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Archive for April, 2014

I grew up in the church being taught that what you do, good works and good deeds, are very important. I’ve never questioned that teaching…until recently.

I began to wonder why works are stressed so much by the church. If we are living by grace, why do we need to worry about what we do?

Of course, after thinking about it and reasoning a while, I’ve come to some different conclusions.

Works, in regard to salvation, are not necessary. No matter what we do or don’t do, it doesn’t change how much God loves us, and it doesn’t have anything to do with our relationship with God.

So many people seem to think the whole Christian experience is based on how much we can do. All this does is put people on higher or lower levels in Christianity than others. Those who do many works sometimes look down on those who don’t do a lot and think lower of them. Those who don’t do a lot look up to those who are constantly busy and wish they could be more like them.

Do we really think people are positioned in God’s kingdom based on how much they do for God? After all, Jesus did all the work. He died so that we could be free and enjoy life in the kingdom.

Jesus wants us to be one with Him and one with each other. We are all equally important members of the body of Christ. When we focus on how many works we do each day, feeling obligated to do as much as we can, we end up being divided in the body of Christ.

In regard to our salvation, works do not make a difference whether we do a million good works or if we don’t do any.

Works make a difference when it comes to showing God’s love to those we meet throughout the day. The bible says to do our good works before men so that they would glorify our Father in heaven.

This type of works happens because of love. The Spirit living within us loves others and does the good works to show that love. There is nothing done out of obligation or rule keeping. When works are done out of necessity, they are basically dead works.

Works done through love by the power of God within us brings glory to the Father and shows His love to those around us.

Works will happen because we love the Father and because the Spirit dwells within us. If our works only come out of obligation or due to rule keeping, we might as well stop right now. If we do good works to earn our salvation, or make us feel like we are doing our part, we should stop and question our motives.

Jesus did all that was necessary and required for us to have a relationship with the Father. We can’t earn it or pay God back for it. We can accept the free gift of grace and enjoy living as one with God. Then let Him love others as His does the good works through us.

As with any part of our walk with God, it is because of love that we do anything. We are to be available anytime, anywhere for the Spirit to work through us.

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It’s sad that Christianity is divided into so many different groups. We all have a little different interpretation of the bible and a little different understanding of doctrine. Obviously we are not going to agree on everything, but we certainly should be able to love one another and accept each other even when we differ on these things.

It’s hard to understand why this is when God tells us we are to be one, as Jesus and the Father are one. Yet, we understand that we are human and it is easy to lose sight of our first love. If we could only stay focused on Christ, listening for his voice and the guidance of the Spirit, loving God and loving others as God intended, then we could look past our differences.

The problem seems to be that we are unwilling to see any other viewpoint other than our own. There are those such as my wife and I that do not attend an organized “church”. There are those who attend a “church” every time the doors are open. Some attend a house church, some meet with fellow believers at cafe’s, parks, restaurants and others meet in their homes over dinner. We should accept these differences and love one another rather than argue over who is right and who is wrong.

There really is not a right or wrong way to assemble together and we need to stop expecting everyone to do things exactly the same way. We should respect others viewpoints and focus on loving them rather than expecting them to see things ‘our way’.

Things will not change until we start focusing on what is common in our lives rather than the differences. The common focus should be on Christ, the head of the body. After that, we should focus on loving others rather than arguing about the differences in interpretation.

We also need to keep in mind that we are all constantly changing as God brings new truth to us. We are all learning and changing as we are ready to accept new truths. The interpretations I had five years ago are completely different from some of the interpretations I have now. I’m sure in another five years they will change again as God leads me into more truth.

Sometimes we are afraid to accept others interpretations because we feel if we do not hold to our way of thinking, we are compromising and not standing up for what we believe. We do not have to give up how we interpret the bible, but neither should we think everyone else is wrong. Besides, we really are not responsible for convicting people of sin, or leading them into truth, or even saving them. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. We are told to love God and love others.

When we realize we are each equally important functioning parts of the body, and Christ is the head, we can start to change how we feel about those who don’t see things exactly the way we do. We can begin to accept our brothers and sisters in Christ as they are, as we realize we are walking as one with God together.

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This post was a Guest Post at Gods Leader
You can view it at http://godsleader.com/healing-division-in-the-church/

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Here’s a list of bloggers contributing posts related to ‘Healing the Divides’ for April on Synchroblog:

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