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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Faith or Works?

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beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re: Faith or Works?

Dear Paula-NZ,

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.

To have faith in Jesus is to believe in Him. And to believe in Him is to believe what He says.

Faith includes several important things: trust and submission.

Trust in the Lord. Faith is all about trust. This means that you trust what Jesus says: you trust in what He is doing and is going to do.

Submit unto the Lord. Faith is all about submission. Having faith in Jesus means you are putting your faith in Him. More or less, you are depending on Him. Your life depends on Him. This cannot happen unless you submit unto Him.

(Read the rest of Hebrews 11, it talks all about faith.)

It is good that you seek to be obedient. The Lord probably laid this desire on your heart. He will not force you to do anything. He is making a request. He is asking you to take some steps in faith. Will you do what He asks? Will you take the steps and trust in Him?

Prayer is one of the most important things a Christian can do. Jesus wants a relationship with us. A key component of any relationship is communication. How can you have a relationship with God, if you do not communicate with Him? You need to spend time with the Lord in prayer. Jesus spent many, many hours praying. If God is asking you to give up TV in order to pray, He is asking you to come spend time with Him. Will you do it?

You asked, what is the difference between faith and works?

I think by this question you are asking what is the difference between works with faith, and works without faith.

Works without faith means that you are trying to do things for God in order to earn His favor. It means you are trying to earn something. You do good things so that you can earn benefits. For instance, you do good things so that you can earn a ticket into Heaven.

Works with faith means that you do things for God because God love's you. It means that you are doing these thing as a result of what God has done for you. For instance, when God's love fills you so much, you can't help but run into the streets and tell everyone how great God is.

In the first instance, the person is being selfish. They don't really love God. They are doing good things so that they can get stuff. In the second instance, the person acting in love. They are out doing good things to show appreciation to God for God loving them.

As you pointed out, when we do works with faith, our heart is in it. When our heart is in it, we are filled with joy. When we delight in the Lord, we are overwhelmed with joy, and are extremely thankful for all His love. And so, if your heart is not in your works, then are you really showing God appreciation? Are you really delighting in the Lord?

You must realize though that humans are weak. We are failures. We need Jesus. We need Jesus for salvation. We need Jesus to carry us through even after we are saved. We need Him, not once to be saved, but always.

And so, it is important for us to continually draw close to the Lord and ask Him for help. The apostle Paul said,

1 Corinthians 15:31 (NKJ)
I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Every day, Paul died to his old man, and every day Paul gave his life to Jesus. This means, that every day Paul drew close to the Lord so that the Holy Spirit could fill Him. When the Holy Spirit fills us, He produced fruit as outlined in Galatians 5:22. One of these fruit is joy.

It is important for us to humble ourselves before the Lord and seek His will. We should seek to do His will, and by this we are seeking to be obedient. We should also trust in the Lord that He will direct our path. (Proverbs 3:5,6) Trusting in the Lord means we will wait on the Lord. (Psalms 27:14, 37:5)

The above means many things, but especially it means we need to pray and be honest with the Lord. Confess all your thoughts and desires. Confess everything before the Lord. Ask Him questions. Seek His will. Be real with God. Talk to Him like a best friend, like a close parent, like someone you love.

God knows you inside and out. He knows your every thought and every action. He knows what you will say before you say it. (Matthew 6:8) When we pray to the Lord and confess all things to Him, it confirms this. It makes our faith true. When we do this, we are saying, "I believe you are God." Especially when we ask Him for something. It takes faith to ask someone for something. We must believe they can do it. And so, when we ask God for things, we are showing our faith that He can do those things.

I believe it is always important to be honest with God. We should cast all our anxiety on Jesus as Peter says (1 Peter 5:7). Confess your sins. (1 John 1:8-10)

When you devote your time to God, especially in prayer, trust in Jesus and submit unto Him, you will delight in the Lord. The Lord will bless you.

Anyway, I am sorry this has become so long. I suppose I could have narrowed this post down to one word: "PRAY!"

Speak to God, with your heart.

Hope this helps,

In love,
Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/10/31 9:16Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4791


 Re:

Brother Blake wrote:

Works without faith means that you are trying to do things for God in order to earn His favor. It means you are trying to earn something. You do good things so that you can earn benefits. For instance, you do good things so that you can earn a ticket into Heaven.

Works with faith means that you do things for God because God love's you. It means that you are doing these thing as a result of what God has done for you. For instance, when God's love fills you so much, you can't help but run into the streets and tell everyone how great God is.



While one may try to earn their way into heaven by following the law or the vain traditions of their fathers, most of what we see in religion today is works. Why do I say this? It is because we do not really want to hear the voice of God. For if we would only listen, the word of God would cause us to be a living sacrifice. The word of God would set us apart from all the affections we have for this world. This is how the Corinthian church failed and this is how we fail today.

We can only do the good works spoken of in Ephesians 2:10, as He himself teaches us to do them. It all begins with feeding on the Holy Scriptures daily. As the Scriptures begin to show one the foolishness of what one once hoped for and replaces these futile hopes with true life experiences that come from Him one will through walking with Him daily begin to hear His voice. This is where we are liberated from our carnal mind. This is the place where we learn of the treasure that is unseen. This is the place where our hearts are quikened. This is the only place from which good works has is source.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2005/10/31 13:15Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4791


 Re:

2Cor. 6:11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

2Cor. 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
17 Therefore
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty.”


One might ask, what does this have to do with works verse faith. Listen to what Paul declares about the church of Corinth.

1Cor. 1:4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

These brothers and sisters in Christ have free access to the grace that comes with walking with Christ. Yet listen to the next verse.

1Cor. 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

What do you see? Even though they have been given all things in Christ Jesus, yet they seek to identify with men. How much of this still is present with today's church. How many seek to honor men? How many works are done according to man's ways? How many works are done because we seek the affections of this world? Can the ways of the world be incorporated into His Church?

Is there division in our churches like that of the Corinthian church? Division will always be present when we look to follow men and not Christ.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2005/11/1 11:08Profile









 Re:



[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=15590]My thoughts on works vs faith[/url]

 2005/11/1 11:21
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4791


 Re:

Brother Jesse wrote:

Quote:
Moses was a man who was a friend of God, who walked with God, and had been in God’s presence so much that his face brightly shined and needed to be veiled. As a great preacher once said “when Moses left nobody knew where he went, but when he returned everyone knew where he had been.” God must shine through or God is not there.



Matt. 6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

God Bless
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2005/11/1 12:33Profile
bluinos
Member



Joined: 2005/2/4
Posts: 78


 Re:

Lazarus,

Great Document!

This is the verse that the Lord of lords has been speaking to me and convicting my heart and soul.

John 15: 8 – by this my Father is glorified, that you bear MUCH FRUIT; so you will be My disciples.

In bearing fruit, you have no fruit, - fruit, - more fruit, and then you have Much Fruit.

We must allow God’s Holy Word to perform its perfect work in us, it is then I Believe we are able to bear much fruit, fruit that will remain.

 2005/11/1 12:36Profile
Paula-NZ
Member



Joined: 2005/9/10
Posts: 11
Auckland-New Zeland

 Re:

npautsky - dying to self is not the issue (at least not the issue in question) Maybe TV is a bad example as you just assume that I can't be bothered praying I would rather sit and not really think about anything while I just watch TV. Which isn't the case, and isn't the problem i'm addressing.

The problem is... if I do these things (ie die to self) out of anything other than love, Is that works without faith???
I don't know how to make myself do them out of love, it seems to me that can only come from God... or is that just being lazy and expecting Him to do everything for me, and me just wait for Him to change me??

I think the problem is I just don't know/understand Jesus enough to truely love him.

The bible says worship in spirit and truth. If I don't know what it means to be spiritual (to walk in the spirit) and what I know (and my relationship with) God is on an information level and not a revelation level, Am I a hypocrite If I sing along at church even though I don't really mean or understand what I am singing? Aren't I just being a hypocrite???
But isn't it worse if I don't sing, because then I am not even making an effort...?

Do you see my problem???

PS Thanks beenblake - This is exactly what i meant =P

Quote:

beenblake wrote:

You asked, what is the difference between faith and works?

I think by this question you are asking what is the difference between works with faith, and works without faith.


_________________
Paula

 2005/11/2 3:45Profile
groh_frog
Member



Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Re:

Hey, Paula. There's two awesome sermons that, while they're not focused on this topic, they definitely changed my view on it: Listen to "Learning the Fear of God" by Zac Poonen, and "Hell's Best Kept Secret" by Ray Comfort. They're both awesome.

Oh, and also, if you have some time, listen to "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" by Paris Reidhead. It starts out slow, but it's incredible. It really is.

Grace and Peace...

 2005/11/2 4:32Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4791


 Re:

Sister Paula wrote:

Quote:
The problem is... if I do these things (ie die to self) out of anything other than love, Is that works without faith???
I don't know how to make myself do them out of love, it seems to me that can only come from God... or is that just being lazy and expecting Him to do everything for me, and me just wait for Him to change me??





What you have just stated is what Paul wrote in Chapter 7 of Romans.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Do you see what you and Paul have said is the same: "...but
how to perform what is good I do not find." What does Paul attribute this lack of understanding to? "For I know that [b]in me (that is, in my flesh) [/b] nothing good dwells." You have come to understand what Paul is teaching here in Romans 7. You know according to Scriptures that God command us to love Him with all of our stength, mind, and heart and then to love one another. Yet you also have come to understand that you don't have it within you to obey His command.

You have also spoken of walking in the Spirit. This again is the solution to this dilema which you find yourself in. Scripture says that one must be led by the Spirit so that one can know how to perform what God has commanded of His children.

Do you see how Scripture begins to work in you? Do you see the power of the living word? Everyone who comes to Jesus will walk this same path. Everyone who continues to draw near Him will be given all things that are in Christ Jesus.

Continue reading the Scriptures. Feed daily on the bread from heaven. His words will come to give you understanding. Only believe every word of Scripture. Do not treat the Word of God as a smorgasborg; only picking what tastes good to your flesh. Allow the word of God to penetrate your being. As He speaks to you, give up those things which you once thought to be true. This is where the dieing to self begins. It is not according to the flesh but as the Spirit calls to you, this is the perfect way. His burden is light, take His yoke upon you and learn from Him. He is lowly and of a humble heart. As He directs you by the yoke of His word, you will learn how He loves you. You will learn to love the same things He loves. This is the only way. He is the way the truth and the light.

Do not honor men more than your Savior.

Quote:
I think the problem is I just don't know/understand Jesus enough to truely love him.

The bible says worship in spirit and truth. If I don't know what it means to be spiritual (to walk in the spirit) and what I know (and my relationship with) God is on an information level and not a revelation level, Am I a hypocrite If I sing along at church even though I don't really mean or understand what I am singing?




He will give you a new song. He is faithful just listen. It is this song that causes your heart to cry out Abba Father.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2005/11/2 12:34Profile





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