Faith In Action

“But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:45-48)

Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. -Ephesians 5:15-17

The end result doesn’t sound too good for the faithless, does it? There will be a day of reckoning for every person who has ever lived. For the non-believer we are told in Revelation:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)

Those who belong to Christ, the redeemed by His precious blood, will stand before the judgment of God to receive their reward. And those too who do not belong to Christ will also receive their reward.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
-2 Corinthians 5:8-9

“Believers then, are to walk (live) carefully, so as to be wise or skillful and thus please the Lord. The manner for this careful, precise walk is making the right use of every opportunity, and the reason for this careful walk is that the days are evil. Many are walking in sin, and since the time is short believers must make full use of their time to help turn them from darkness to light. This necessitates wise conduct.” (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. -1 Peter 4:7-11

While salvation is secure for the believer through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, the mindset of a verbal ascent without actions or deeds or a changed life or any manifestation of fruit the Bible tells us is not saving faith.

Unfortunately, many people today “say” they have faith, and yet their lives do not reflect a relationship with Christ. They actually have a false sense of security. A believer in Christ will manifest a changed life–not a perfect life, but a changed life. Certainly to believe in Christ is far more than just a verbal assent. As James tells us:

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. (James 2:14-18)

Accountability–defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “responsible; required to account for one’s conduct”–this is exactly the point Jesus is making here. We are held accountable to the truth we have been given, not to mention the gifts that have been bestowed upon us.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:1-2

Take It to Heart

May we always conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, pleasing Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with power according to His glorious might so that we may have great endurance, patience, and joy.

“O Lord, what shame that You should need to beg us thus! Better that others might find us unavailable because of our occupation with You, rather than for us to be so slow to come, so dull to hear, so cold of heart, so indolent of soul. O God, spare us Your wrath! Do not let Your anger be kindled against us.  Let us ask only one thing more, and do not turn away. Grant this one prayer more, O Lord, that You would give us all that is lacking in us; intensify our hunger and fire our devotion; take the indifference from our spirits; and have within us Your wonderful way and perfect will, O God, we pray.” (Frances J. Roberts)