Monday, June 24, 2013

Not JUST Words

There are many words that Biblical teachers emphasize to Believers in Christ which help in the growth or maturation process.  The following are Not Just Words, they are important, foundational concepts that I feel must be understood in order to progress nicely in one's walk with the Lord Jesus Christ (getting off the baby food and onto solid food - 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-13; 1 Peter 2:2).  
  1. Law - Is the perfect God-set standards for humanity to keep in order to redeem their relationship with God.  One failing of the law equals total failure.
  2. Works - Attempt at salvation by self.
  3. Grace - Is the unmerited favor of God.
  4. Faith - "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  Hebrews 11:1; "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."  Hebrews 11:6
  5. Deeds - Actions, not out of obligation, that may display your faith in hopes of recruiting others. James 2:14-26
  6. Fruit - Is the result of sowing into someone's life.  Matthew 12:33; John 15:4-5, 8, 16; Luke 3:9 ~ Luke 6:43 (What is fruit? Or seed?  Galatians 5:22)
The Plan for humanity was and is to look at the perfect God-set standards, The Law, and realize that violation of just one of hundreds of laws, rules, and regulations given to live a perfect, holy life will result in failure of the entire Law and consequently one's eternal separation from God.  One mistake at attempting to be perfect and you have failed at being perfect - with The Law as your teacher and mirror.  All attempts are called Works.  Trying to strive for or work for one's perfect life, enlightenment, oneness with God, or Salvation is Not attainable through our own means or self.

The answer to any and all violations of The Law is Faith in the unmerited, undeserved favor of God or Grace.  This favor was personified in Jesus Christ as He fulfilled all the law that was required to live a Holy life and did not make a mistake (Hebrews 4:15).  His life and complete work on the Cross and Resurrection is enough for the salvation of those who desire to be at peace with God and live with Him forever.

Actions that Christians display after they believe in His Grace are called Deeds.  Scripture acknowledges there will be bad along with good Deeds within the Christian walk and one day it will be judged (2 Corinthians 5:10).  However, because He first loved us, these Deeds should not be out of obligation, but come from a heart of joy and desire to offer into service our capabilities and talents.  

The result(s) of these actions or service for The King is called Fruit.  "The Fruit of Your Labor" is an applicable phrase here, except you have a co-laborer - Christ Jesus through His Holy Spirit.  Christians do not have to be Superman, they have Him dwelling on the inside (John 14:17) ready to work with them to create more lasting Fruit, the kind that endures (John 15:16).  What is even more amazing is Jesus saying, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."  (John 14:12)

So, if you have not realized these words and the meanings to them, I challenge you to....

Realize and accept you are not perfect, attaining perfection by your own merits is impossible, and your relationship with God needs redeeming.  
Realize and accept Jesus is the answer.  "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
Realize and accept His Grace by Faith!
Realize and accept His Love for you and others enough to spur you to action and get involved in serving God.
Realize and observe the Fruit in your life to see, according to Scripture, if God would be pleased.  At this stage in one's walk It should be All About Jesus and Not Just Words!