Matters of Faith: What Are You Willing To Do?

Cross made out of palm fronds.

Psalm 15:1-5 (CEV)

“Who may stay in God’s temple or live on the holy mountain of the Lord? Only those who obey God and do as they should. They speak the truth and don’t spread gossip; they treat others fairly and don’t say cruel things. They hate worthless people, but show respect for all who worship the Lord. And they keep their promises, no matter what the cost. They lend their money without charging interest, and they don’t take bribes to hurt the innocent. Those who do these things will always stand firm.”
James 1:19-22 (NKJV)

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God .21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Just as important as knowing what to do, it is critically important to know what not to do. Both the Psalm writer and the Apostle James writes about the need to be about the business of doing good works and services that glorify God. Those works are labeled by both writers as works of righteousness.

Sandwiched between their words of guidance is the unwritten conjunction, “but.” In this instance, this unwritten word shifts attention from righteous work performed for good, to activities and behaviors that are unrighteousness. As an example, the Psalm writer says that the righteous do not backbite, but the unrighteous do. The righteous do no evil to his neighbor, but the unrighteous do. He sums up his writing with the statement that those who do works of righteousness will not be moved. On the flip side, those who do unrighteous works, stand on slippery slopes. What are you willing to do?

James says that man’s wrath produces works of unrighteousness. It becomes our decision whether or not we will do those things that produce good works or those which are unrighteous. According to both writers, our works either bless (righteous) or they condemn (unrighteous). James says that the works of righteousness are able to save our souls.

You’ve heard it all before. But James writes that hearing is not enough. We have to be ”doers of the word, and not hearers only.” To be clear, we are saved by faith alone (Ephesians‬ ‭2:8‬‬), but works are the evidence of the salvation we so graciously enjoy. So, the real question is, “What are you willing to do?

Be Blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and watch the live simulcast. You can email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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