The Inside Column 11/9

Posted in: The Inside Column- Aug 11, 2013 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to church today.

Today Eric is going to be speaking to us about ministry and faith. Often described as trust, faith is at the core of action. It is easy to talk and think about things such as ideas, dreams and visions etc yet importantly, faith is not an intangible substrate, an imaginary force or whimsical thinking. Faith is understood through actions build out of trust and knowledge of God.

Faith is a gift and is given that we may grow by living in a way that connects us God daily –  moment by moment even. Each moment we are given opportunities to express our faith, our knowledge and connection with the God revealed in scripture.

This can seem scary, to dare to act and believe that we can trust and rely on God… yet it is as we dare to do things based on God’s promises to us that we learn and grow. We know more of God by trusting in him, which means living   action. Faith based action builds a deepening knowledge of trust that develops reliance upon God.

James has always challenged me on this:

What good is it 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 not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without your deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

(James 2:14-18)

 

Further on, this inherent connection between action and trust in God is described in v24 ‘you see a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.’  In its proper context this passage is intending to challenge those who believe or act as if faith and action can be     mutually exclusive or separate. This is simply not true. We know we are justified fully through faith in Christ (see Romans 1-5), but the action of accepting and living a life of faith is not a static thing – it is a life of action! ‘…as a body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.’

 

The message is both simple and clear: faith not disconnected from but rather is united with action. Ministry consists of the growing of faith displayed through ongoing actions of faith.

Faithful-action is ministry.

 

Blessings,

Jonathan

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