The Christian Faith is not only a faith that works but also a faith that must work – a real faith, if you will. If it is not, it becomes only a novelty. What’s more is that the Christian faith is not an inanimate faith of mere action points that some divine entity has passed down that we simply follow and that’s all. We indeed have a fully animate faith because of its cause who is a Living God who incidentally is the definition of life in its totality.
When we look at the reality and the working aspect of our faith, the Bible speaks of it being validated by its fruit (Matthew 7:20) and a bad tree cannot give good fruit and vice versa (Matthew 7:17-18). So to bear the fruit of our faith, we must abide in Him and He in us (John 15:4). Therefore, abiding and bearing fruit are not separate modes of functioning. It is only by abiding in Him that we can bear fruit. In no other way can we bear the fruit of our faith.
So therefore, our efforts towards our faith should be directed towards abiding (Being) in Him and not the fruit (Doing). At the same time, Being and Doing go hand in hand and the whole matter of action ought not to be an issue. All the while, we must realize that if we do not know Who we are talking about (if we are not in Him) when we do in His name, our actions are like empty vessels. If we do but not in His name, we are not really doing something worthy of the faith that we profess.
When we say Doing, it is not just the few things that we do a day, week or month that constitute profession of our faith in action. The Bible asks that our every millisecond is worthy of our God (and of our faith) (Romans 12:1, 1Corinthians 6:19). Included is everything we say and do - right from the get go.
Now having established that our faith is fully animate by virtue of us serving a Living God and that it is more than just a code of conduct and a way to be, our Being lies in the relationship that we have with our God when we abide in Him and He in us. The relationship with God is ongoing (always in present continuous tense) and growing (the sweet communion gets better every day). If this relationship that is ongoing and growing is the root of our faith, staying in tune with the root of our faith in order to BE so that we DO and thereby speak well of our faith in our actions is very vital. There is nothing that needs attention more than this. This is so vital that it is the only thing that needs attention – the rest that follows is only by the way.
Jeremiah 17: 7-8 talks about a man who is rooted in such a manner in God saying “neither shall cease from yielding fruit”. Fruits in any case grow by default and only by being rooted in to the source right and proper. There can be no other way that one can be fruitful. If the tree or plant is not right and proper, the fruits will grow likewise or will not grow at all. The tree or plant, in any case if it existed, would have to be planted in something to exist (and grow). It would simply be fruit of that in which it is planted.
What comes to mind is Luke 10: 38-42. When Martha asked Jesus to ask Mary to help because there was much work to be done instead of simply sitting at the feet of Jesus, Jesus answered her in saying, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Let us then do that which is necessary which cannot be taken away from us. Furthermore, it is necessary because we cannot do what more God expects of us unless we do that first. We are also to do it ALWAYS because it is the very blood that runs through the veins of our real and living faith – simply sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Jesus is the only source of our everything. He is reason we exist. He is the reason for our salvation. He is the reason we have hope of a better world to come. For without him, we are nothing. In Him, we are everything. He is the embodiment of our hope, and all that our faith results in is only because of that hope - bereft of which it becomes devoid. In short, if we have not Christ, we, then, have no story to tell of His salvation. Then, we have no story to tell at all.
It must not be forgotten that at the feet of Jesus is the place where the Christ life starts and remains.
Having the established that the Christ Life starts at the feet of Jesus and remains there, there are certain almost obvious implications.
1) We bespeak our belief and therefore our God in ALL things we do. The range of doing this goes from the way we dispense the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our every word/action and the tone we speak/do those words/actions with (the general default fruits of the Spirit) to the larger more specific works and life choices that we decide to take up (careers/life direction). It must, by all means, be worthy of God (and the Word of God) and that is the test. Christ Life that is at the feet of Jesus will be such by default. We must check it by the Word and always also think about and must really consider whether the things we do are really worthy of the God that we proclaim asking ourselves why we do them which then involves going back to the point of it - Christ.
2) Sitting at the feet of Jesus is not an activity that keeps busybodies busy with activities that are representative of Who our tree is planted in - it keeps us busy in Who our tree is indeed planted in. We simply bear fruit thereof. Once you are busy in activity and the activity becomes the mainstay, you no more sit at the feet of Jesus. You move away from the feet of Jesus to the activity.
3) All our works (actions) must remain inspired. The true Christ Life, especially the works aspect, is only resultant of sitting at the feet of Jesus. We can only keep our works inspired if we are sitting at the feet at Jesus. Our efforts must therefore not be towards fabricating works that ought to come from sitting at the feet of Jesus but towards remaining at the feet of Jesus. All else will follow suit. It would then become like limiting your understanding of Jesus to a few x number of things that He is and is not and working in accordance with that and not the real living Him. It does not, then, remain an animate faith and boils down to works not worthy. We should rather just abide in Him and let the Him in us speak for itself.
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