About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Productive Faith


I maintain that Biblical faith in Jesus is ultimately trusting Him with our lives.  Trust, by its very nature, is a passive action.  Other than our deliberate initial decision to trust Jesus, which is an active action on our part, the goal of that decision is to rest in the assurance that we can trust Jesus.  I have come to this conclusion, at least in part, because the Greek words that are translated in our English New Testament as faith and believe mean trust, and trust is passive.  Does this suggest we are to be inactive Christian couch potatoes?  Doesn't the Bible tell us to be actively involved in doing good works?     


In Biblical terms, genuine passive faith will produce genuine active works.  If you trust Jesus with your life, you have the confidence to do what He requires.  If you struggle with trusting Jesus with your life you will struggle at doing what He requires.  Struggling with trust either disables you from doing good works or motivates you to do them in your own human strength.  Both are counter-productive to what Jesus requires.


James 2:14 through 18 says something about this.


"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works?  Can such faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed,' but you donít give them what the body needs, what good is it?  In the same way faith, if it doesnít have works, is dead by itself.'"


According to this passage, genuine faith or trust in Jesus, produces genuine good works.  To the degree, then, you trust Jesus with your life, is the degree to which you will actively do good works that are productive in accomplishing God's will.


Despite the thinking of many that the apostle Paul and James differed on the matter of faith and works, Paul agreed with James as seen in Ephesians 2:10.


"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do."


As new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians  5:17 and Galatians 6:15) we have been created to do good works.  The only stipulation is that our good works originate from a faithful, trusting, relationship with Jesus, and not from our own human effort (Galatians 3:3).        


Faith in Jesus is the passive action of resting and being secure in your relationship with Him.  Only then will you possess the God-given confidence needed to actively do the good works He requires.  In human terms, a good night of rest will produce a good day of work.  In Biblical terms, a good life of rest in Jesus will produce a good life of works.  


Genuine faith will produce genuine works.          

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