Faith, Good Works And The Believer

Posted on September 8, 2021

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Faith, Good Works And The Believer

by Pastor Afolabi Oladele

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18 NLT

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone saves. That faith transforms and changes the believer’s life into the similitude of Christ such that the life, like Christ’s, begins to reflect those qualities spoken to in James 3:13 and Philippians 1:11 (NLT). The fruit of righteousness, the righteous character of Christ and the good deeds (works) embedded in gentleness and humility of Christ’s wisdom begin to manifest.

Verses 14-16 of our text demonstrates that there is the option of good works initiated and driven by earthly and sensuous motives, the competitive spirit that’s satanic in nature. Such have their roots in self-proclamation – Luke 18:9-14 (NLT). Know dearly beloved that where self-comparison, jealousy, disorder, unrest and rebellion thrive, Satan is in charge. No wonder Paul admonishes in Romans 12:10-21 (AMPC) what ought to be the believers’ conduct in true fellowship.

Verses 17-18 returns to the principle enunciated in verse 13 that the wisdom from above reveals and bears the fruit of righteousness, the fruit of the Spirit that consistently engenders peace. In these days where confusion is rife amongst believers that confuse good works with the fruit of the Spirit, would you pose these questions to yourself and answer the same honestly:

  1. Is the righteous character of Christ manifest in me, in all that I do? – Philippians 1:11 (NLT);
  2. Is jealousy resident in my heart, that damning emotion that competes with our ability to love God as demanded? – Matthew 22:37;
  3. Am I filled with greed, discontent with what God has given me, wanting what others have because I think that will make me happy?
  4. Am I always comparing myself to other, always focusing on what I don’t have thus blinded to what God has given me, making me unthankful to Him? Or
  5. Does the success I see in others life make me feel inadequate and, in an effort, to build my perception of myself belittle others and their accomplishments?

The coming of the Lord is closer than we think, let’s get rid of these foxes that spoil the vine. Selah.

Photo by William Warby on Unsplash

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