Friday, January 21, 2005

The GraceFaithWorks Sandwich

Don't miss the convicting and motivational post today on Chris Gonzales' blog.

And give me just a moment to share (again) an insight that one of his thoughtful, earlier posts inspired me to add as a comment:

"Grace, faith and works are inseparable components in the way God saves us.

"Which component can you leave out and still have a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich? Bread? Peanut butter? Jelly?

"I think grace, faith and works are part of the sandwich."

May I add that grace and faith are great ... but by themselves they don't paint the barn?

My crumbling preference for a grace-and-faith only relationship with God keeps getting bowled over by things like Jesus' prophecy of the sheep and the goats ("...you did it not unto me." - Matthew 25:31-46) and what He revealed to John ("The dead were judged according to what they had done ...." - Revelation 20:12).

When I feel proud that my faith is deepening and must be sufficient, I get jousted right off my high horse by Ephesians 2:8 ("For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God").

Deep down I know that I can blog all I want to, teach all the Sunday School classes I'm asked to and write all the HeartWorship encouragements I can ... but if I don't LIVE OUT what I believe, I have absolutely zero credibility and my faith without works doesn't work ... it doesn't even breathe (James 2:14-26).

And then there's the secret ingredient to the GraceFaithWorks sandwich.

If I do what I do to puff up myself - instead of doing it out of love - I'm just making noise ... I am nothing ... I gain nothing (I Corinthians 1:1-3).

Next in this series: The GraceFaithWorks Sandwich: A Second Bite

1 comment:

David U said...

Keith, great follow-up to Chris's remarks. I totally agree. Adding to your closing comments, I think LOVE is the key foundation to all three things happening in our lives. Without it, they won't happen to the level that they could. Our concept of Grace will be weak and we won't give it freely to others, our faith will be weak and we will be blown by every storm, and our works won't exist because we will be consumed with self.

Hmm....novel concept huh, love being the "greatest of these"?!?!?! :)