works

Blog for Podcast #54 (The mistake of “Faith alone.”)


Intro

This is Dreamwalker1960. As a reminder you can read the transcripts of all my podcasts at dreamwalker1960.com. You can use Listen Notes, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music or Audible, Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts. As well as Pandora, Spotify, Podbean and PlayerFM to listen to this message. All you need do is do a search for Dreamwalker1960.

Discussion

In 1953 a Biopic was released about Martin Luther. When it comes to movies about this man. It is the best out there, in my opinion.

Why?

Because it also addressed the mentality of not only those in power, but the reaction of the common people as well as those in scholarly pursuit of the truth.

At a crucial point in the movie. What they portray as the culmination of his studies and determination. They announce this one statement.

“It is through faith ALONE!”

Now it is here that I have issue. The worst of all is that this is stated four hundred years after Martin Luther is implied to have stated this.

I understand where Luther is coming from if he did state this. For at the time he makes this proclamation. The duty of Christians to perform works had been perverted beyond that required within the Bible. This was done by those in power of the Catholic Church, which was the only allowed church. Who were more interested in money than the true teachings within the Bible. The selling of “indulgences” and the worshipping of “relics,” were the “works” forced upon those that were kept in ignorance of the true teachings of the Bible. Those in power desiring to control and manipulate the masses to their whims and wishes. Therefore, Martin Luther, making the declaration that is it “through faith alone,” makes total and complete sense.

However here is the problem with this.

There are many out there that say things like: “I believe in God,” “I have accepted Jesus as my Savior” or “I know I am going to heaven.”

These are all statements of faith. A belief in the one and only God, the Creator of the Universe.

We are in a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. We have a responsibility in this relationship. That is why we are call “stewards.”

What is the definition of a “steward?”

The best definition of this is found at dictionary.com: a person who has charge of the household of another, buying or obtaining food, directing the servants.

Stewardship is accomplished by doing works.

But didn’t I just say that works were a problem during the time of Martin Luther? Yes, I did. But I also said faith alone is an issue.

James 2:14-26 – What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

“So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”

“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.”

Works are not that which is forced upon you by those within power of a denomination. They are the action you feel led to do by your faith in God.

“How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

Our good deeds are not something that is for the world to see or even know about.

Matthew 6:1-4 – “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Many do this in many ways and think all is well with them. Note though how Jesus described those that do this and especially where:

“Don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity!”

Think upon this description hard and long.

Hebrews 10:24 – Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

How is this accomplished? That answer is given in the second chapter of Titus:

Titus 2:1-15 – As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. 2 Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. 3 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. 4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. 6 In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. 7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 8 Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us. 9 Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back 10 or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way. 11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. 15 You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.

Truly being “Christian” is a lifestyle choice. To live in virtue and to do the will and teachings of God takes all of what is shown within these verses. Not just part, but all. That is why I said it is a “lifestyle.”

A lifestyle is defined as – “someone’s way of living; the things that a person or particular group of people usually do.”

“People usually do,” is action, is works. So, we are told to do works. We are told to live with both faith and works.

Works that show honor to God. That reflect the teachings of the Bible. Especially those given unto us by our Savior Jesus Christ. We are told to have “self-control.” To live wisely and worthy of respect. To treat our boss with loyalty. A key statement is made in verse twelve:

“We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,” by not living godlessly or seeking after worldly pleasures. However, millions that profess to being “Christian” live godlessly and seek after worldly pleasures. Believing that they are right with God all because of faith alone.

Many are taught that it is through faith alone. As I have shown in the verses in this study this is a lie. A false teaching. Cleaver words meant to deceive and blind those that are not willing to have the self-control required to seek after God through Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible.

When living with both faith and works we end sin within our lives with self-control and the grace of God through our Savior Jesus Christ. Who gives us righteousness. (Matthew 6:33, 1 Corinthians 1:30) Especially those sins that the Bible clearly states are transgressions which will not allow entry into the presence of the Creator of the Universe.

Only those that are the true followers of Jesus Christ and the teachings within the Bible will stand before the throne of God. Yet many will think they are followers, nevertheless Jesus Christ will look upon them and in Jewish legalism state that He never knew them.

Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Why?

Mainly because they did not pursue both faith and works but relied upon faith alone. Continuing to live their lives according to their true gods: Themselves and their sins.

God Bless

Blog for Podcast #45 (The Christian walk Part 1)


Intro

Welcome again to another podcast. Today we begin a two part series on how to see if we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work within our lives. This is Dreamwalker1960. As a reminder you can read the transcripts of all my podcasts at dreamwalker1960.com. Also, you do not need to download podbean if you wish to listen. You can use Listen Notes, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music or Audible, Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts. As well as Pandora, Spotify and PlayerFM. All you need do is do a search for Dreamwalker1960.

Discussion

As I have made mention before. I have been called to teach those that fall into the group known within the Bible as the “lukewarm.” The thing is, many that fall into this category are unaware that they qualify. This is my greatest sorrow.

I saw a meme the other day that summed it up beautifully. It said that the Jewish people understood the laws of God but rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Then it said. Christians accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah but reject the laws of God. They choose to live in sin. Now I may be wasting my time, for the book of Hebrews says this:

6:4-6 – For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame. 

However, God also said that He was here to give everyone a chance.

1 Timothy 2:1-6 – I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 5 For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. 

But I fear that many will reject God and His Son Jesus Christ when the tribulation begins. Having found themselves lacking in His sight to be left behind.

These people feel and believe that they need do nothing but accept Jesus as their Savior and they will be granted admission into heaven. This is only part of what is required. So, I have decided to dig out another of my earlier teachings to address this.

If you love me, keep my commandments.

These are the words of Jesus Christ in the fourteenth chapter of John the fifteenth verse. They are direct and to the point. However, when you really look into how those that call themselves “Christian.” How many of them truly do not love Jesus? For the majority do not follow this direct and simple directive from Jesus Christ the Son of God.

One of the main reasons for this is due to not even understanding their own faith and beliefs that forms this faith. This is something that need to be addressed. Many perceive this as legalism.

The main reason for this is due to how the true Word of God has been diluted or not even taught fully or completely. They live under a belief that if all they do is believe then they will make it into heaven.

James 2:14-17 – What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Faith alone without following the commandments is dead. It is a simple statement. It comes straight to the point. If you do not follow and live the teachings of Jesus Christ, you are dead unto Him. If you are dead unto Him, you are not of Him, and so hate Him. They are living what is called a lukewarm live.

How does Jesus Himself few the lukewarm?

Revelation 3:15-16 – “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

They are so distasteful to Him that He spits them from His Body.

So how can we change this? How can we make it where we are not spit out by Jesus?

We come full circle back to where we began. We follow the commandments.

It is here that someone will start to argue that Jesus dying upon the cross and then rising upon the third day removed the need to follow the commandments. However, that is not the correct interpretation of what the Bible teaches.

Matthew 5:17-20 – “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Again, we are told by Jesus Christ Himself that we are to follow the commandments. So how can you even attempt to question? It is not me that you are challenging but Jesus Christ Himself and His own words. So, following the commandments, especially those taught by Jesus Christ Himself are not legalism, it is the required works of a living faith in Jesus and His Father, God. It is the act of love He asks of us to do.

The first steps (part one)


The first steps are the hardest, aren’t they? It takes months for a baby to finally get to the point of walking. It is a series of trials and errors. Sometimes they are a shock, a surprise. Other times it hurts, and the child ends up crying at the least, bleeding at the most. This too is the Christian faith as we strive ever daily to be more Christ-like.
However, we need a starting point. To follow the commandments, we must come to understand that the true “commandments” is not just the ten commandments. In fact, the commandments are found in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. This is verified in an exchange Jesus has with one of the religious leaders that confronted Him. It is found in Mark twelve, Luke ten and Matthew twenty-two. However, it is also first shown in Deuteronomy six:


4-6 – “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.


This confirms that all the laws within these three books to a degree are still in force. Does this mean we are to go and stone someone? For heaven’s sake no. It does mean we need to put those things into practice that can be maintained by our own actions and behavior. Nor are we to perform sacrifices for Jesus was the pure Lamb sacrificed for our salvation unto to His Father God.
However, what is our first steps other than coming to know the Bible and the commandments there in? How do we put into practice that which we know we must do to avoid death of our spirit? For we have determined not to live by faith alone, but by both faith and works.
Well we must find something that is common for most of humanity, be they Christian or not.


Romans 13:1-7 – Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.


Titus 3:1 – Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.


Now I know many both Christian and non-Christian that daily disobey this one teaching. So, it is here that I feel we should begin. For from here once it becomes a habit can lead unto other teachings and commandments within the Bible. What is this one thing that is daily disobeyed? Following the speed limits and other traffic laws.
This is something that is shared by all of humanity and can in reality show your commitment to following God with all your heart, mind and soul. But how is that accomplished? How do you put it into practice? Why put it into practice? I will answer all three of these questions in reverse order as we continue this series.

The first steps (part two)


Why put obeying the road laws into practice?
The main reason for this is made perfectly clear in Romans 13, but we shall do a deep dive into these verses to get a better understanding and thus answer the question that was just asked.


Romans 13:1-5 – Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2- Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3- For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4- For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5- Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.


For all authority comes from God.


To address this we must turn to the fourth book of Daniel:


4:17 – “For this has been decreed by the messengers; it is commanded by the holy ones, so that everyone may know that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses— even to the lowliest of people.”


Simply obeying the laws given by a state or nation that do not go against the Bible and its teachings is something that we must follow as an open expression of our faith and love in God and His Son Jesus Christ.
So following the speed limit says you love Jesus.
When an ending lane merges to the lane that does not. If you are in the lane ending you allow those in the other lane to go before you, yielding them the right of way. This in turn goes into the next verse in Titus three:
2 – They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
The laws created for the road are practices taught within the Bible, just applied to how you get about in your everyday life. Yet, most that profess to be “Christian” find the need to follow these laws a burden, an inconvenience, something to be tolerated. Why? Because they the “Christian” are more important.
They are more important than God or their very salvation.
To be humble is one of the true vestments of Christianity. So what is the word “humility” in Titus?
Humility (NLT) – meekness (KJV) –  G4236 – praiotes – properly, temperate, displaying the right blend of force and reserve (gentleness). praótēs (“strength in gentleness”) avoids unnecessary harshness, yet without compromising or being too slow to use necessary force.
I will let you ponder upon this definition, and allow you to make your own conclusion as how to behave upon the road.
I have heard all the excuses by those that profess “Christianity.”
“Well during the time I am driving, if I go the speed limit I am a safety hazard to those upon the road.”
“If I go the speed limit I have to go to bed earlier and miss my favorite TV show.”
“I have so far to travel I will be on the road longer.”
These are things I hope, if I have not already shown to be addressed, as they should be by now, they will be addressed as we answer the next two questions as this series continues.

God bless

One of the steps toward being a reflection of Christ


For one thing there are several, but this is just about one. Now first, I wish to remind folks that in being a reflection of Jesus Christ we are to not only have faith in Him and His promises, but also in our actions and behavior known as works when taken in context to the Bible. Some will say that “works” is legalism. However, “legalism” is when people go through the motions of actions and rituals, especially when they have no faith. It is both FAITH and WORKS, but on with the topic at hand, which is this step of faith through works:
Romans 13:1 – Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.
Titus 3:1 – Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.
Now what does it mean to submit to the government? It is shown very clearly in Romans. All governments are in existence by the grace of God. So we are to follow the laws that are set forth by said governments, as long as they are not counter to the teachings of the Bible. Like for instance, abortion.
So once again I go back to my fall back example of this. The speed limit on roads. This is a state law. If you break this law you can be punished by getting a speeding ticket. Yet millions break this law every single day because this law is inconvenient to them.
Now I want those reading this to look at that last sentence and ponder upon it a second.

Now read this:
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Luke 10:26 – Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” 27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
Mark 12:29 – Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
It is made clear that per Romans and Titus we are to honor God by following the laws set forth by those in government. However many speed “because this law is inconvenient to them.
TO THEM.
To the self.
So God and His laws are “inconvenient to them!”
If we are to place God at the center of our lives. How can HE be an inconvenience? How is this possible?
Because GOD is not at the center of their lives.
THEY are at the center of THEIR LIVES.
2 Timothy 3:1 – You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. 28 And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”
I cannot out do the very words of Jesus Christ. I end this here.

Works is not legalism


In James 2 the word “works” is defined as being applied to the conduct of humans, measured by the standards that are the teachings within the Bible. In other words either following or not following the instructions of Jesus Christ and His apostles.
Due to poor understanding of how faith plus works mesh together. Many construe works, or following the commandments as legalism. The best example of legalism is the Catholic Church; where you have to take the word of the priest that you are doing the right thing. Where you have to perform rituals and ceremonies to guarantee you are making it into heaven. All of which is the furthest thing from the truth. Now is there and had there been people that can call themselves truly “Christian” in this religion? I would say yes, however extremely few.
Legalism is a strict following of rules and instructions. Rigid without concern as to why or even with feeling. Simply legalism is works without faith. Repetitive motions without any feeling or concern as to why they are actually performed.
The works of James 2 are an act of love for our Savior. A desire to follow what He has told us to do. Jesus said we are to place His Father at the center of our lives. Yet most, even within the Christian faith, only place themselves as this center, the place reserved for God alone. Whenever this is done they are guaranteed to fail. That is why when Christ added to the core Ten Commandments, they become the greatest.
Matthew 22:34 – But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
When you place God at the core of your life, what is the most important thing to consider? None other than the Bible itself. Jesus made this clear that we are to follow the commandments, which is a reflection of placing God at the core of our lives.
Luke 11:28 – Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
These are the works to which He is referring. So those that call works legalism are just making excuses to place themselves at the core of their lives thus heading down a road to failure and misery. So we should live our lives in both faith and works, both equal and desired by God, through His Son Jesus Christ.
James 2:14 – What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

Confessions of a screwed up middle aged man: In depth study is shown to be the best way


In the last few posts I have recounted three different occurrences. Each centered on a key element in faith and works that many ignore. The works. The first and the last had the faith, but all three lacked the works of truly studying deeply the word of God. I know without question that this has been my failing in the past.
It is extremely important that when we read the Bible. That we READ it. Not just hear the words and say: “I have been filled with the word.”
I mean dig into the meaning of the words as they were originally written down upon paper as they were inspired by God.
That is what we are instructed to do in 2 Timothy:
“16 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
This is seen to be true when a man of the cloth states that those that are divorced and any that help them to remarry are damned. As was shown, this was not true and it is best that those that are widowed and divorced to remarry to escape sin.
This is seen when you take the Bible out of context as in the second posting and the person had in his mind legitimized sin thus in turn denying God and His Son.
And as was shown in the posting from yesterday that it helps those that are following the Bible to do so in a better light.
This shows that as is stated in James that faith without works is dead. Part of the works is to diligently study the Bible to make sure we are on the right path to God, which is narrow and rough.

Faith without works is dead, but what does that mean?


re-post
That is what I have been led to address. It is said twice in James the same wording is used both times in the Greek. So here it goes:
James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Faith – pistis – faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.
In the pure Greek meaning of the word “pistis” it has the actual and passive sense of “trusting” and “worthy of trust.”
Paul placed “pistis” or “faith” at the core of theology. We must remember that Paul was originally a Pharisee and had persecuted early Christian’s before his encounter with the risen Jesus. To quote from the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (NTD) –
“Primarily, it is acceptance of the kerygma, i.e. subjection to the way of salvation ordained by God and opened up in Christ.”
Trust me “kerygma” threw me for a loop also, so we need to understand that as well:
Kerygma (from the Greek word κήρυγμα kérugma) is a Greek word used in the New Testament for “preaching” (see Luke 4:18-19, Romans 10:14, Matthew 3:1). It is related to the Greek verb κηρύσσω kērússō meaning, literally, “to cry or proclaim as a herald” and used in the sense of “to proclaim, announce, preach”.
So to Paul this was the key element of his teachings. Pure faith and belief in God and that His Son is Jesus Christ.
Works – labor, action, deed
a) Labor – Noun – work, especially hard physical work. Verb – work hard; make great effort
b) Action – the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim; a thing done; an act
c) Deed – an action that is performed intentionally or consciously
I wish to look more deeply in the word “action” especially the “process of doing something” and “an act.”
When you hear the wording “process of doing something” you think of an endeavor. Something that takes a great deal of time to accomplish.
Now “an act” that is where I really which to delve:
One of the meanings of act is defined as “behave in the way specified.”
But where is a type of behavior specified for Christians? The answer is the Bible. So our labor, our actions, and our deeds must work within the specified nature of the Bible.
So faith in God through His Son Jesus leads us to follow the teachings of Christ and His disciples, which is the Bible. Meaning we must follow and adhere to what is written withibln these letters and that we are to repent of our sins and strife to become a true reflection of Jesus Christ.
If we do not follow the Bible than it is “dead.”
Dead – nekros – (a) adj: dead, lifeless, subject to death, mortal, (b) noun: a dead body, a corpse. Per the NTD in this particular case it could infer “lifeless” or “lifelessness.”
Lifelessness – 1. Having no life; inanimate; 2. Having lost life; dead; 3. Not inhabited by living beings or capable of sustaining life.
So even though you are walking about and have faith, but do not follow the teaching of the Bible and call that which is a sin and sin and refrain from it you are incapable of eternal life and so are dead in the eyes of God.

The works dilemma


Understanding how to know you are on the right track toward eternity in the services of God is something those that choose Jesus ask. It is something that is addressed by Christ and the apostles. What it boils down to is we must have faith and do works. Now it is the “works” that causes the problem. At the time of Martin Luther and the Reformation, the Catholic Church had turned into all works and introduced things like Purgatory, which is nowhere within the Bible. The Reformation itself set many down the road to the other extreme of all faith but no works. Many still today adhere to this view of belief in God. Neither of these extremes is right, and both of them will lead to a place none wish to get to be they saved or not.
The reality is we must meet in the middle of both faith and works as I first mentioned. However this does not answer the question of what is “works?”
Many will give you different answers, but these answers are so many because they come from humanity. God made it simple, yet few key in on the truth. Christ said we are to follow the commandments, yet he also added two more.
Matthew 22: 37 Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Also Jesus explains in John 15 that we are to bear fruit. This fruit is works. Though if we do not bear fruit we are broken off of the vine of Jesus Christ and thrown into the fire.
The apostles also gave examples of works we are to do. Marry one man to one woman. If we do devoice yet we live in sin due to this action we are to remarry. Follow the laws of the land we live in as long as they do not conflict with the Bible. These are just a few examples of works. Yet many ignore or are unaware of these works and become lost within the world once again. Totally unaware that each day brings them further and further away from God.

Ok time to listen


Do not assume.
Read the Bible yourself
I don’t mean read a verse here or there. I mean READ the Bible.
Learn the meaning of the words as they were originally written in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. (Bet you didn’t know parts of the Old Testament were not all in Hebrew.)
Take them in context to the events and teachings be taught by Christ or the writers of the books within the Bible. The only exception to this is Proverbs.
An example of context: This woman I encountered kept throwing out to me “Go sell all your good and give to the poor!”
She had no concept of that within what it was referring to within the Bible.
Another example: “You shall not judge!”
Again out of context.
The first was the story of the rich man and Jesus. The rich man said he followed all the commandments. Christ believed him. Jesus said that he needed to do one more thing, go sell all his property and possessions, give them to the poor and follow Him. By the way the guy didn’t.
As to the “judgment card” as I love to call it.
In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 we are instructed to reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. This, people take as “judging.”
The verse that discusses “judging” is about hypocrisy. The person accusing his fellow of sin was living in the same exact sin. Christ instructed the person to remove their own sin before confronting others.
I must add that when you reprove, rebuke, and exhort, you are doing so using the Bible as a foundation thus the word “doctrine.” So when someone actually accuses you of “judging” they are in actuality accusing God of judging them, not you, when you are grounded in your stance with the Bible. These are just two examples, yet there are many more. Too many more.
To know you are on the right path. You must be willing to accept that even though saved you will still sin. However this is not a license to remain in this sin. You must strive to remove this sin from your life. Some sins will be easy to get rid of. Other sins, especially sin that actually not only affect you but those that you have ever been in contact with or ever will be in contact with. Sins I have called “overwhelming sin,” are sins that can be extremely difficult to leave behind.
When we are instructed to repent. We must understand that repentance is an action that God requires those committing the sin to do to show that they truly seek to place God at the core of their life.
In the New Testament there are two versions of the word repent used.
Most of the time it is the word “metanoeo” defined as:
“I repent, change my mind, change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God), repent.” From Biblehub
The other version is “metamellomai” again from Biblehub it is translated as:
“I change my mind (generally for the better), repent, regret”
Note both times it is the person making the change, not God, but the person turning to God through Jesus Christ.
Once someone with all their heart commits to following God and ask Christ to be their Savior, just accepting the salvation is not enough. It requires works.
The Bible states faith alone is not enough it is faith and works.
James 2:14 – What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
Any who tell you all you need is to believe and nothing else is sentencing you to damnation, not salvation.
If you live in sin and have no desire to remove the sin from your life, then the question must be asked: Are you even really saved?
When you are manifestly changed by your broken and heartfelt choice to follow Christ. You will choose on your own to turn from sin.
The Bible shows prove of this:
1 Corinthians 6:9 – Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
If two thousand years ago these people could turn from their sins, some very extreme sins, why can’t you?
The answer is you can and will desire to do so if you truly accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Confessions of a screwed up middle age man: assumptions


Within this last week I had two encounters with two different people. Both made an assumption about where I stand in my belief in God and an assumption and where I stand in my faith. They assumed I was arrogant and self-serving. This is the furthest thing from my mind.
As the title of this article shows I know I am far from perfect. I know that I am human and I do have human failings. Yes I know at times I can push hard in my wording as well.
Here is the thing that neither of these people wanted to hear. The way I present my message at time is not only out of love, but it is out of desperation. Why desperation?
Because time is running out. As I pointed out to one this people it is only 17 years till the two thousand year anniversary of the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is clear if you just open your eyes and your ears. If you listen to those about you, if you see how they act and live. It is obvious to any willing to see. We are coming to the end of gentile leadership of this world. The Bride is nearly ready, but there is still room for a few more.
I do not wish for those that think they are right with God to awaken someday in the near future and find they are left behind in bewilderment and sorrow. Not understanding that it was due to their own self-imposed ignorance that left them here upon this planet; because they loved it more than they loved God.
I know that after the Rapture which will be much smaller than many expect, and to be honest I will be surprised if even I make that blessed event, that millions will awaken to the truth of God’s love and warning to them to awaken. It will not be too late for them to join God, but they will be required to do the works they have refused to do until this point.
They will have to show their faith in God through the works they said were not needed or required. But what will these works be?
Frist and foremost they cannot take the mark, which will be a chip implanted into their skin and most likely a tattoo as well.
They will have to starve for they will not be able to buy food due to not having the mark.
They will have physical pain and anguish as they are beaten and ridiculed.
They will have to face a martyr’s death be it thorough starvation, or beheading.
Once they live the works they refused to do when they had the chance to do them and join those in the Rapture. Then through their works of their faith in God will they be welcome to stand before God.
Is this what you want? The Rapture has not taken place yet. There is still time. You can still become truly repentant. You can turn from the materialism, you can turn from your selfish desire and lust. You can place God at the center of your life now when it has more value unto God.
For once the Rapture happens people will begin seeing with their eyes and not their hearts and they will be like Thomas.
John 20:24 – One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

The swing of the pendulum


When Christianity began to grow after Jesus ascended to His Father Christianity was in balance. Then as it grew and men started to think they knew more than God and changed the Bible to their suiting it became all about works. To this day still some think this way. Then Martin Luther came along and split the church, but he went to the other extreme of all faith, and that too has been corrupted by the insistence of humanity.
Here is what that Bible states though:
James 2:14 – What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 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?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 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.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
So we cannot live in faith alone which many now use the word “love” as the meaning of this faith. True we are to love all, but we are to do good works as well and this is not only our actions but how we say certain things to be people.
You see we you say you love someone, but you allow them to live in a sin that will mean their eternal death, this is not love, but selfishness. For you do not wish to truly share the love of God with any other. You see if you did, in love, you would go to this sinner and show your true love for them and tell them that if they stay in their sin they shall be dead in the eye of the Lord. This action, these words, are works.
Note the last verse:
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
This tells you in no uncertain terms that those without salvation are without a spirit and so are destine to death, which is the pit of fire. So you must through your faith act upon their sins and help them to find the true love of our Lord the Jesus Christ and to be reborn in true repentance, which is also works that are done with eternal love.
So in the future remember that it is not good enough just to love everyone, but you must love them enough to let them know how to get to God, through Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 4:1 – I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.