Sep 7, 2013

Too Heavenly-Minded??

We are called to be servants of God once we become justified in Christ, through faith alone.  In order to be faithful servants: What type of service is required, and where does this occur?

 “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (contrast with 1Corinthians 3:9)

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thess. 4:11-12NIV

“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.  For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.  Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.  But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13

The phrase which spawned much pondering this week is, “He’s too heavenly-minded, to be any earthly good.”  Surely everyone has a different picture when they reflect on this phrase.  There is a lot of truth behind this phrase, though on the surface it is misguided. 

Verses such as 2 Corinthians, and Colossians above make it apparent that we should not be the same as the world; having the same desires, goals, and intentions.  Yet the devil has a way of perverting all things Godly.  Particularly the Thessalonians are a biblical example of those who went too far.  Once each in the two short letters we have to the Thessalonian believers, Paul admonishes the believers that they should work diligently.  The misguided believers expected, much like today, that the end was near and so they quit their secular work and became spiritual ‘busybodies’.  Some today do not quit their work, but become less than exceptional workers, choosing to take efforts away from productive work and applying them to ‘spiritual things.’ 

1 Thessalonians chapter 4 nails the calling of most Christians.  We are to be the most diligent of workers in order to gain respect and an opportunity to share with unbelievers.  Our quality should reflect the allegiance to our true Master, God.  We also have the opportunity to work in order that we will be furnished with skills and ability to do other good works for the kingdom.  The determination should come from the intention you use in work.  Do you work to gain stuff, or to be a greater blessing to others?

Sep 1, 2013

Good Works of a Christian?

Are Christians saved from works, or to works? Are there duties for a saved Christian?

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” Genesis 2:15

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

“  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'. . . And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” Matthew 25:35-36, 40

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister .” Hebrews 6:10

“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your  works, and I will show you my faith by my  works.” James 2:17-18

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.” 1 John 5:2

“Blessed are those who do His commandments,  that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. “ Revelation 22:14

"It is faith alone that justifies, but the faith that justifies is not alone." John Calvin

Westminster Confession: Chapter 16 - Of Good Works: 2 & 3: These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto; that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life. 3. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure; yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.