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Bible Ballistics: BBs #531   To Be Or Not—It Will Show???

 

Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”  James put it a bit differently as he reminds us of something that I often say, “Saying so, doesn’t make it so!”  Just saying I am a believer must be accompanied by the works of goodness that God has called and equipped us to fulfill.  We aren’t saved by works—not in any way—but we do express our faith by our works.  Like the old question, “What do you get when you squeeze a lemon?”; what seems like the natural answer isn’t always the answer.  While we would expect to get “lemon juice” if we squeeze a lemon, there must be “juice” in the lemon first, or we will get nothing!  Well it’s the same in the life of a Christian!  When we come to Jesus in repentance and faith, HE imparts His Holy Spirit to each one who is born again, and we are that “new creature” in Christ Jesus—created ‘for’ good works—but never ‘by’ good works.

For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not

of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are

his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk

in them.”  Ephesians 2:8-10

Genuine believers are “created in Christ Jesusfor good works, and James reminds us that while we must “be” HIS before we can “do” His work—works which manifest the presence of Christ in us before the world.

But be ye doers of the word,

and not hearers only,

deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word,

and not a doer,

he is like unto a man

beholding his natural face

in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself,

and goeth his way,

and straightway forgetteth

what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect

law of liberty,

and continueth therein,

he being not a forgetful hearer,

but a doer of the work,

this man shall be blessed

in his deed.

26 If any man among you seem to be religious,

and bridleth not his tongue,

but deceiveth his own heart,

this man’s religion

is vain.”  James 1:22-26

So, my question this morning is simple!  Are we being doers of the word—or are we “hearers only”? James makes it clear that if all we have is “talk”, we may be “deceiving your own selves”! God, help us examine our own hearts and see what YOU see, then, to align our heart and life to You, Your Word and Your will for “me”!  Being a faithful picture to the world of a vibrant, living faith in Jesus?

Search me, O God..know my heart...”    See Psalm 139:23