DEVOTION:Where is Your Work Produced By Faith?
In verse 3, Paul begins to give reasons why he said, “ We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers” I Thessalonians 1:2.
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 1:3
This is a list of foundational qualities of a genuine believer. We will see more of these qualities in this letter to the Thessalonians. Let us begin with the first quality.
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith,
What does Paul mean by your work produced by faith? Is he talking about works that save? Definitely not, because he clarifies that no man can be saved by works in the books of Romans and Galatians. Take note of what he told the Christians in Ephesus:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
What Paul is teaching about is the evidence of genuine faith. In other words, genuine faith is active. It will produce works. You cannot earn salvation through good works but rather good works verify the reality or existence of saving faith.
The Apostle James in clarifying the importance of works produced by faith uses the following strong words:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17
Notice what James says in the last verse – faith without works is dead. That is, if one claims to have faith and does not have works, then, he definitely does not possess the faith he or she claims to have.
In our passage, Paul shows that the Christians in Thessalonica had genuine faith because their faith produced works. As clearly illustrated in the above passage from the book of James, these works are righteous deeds, which flow out of obedience to the commands or instructions from God. These are actions that can only be done by those who are obedient to the God.
Believers are able to do this because they are guided and directed to do so.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
This is why for believers to live a successful Christian life, they must live a life of obedience. Christ makes this clear in the gospel of John.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:5-7
In order for Christians to bear much fruit, they must be obedient to the instructions of Christ, “remain in me.” For we know not what to do but He who is in us and we in Him will guide us to where and what we should do. This is why true faith must result in the activity of obedience
In addition to this, salvation will produce holy conduct. The faith of these Christians in Thessalonica was seen in the drastic change in their lifestyles. They turned from worshipping idols to worship the true and only living God.
It is clear in these passages that true faith or saving faith will produce good works. For works will flow from saving faith. Good works must be present in the lives of those who profess faith in Christ. Otherwise that which they claim to have is nonexistent. But good works will flow from a true saving faith.
- Here is a question for you. Are you saved? Do you possess saving faith? If yes, where is the evidence that you are saved? Do you have works that flow from this faith?
- Can people tell that you are a true believer because of your work or do you have to go around trying to convince everyone that you are a Christian?
- It is important to point out here that sometimes what Christ will ask us to do is not easy. He might ask you to surrender the only thing you have to someone who is in need. Though this might be difficult, we must obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
- Since we know not what to do, we must be good students of the Bible in order to know what is expected of us. Therefore, read your Bible daily.
- Remember works before salvation are meaningless. But works after salvation verify the existence of true faith in Christ.
Genuine faith in Christ produces good works
True faith results in activities of obedience
For good works mark true believers
These works flow from their faith
To verify the existence of faith
But faith without works is
Not a true saving faith
For faith without
Are you saved? Then
WHERE IS YOUR WORK PRODUCED BY FAITH?
By Pastor Shadrack Ruto