What does faith look like in action? We don’t have to fantasize or dream up an example. It really isn’t up for debate. The Bible makes it very clear. Christians find a lot of pleasure in discussing this subject as if it is some deep mystery. If you really want to know the answer you don’t have far to look. Most likely you have read it over and over again. Some of the greatest missing truths in the modern church today are hid right in the open. The problem isn’t that people don’t know the answer but that they are unwilling to act on the knowledge that the Lord has already given to them in His Word. My goal isn’t to always dis the churches but they haven’t given much to praise them for. For the most part the churches of North America are dead. They have the Bible. They people sit year after year in the pews and soak in the truths of His Word. People like to hear messages reaffirming the truths they already know. It feels spiritual to shout amen on the front row. An emotional tear for the lost satisfies our burden to speak the Gospel. A moving, motivational message is tucked neatly into our repertoire of good doctrine. We have become satisfied with hearing. We have become addicted to doctrinally sound sermons. The church has become a house of entertainment. Is it not true? Do not the majority of Christians feel their duty is done by listening intently to a Sunday morning message? Where is my proof for such a claim? The evidence is all around you! Where are the Christians willing to make their faith public? Why are not they decrying the evils of our land that they already know are wrong? Christianity has been confined to the church building. You already know that the church is not the building but often your actions cry, “Hypocrisy!” Am I condemning? No. You have condemned yourself. The Christian has bought into the lie that the world is at peace with the message of Christ. The only reason they hold to this false idea is the fact that they have never spoken the vibrant light of Christ to the sin depraved world around them. I’m not talking metaphorically. We have heard enough of that. I mean practically sharing the light of Christ right where you are; with your neighbor. I’m talking about faith in action. Christianity is NOT a private faith. But believing that isn’t enough. Don’t nod your head or amen in approval unless you are willing to live the life outwardly that God has commanded of us. It is our reasonable service. Reasonable.

That doesn’t mean going the extra mile for Christ. It’s just the expected action of a true Believer. You might as well stop reading this if you aren’t going to act on what you know because I’m not trying to fill your head with more information. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. I’m not trying to pressure you into action. I’m not even trying to convince you of your fault. You already know what you need to do. I’m just trying to leave you with no excuse for living a Christian life in the corner of a church building on Sunday. Some may be offended when they read this but I would implore you to look at the fruit in your own life and see if what I am saying is not true. We will use the Bible verse that says, “you shall know them by their fruit” to make judgments against others but it is time we turn that verse against our own lives. Where do we stand in light of this passage? Are we guilty or innocent? And will we act accordingly to the answer we will be forced to give? The thought is sobering. That is okay, it should be. This is serious.

So what does the church in action look like? Certainly not what we see in the majority of those that claim the name of Christ. The Bible says in James that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this; to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Is this just a suggestion for a nice church program or a standard that God has set for His church? I think the answer is obvious. This is the church in action. This is when faith works. A faith that isn’t working is no faith at all. Read it again, it’s Bible. I’m not going to apologize for the message. James didn’t. It is the Word of Almighty God. The example James gives us is a shocking resemblance of the churches today.

“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? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

This is practical faith in action. How horrifying the thought that James is writing of us. Why do we insist on clinging to illusions of piety? Is it enough just to believe? This isn’t a doctrinal debate. It isn’t about works vs faith. Why must they be in conflict? Faith must have works or it isn’t faith. There are no exceptions. If you disagree you’ll have to take it up with God. This applies strongly to abortion abolition and evangelism but really it applies to every area in our lives. We are to be “unspotted by the world.” If there is something in your life that is in conflict to the pure religion of Christ get rid of it. If there are no works accompanying your faith maybe it’s time to examine your faith. Don’t make excuses anymore. Don’t cover your sin with humor or complacency. We can’t negotiate with God.

Proverbs 21:13 says, “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” What are we stopping our ears at? What have we conveniently ignored? Might it be the unborn children being slaughtered at the rate of 3,500 a day? Maybe it’s the lost soul you call neighbor. Or that insistent sin that we just can’t give up to our loving Savior that died for that sin. Ask yourself the question. I think you already know the answer. Don’t let your preconceived ideas get in the way. There are no safe havens for sin in the Christian’s life, in God’s eyes. He sees. He knows. Don’t use “waiting on the Lord” as an excuse for inaction and apathy. You have before, so have I. Don’t let the devil win another victory. Your action may look different than your brothers and sisters in Christ but it must pass the Lord’s inspection. It must be pure religion. Not everyone’s works looks the same. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others.

I could write until the Lord returns trying to clarify about what I am writing and than apologize for sounding harsh but I’m not going to. I’m not going to apologize for the truth. You can take it or leave it. I am tired of Christians using the Bible to justify their apathy and sin. The Lord didn’t give us His Word so we could war against each other or to sit back in our comfortable click of Christianity. But it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” I’m not condemning because if we aren’t living our faith we are condemned already.

I don’t want this to be a dramatic essay or emotional dissertation. This is a plea for those bought with a price to live like it. A living church will be salt and light. What good is light when it’s locked up inside your church building or home? Many have found a comfortable place of peace soaking in the blessings of God. So many embrace the love that the Lord has given them. So many live, to learn the Bible and pray. Good for them. The people walking down your hometown streets hate God. They spit in His face everyday and they’d spit in yours if you told them of God’s future judgment. The devil has gripped their hearts and blinded their eyes. We have learned to be at peace with those that deface the name of our God and live a quiet, private faith. We are more concerned about being the friend of those that embrace murder, fornication and hate than exposing them to the light of Christ’s redemptive grace and just punishment.

  This should break your heart. This should move us to action. This should draw us closer to Christ and forsake the evil relationships and desires we cling to with tenacity. Maybe you have never seen the evil in the heart of man. Maybe it isn’t real to you. Salt burns wounds but it also cleanses. The walk of the Christian can be painful at times. Lonely. Sacrificing. But there is joy and peace in serving our Creator. Taking the first step in a faith that works can be terrifying. But who can stand against us when God is on our side? You will have doubts cloud your judgment. You will face fear and rejection. You will be criticized by both the sinner and the saint. You will be called judgmental and hateful. Slander will become your companion. Welcome to the company of the first century Christians. I’m not saying we are heroes or martyrs.

No, this is just our reasonable service.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. tonihutto says:

    This is good Chris. I found it convicting to think that sometimes I judge others because of their apparent lack of fruit but then don’t look at my own tree to see if it’s bearing. Faith acts…Love acts. It’s so true.

    I hope you aren’t discouraged with apparent apathy all around you. The laborers are few, but they are out there! Thanks for the reminders to act like a Christian. We need it. Please do share about some of what the Lord has been doing in your life too.

    Another voice of dissidence —

    Toni

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s