Tag Archives: works

Living our Faith

13 Jul

One early morning, I awoke to these words coming from my mouth: “ Justification by faith”. They did not seem to come from me, it was as though they were spoken through me.

Justification by faith wasn’t a concept I understood well. I always thought I had to work for my salvation and I was often very miserable. Why couldn’t I be good all the time? Why did I keep messing up?

I became a very judgmental person because I expected others to make the same efforts I was making. I was pushing to be a good person because I thought my salvation depended on it.

Only in recent months, (yes months!), did I begin to really understand the amazing provision God made for us through His Son.

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Do we believe this? Many of us can’t understand it or we believe that we must do something to help attain our salvation. It can’t only be confession and belief, right? Actually, it is. This is called justification by faith. Jesus paid it all.

So where do works come in? Are we now to continue living as we wish conscience free?

No. This is where sanctification comes in, and here’s how I understand how it works.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 (NKJV)

Sanctification happens as we learn about who God truly is and His Son Jesus the Christ. As we learn, we make the decision or choice to follow God’s teachings. This isn’t always easy, because giving up what we’ve spent years practicing often has deep roots, but with Christ all things are possible.

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Romans 8:5-9 (NASB)

Personally, I experience sanctification every day. There were times when I felt that I was in an intense course! It involved changing my thoughts in order to change my actions. God’s Holy Spirit would gently tell me, “…that wasn’t a nice thing to say. Do better next time…”. It’s like a purging process, and the Holy Spirit is the agent.

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

We must have respect for God, that is, understand that there’s nothing hidden and He is in us, helping us to overcome our weaknesses. I’ve found this to be extremely important and have started to really pay attention to my thoughts. This is because of late, I’ve recognized that some of my thoughts are actually God talking to me.

We grieve God when we let pride and selfishness stand in the way of sanctification. Pride says, “I want it that way”, or, “this isn’t how I feel things should go. “I’m a good person and I don’t need to be changed.” Pride lives selfishly not thinking about others. How can we become like God if we’re not reachable or teachable? Why do we often reject the labour pains that come with being born again?

In short, I’ve learnt that following God is understanding that He knows what’s best. It isn’t an easy way, that’s why Jesus calls it the straight and narrow way. Thank God that it is a path we walk with a friend; we don’t see what’s ahead, we must depend on Jesus to guide us home.

I hope this all makes sense. Send me a comment if you wish to add more insight or need further help grasping these two concepts better.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)