Scriptures: James 2:14-18; John 3:16-18
Our sermon series during the fall is called Parallax. A parallax is when two people are looking at the exact same thing, but they are seeing it in completely different ways. The goal of this series is to explore how this is true of the Bible. This Sunday, Judy and I will be preaching about one of the most visceral disagreements in the New Testament—is a person saved by what they believe (their faith) or are they saved by what they do (their works)?
The term faith is defined as believing in something that cannot be proven. So if you have faith in God, you believe in the existence of a God even though the existence of God cannot be proven. What this means is that faith is not a fact. Faith cannot be proven. Faith is not black and what, right or wrong. Faith is the tension between what can be proven and what is unknown.
The term works, on the other hand, are your actions in the world. Specifically, the actions you undertake as a result of your belief in God. Works are things you do because God asks you to do them. For example, the actions required of us in Matthew 25 are to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirst, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit those in prison. When you do those things, you are performing God’s work in the world.
So the question we are trying to answer is: when you die and stand before God, what is the criteria that God is going to use to determine whether or not you should be allowed into heaven? Is it what you believed about God/Jesus or what you did with your life? We look forward to seeing you on Sunday where we will be celebrating the Reformation and giving out Bible’s to our 3rd graders. We hope to see you there!