In the class I teach at Trinity Church in Cedar Hill, Texas we’ve been studying what the great “heroes of faith” accomplished “By faith!” The Bible teaches faith is essential – even critical in our lives! It says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him!” (Hebrews 11:6) Faith is how we “get right with God” – you can’t earn salvation by your works! (Check out Ephesians 2:8-9) But during my time of “coffee with the Lord” I also read these words in James… “What good is it if a person says he has faith but does not have works? … So also faith by itself, if it does not produce works, is dead! … You see, faith is active along with works, and faith is completed by works! … For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (From James 2:14-26)
So all of that provoked these analogies… Would you be willing to accept…
• An apple tree that produces no apples?
• A marriage that has no intimacy?
• A profound, life-transforming book never opened or read?
• A Rolls Royce that is never started or taken on a journey?
• A university class that is paid for but never attended?
• A house that is built but never lived in?
• A succulent meal that is prepared but never eaten?
• An expensive wardrobe that is purchased but never worn?
• Profound ideas that are thought but never expressed?
• A wonderful bed that is purchased but never slept in?
And there are many more that could be used to make the point…
I’ve got to tell you something is wrong if a person claims to have faith, but it produces no works (i.e. there is no evidence of faith in the person’s life!) Faith and it’s outcome – evidentiary works – go together! You can’t say you have one without the other! Faith produces works! Back to that Ephesian passage I quoted… After saying we are “we are saved by grace through faith – not by works,” the very next verse declares, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them!” (Ephesians 2:10)
Hey, I’ve gotta tell you… I want my “faith” to produce something! I want to walk by faith! I want to live by faith! I don’t just want to claim that I have faith, I want there to be plenty of evidence for it in my life! Don’t you? Here’s my prayer… “Oh God, may what Hebrews 11 talks about not simply be ancient history! May a generation arise today, who “By faith” … receive God’s “commendation” (a BIG word in Hebrews 11)… and impact our world in positive ways and influence the coming generation to walk with God by faith!”