Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Examine yourself

Today wraps up my writings on the Jesus Creed. Let’s quickly review:
Jesus is asked what to do to inherit eternal life. Love God-love your neighbor was the response. A story is told to specify real love for neighbors (Good Samaritan). We learned that faith without works is dead. We learned that true love for God is expressed in practical love for others. We settled that the scriptures clearly taught that eternal life was given as a gift to those who have faith in Jesus. (Eph. 2:8-10) We also found out that true faith in God results in good works (love for neighbor). We discovered that this is how we know we are on the “narrow path” of eternal life.

I want to share a passage I meditated in this morning.

“For there is going to come a day of judgment when God, the just judge of all the world, 6 will judge all people according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and practice evil deeds. 9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on sinning—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good” Rom. 2:5-10

What does this passage teach us? Does it say that on the final accounting, we will be judged according to our works because our works are the clearest indicator of where our faith truly lies? Could it be true that our behavior is what will be used to show the authenticity of our faith? We are either “Doing good” or “live for themselves”-these are the two categories that this passage reveals.

So what am I saying? When I started this series, I simply wanted to point out the great commandment and how important it was to God that we truly love. I did not intend to discover the undeniable link between the Jesus Creed and eternal life. I guess I am saying that my belief system of salvation by faith alone is greatly enriched by a clearer understanding of real faith in Jesus. I am saying that belief is transformational in this life or it is not belief. I have discovered that scripture teaches again and again that the evidence from our lives will be examined in the end. This enhanced understanding has caused me to do some personal examination of my own faith (after all the person in Jesus’ story who blew it was a priest!).

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT) 5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test.
Take a healthy look today. Are you living by faith in Jesus Christ? Can you see Him in your life leading you to love those around you? Ask Him to fill you with all that He is and live by faith in Him today and every day.

May we by faith live the Jesus Creed!

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