Faith

My friend, Candi, posted a question on Facebook this morning and I responded. It has taken me years, but I realized as I responded to the question that I simply do not struggle with this subject anymore, which is nothing short of miraculous.

Here is her question and my answer. I thought I would post both on my blog and see if anyone else feels inspired to add to the conversation.

Candi:
Food for thought... where is the fine line between only faith gets you into Heaven, & not works...but if you have faith, where does the lack of good deeds keep you out???? Heavy stuff, but I want to know what you all think?"

Shari:
I don't see it as a lack of good deeds keeping me out of heaven at all. No matter how many good deeds we do, our obedience/works can never be "good enough" to merit the gift of eternal life. Isaiah said that "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (woefully inadequate). But when the Bible describes faith without works as being dead, it doesn't mean we have to add good deeds to our faith to be saved. It means that genuine faith WILL produce good works (deeds).

Faith is more than an acknowledgment of fact. The Bible says that even the demons believe and know who Jesus is. Putting our faith in Jesus and making Him Lord of our life involves a transformation of the heart. We want to follow His example in loving others and glorifying God with our lives. We are not trying to rack up good deeds as if there was a score card. It's not even about US. It's about HIM. Forgiving because we have been forgiven. Loving because we have been loved. Everything we do - when we are saved - should be based on our love for God and wanting His love to flow THROUGH us because it has flown TO us.

It's not about earning something we could never earn. It shouldn't be fear that motivates us (even the fear of failing). The transforming love of Christ produces spiritual fruit just like an apple tree naturally produces apples. You recognize the tree by the fruit. And in this way, our good deeds are a living manifestation of the faith that is within us.

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