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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Works & Faith

In Ephesians 2 workmanship is understood in the Greek word Poeima, the root of our contemporary English word for poem. Paul illustrates that we are not redeemed simply in order to lounge about in heavenly sunshine and paradise as the ages roll. We are to be doers of deeds that have been foreordained from eternity past. Although we don't perform good works in order to earn or even maintain our redemption; good works are most definitely a side effect of that divine redemption. Paul calls the Philippians in chapter two of his epistle to them to live out their redemption with a sense of awe, wonder, and reverence, because the Almighty God is moving and working through their daily lives. To maintain a balance of good works and faith, I think it helps to think of works as fruit that is harvested from trees. When we see apples hanging from a tree, we rightly conclude that the tree in view is an apple tree and that it will not produce oranges. Men and women are capable of good works and we have all observed noble acts by people who were not part of the church. Yet spiritual fruit can only be produced in the lives of spiritual people and spiritual fruit is an after effect of salvation which cannot save in and of itself. The lost are watching Christians to determine what kind of tree we are. By our fruits they shall know us. Jesus said we need to abide in Him and let his Word abide in us. I believe that is the formula by which we can maintain a balance of good works and faith.

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