of faith in Jesus Christ?

Topics: Faith

Bible Reference

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,