Faith is the substance of things hoped for.
Faith is that exercise of the same power Christ has to collapse the probability wave to make manifest the desired outcome. Faith can move mountains. Faith is necessary because unless you are exercising the power to collapse the probability wave, then you are merely being washed along by it. God always leaves room for faith. He does not jam the reality of His truth into your face with crude “proof.” To do so is logically impossible anyway, because you would have to believe your senses to believe the “proof,” and to do so is an act of faith – viz Descartes’ “Cogito Ergo Sum” (I think therefore I am) leading to the notion that nothing other than that can be trusted as true (notwithstanding Kant, a discussion for another day perhaps). Existence without faith is existence without free will. That is an absurdity which we instinctively know not to be the case for every being that has a soul, saved or not.
Works: The outward sign of the spirit of Christ dwelling within.
Works can sometimes benefit the worker as much as the receiver of the work.
Example – I was fretting about tomorrow – money, job, health – all the usual frets.
Our church has been helping a little old widowed lady of diminished means move house. My wife’s cousin and my wife have been among the people helping the lady.
Yesterday my wife needed to go to help the lady in the evening time so I offered to drive her rather than she walk. I then, being there, had an opportunity to help the little old lady myself. So I did a small practical task while my wife did the other things that needed doing. Be sure I am not writing this to boast of this great work – tying one knot to fix a clothes line onto a pole.
So the little old lady was helped, but how did this benefit me? We cannot say it helped my salvation, as we are not saved by works (although there are arguments on the spectrum about midway between Catholic and Evangelical that would say they are a necessary manifestation of having been saved – read lots of St.Paul and form your own conclusions).
The thing is, I had been fretting. All the usual job, money, health frets that could apply to most people most of the time.
But Christ had arranged that I got to see how this helpless elderly lady of diminished means has:
- been provided with a home
- had many pounds (UK money) of debt forgiven
- been helped to move
- been provided with brand new carpets
- been provided with telephones
- been provided with arrangements to fix for her television aerial and allowed to spread the cost
- found her lost keys
- found her lost kitchen utensils
- found her lost hearing aids and the batteries for them
- had someone come and offer to walk her dog
- been provided with a food parcel
- been made happy warm and safe in her new home and is looking forward to being able to go to her church again back in the town she loves
All this was made possible by brothers and sisters doing the will of God, and by the will of God being made manifest in the hearts of strangers, and by the intervention of Christ answering the prayers of people that love the little old lady as a Christian sister.
Bottom line, my tiny little “work” put me exactly where I could see how Christ looks after those He loves. He showed me that however daunting, complicated, and hopeless the situation, and however helpless the person seems, Jesus is ruler of everything and He owns every atom in whole universe and He is your brother and He will look after you. He showed me there is no need to fret because when you think here is no way, He makes a way. All you need to do is have a bit of faith in your loving brother, Christ. Considering that He has already died for us, I think it’s fair to say we can trust Him! He doesn’t “need” our “help” to help people, but He would really love it if we can, and He will make working alongside him a joyful thing, not as any “reward” but simply because it is a joy to spend time working with out perfectly lovely brother.
I did a tiny tiny thing for Christ. A small tiny thing. In return He gave me something much bigger. He gave me reassurance and reminded me not to fret because there is no need to. He always gives you more than you could possibly imagine, and it’s always wonderfully and exactly what you needed even if you didn’t know you needed it.
Works strengthens faith. Faith is necessary for salvation. On the way, works can also make the lives of others and your own life a whole lot better, which is a nice thing for all. We are in the world, not of the world, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be useful while we are here – we are put here for a purpose.
When you have the reassurance that God will look after you because you are His family (be sure that if He cares about sparrows falling how much more then He cares for you…) then your mind can be at rest. Thus Jesus helped my mind be at rest by providing me with a little work.
I may well be “teaching grannie to suck eggs” by writing this, many of you I am sure know this already, but when Jesus does something as elegantly as He did yesterday, I feel it’s nice to share.
I suggest to accompany this post:
James 2:14-26King James Version (KJV)
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.