Thursday, September 29, 2005

Work on your faith, not your legalism...

As I was listening to a sermon by John Piper on Romans 1:1-5, I was struck by something he said. Piper was discussing "the obedience of faith" and he stated that we as Christians attempting to live a godly life should focus on improving our faith. This will, in turn, improve our obedience. He went on to point out that if we simply try to improve our obedience, we will only grow in legalism; precisely what the Pharisees did. Is it any wonder why, when we are not focusing on Christ, that we miss the point of Christian living? We cannot earn God's favor; Christ did that with his obedient life and sinless death. We ask God, like the father of the boy with an unclean spirit in Mark 9:14-29, "if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Note Jesus' response: "If you can! All things are possible for one who believes." May our response echo the father's: "I believe; help my unbelief!"


Jared said...

We are saved by grace alone through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

Faith alone saves, but faith is never alone: true faith is always accompanied by works of faith. So in a sense, while it is true that on this earth we are judged by our works, or lack thereof, we know that it is faith that saves and not the works. One might say that we need works for salvation and they would be wrong.

S. Todd Young said...

Agreed. Faith without works is dead, and works without faith is dead, but a faith that works is the fruit, or evidence of salvation. Romans 2:6-11 also emphasizes faith that works!

Thanks for the post!