Good Folks, it is Friday, October 27, 2017. I came across this devotion from Archie Smith, Jr. some years ago that I want to share.
What Can Save Us Now? What can save us now is the distinction that James makes between a dead faith—faith without works—and a living faith that is always accompanied by works. We are not saved by faith alone. We are not saved by works alone. We are saved by faith and works conjoined.
Spirit, body, and mind must be kept together. In this way we engage the struggle that releases the deep implications of agape love in community. In this way we discover a major resource for mental, spiritual, and physical health.
Where do we find signs of the kind of faith that can save us now? They are embodied in the small acts of impartial, divine love that we can build upon. Faith with works can lift us beyond the confusion and conflicts of our time and help us discern the working of God’s hand, building the kingdom that is yet to be.
Archie Smith Jr.
Paul writes to the church in Ephesus these words, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. – Ephesians 2:8
There is a part of Archie Smith’s article that I struggle with. Although his James reference comes from chapter two, verses 14-26, and not making reference to God’s gift could make his article truthful. However, I believe that you must bring together Paul and James’ words to their respective communities of faith, whose words we have the pleasure of reading and believing. Yet, salvation is from God alone. Our response to God’s gift is our life-long journey. John Wesley called it “Grace.” Prevenient, Justifying and Sanctifying Grace.
Some experience God’s grace at the end of their lives: thief at the cross (Luke 23:43). Others may experience God’s grace early in life like the prophet Samuel (1Samuel 3).
Question: “Of every gift you have ever received, are any yet to be unwrapped? Are gifts to be put on a shelf and collect dust, or to be enjoyed for their purpose?” I am talking about the gift of salvation. I have received tools as birthday and Christmas gifts. Their purpose is to be used to build, repair and to be creative. Salvation comes from God as a gift from God for God’s ultimate purpose.
This Sunday, I will continue the sermon series on The Faith We Profess, Part III, I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church, Communion of Saints and the Forgiveness of Sins. I use Justo L. Gonzalez’s book, The Apostles’ Creed for Today as a reference. (Westminster John Knox Press)
You have been given this great gift. Go ahead and take in to your life. You will never-ever be the same. Praise God. See you Sunday. Invite someone to join you.
Blessings from Duncanville,