Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Balance of Love and Knowledge, of Faith and Works.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thin heart:(Proverbs 3:3)

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (Philippians 1:9)

Here, once again, we see a balance. We see love coupled with judgment, with knowledge. To lean strongly on one is likely to lead you to ignore the other. We must balance ourselves. To defer to love too much can lead to a tolerance of sin, but to go to knowledge and judgment without love can turn into legalism very quickly. And God doesn't just want our actions, He doesn't just want our works, rather He wants our hearts.

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)

Christ Himself spoke these words during His earthly ministry in response to the Pharisees's legalism. This of course is not to say that we ignore the actions and doctrine, because to do so will bring us back into a problem of tolerance and complacency of sin. We must be balanced, and by God's grace we will learn to be...If we will let Him show us the sin that is buried within our own hearts.

We see this very balance within the book of James. We are saved by grace through faith. I don't believe you can even attempt to claim being a Christian and deny this very fact. But James says that our faith must produce a change within our hearts which will then produce a change in our approach to the world. If there has been no change in our hearts, if our faith cannot produce any kind of fruit what good is it?

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (James 2:14)

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)

And so we see a balance, yet again. We are saved by grace through faith, but that faith is of little use if it does not produce a change in the life of the person.

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