God Responds to Our Faith, Not Our Actions
Introduction to “God Responds to Our Faith Not Our Actions”
The topic of today’s sermon at Lifehouse Adelaide is related to the title of this blog – God responds to faith, not actions.
Faith is an integral aspect of Christian belief. The invisible thread binds us to God, the foundation upon which our relationship with Him is built. While actions are undeniably crucial in demonstrating our faith, it’s the faith itself that genuinely resonates with God. The Bible, a treasure trove of wisdom and guidance, is replete with verses that underscore the importance of faith over mere actions. Let’s delve deeper into this concept, exploring the biblical evidence that supports the idea that God responds more to our faith than our actions.
Understanding Faith and Actions
James 2:17 poignantly states, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.“ At first glance, this might seem contradictory to our title. However, a closer examination reveals a profound truth. Actions, while important, are hollow without the foundation of faith. Faith is the driving force, the heart, and the soul of our spiritual journey. Actions, on the other hand, are the external manifestations of this inner faith. Without faith as their backbone, actions are merely ritualistic, devoid of deeper spiritual significance.
It’s essential to understand that faith and actions are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they are intertwined, with faith being the root and actions the fruit. A tree without roots cannot bear fruit, and similarly, actions without faith are empty gestures.
Abraham: The Epitome of Faith
Abraham, often referred to as the Father of Faith, is a prime example of how faith takes precedence over actions. Romans 4:3 recounts, “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.‘” This profound statement emphasizes that it was Abraham’s unwavering faith in God that was deemed as righteousness. His subsequent actions, such as his willingness to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, were borne out of this deep-rooted faith. It wasn’t the mere act of obedience that God responded to; Abraham’s steadfast faith truly resonated with Him.
Abraham’s journey with God was filled with moments of faith, from leaving his homeland to waiting years for the promise of a son. His faith remained unshaken through every trial and tribulation, making him a beacon of faith for generations to come.
The Centurion’s Unwavering Faith
The New Testament provides another compelling example of faith taking precedence over actions. In Matthew 8:5-13, we encounter a Roman centurion, an unlikely figure, approaching Jesus with a plea to heal his ailing servant. When Jesus offers to visit his home and heal the servant, the centurion humbly responds in verse 8, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.“ This profound statement of faith leaves Jesus marveling. In verse 10, He exclaims, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.“ The centurion’s servant experiences healing that very hour. This story underscores that it wasn’t the centurion’s status, actions, or deeds that moved Jesus; it was his unwavering faith.
Despite his position of power and authority, the centurion recognized the divine authority of Jesus. His humility and faith are lessons for all believers, reminding us that faith transcends status, power, and deeds.
Salvation: A Gift of Faith, Not a Reward for Works
The concept of salvation in Christianity is intrinsically tied to faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 explains this: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.“ These verses prove that salvation isn’t a reward we earn through deeds. Instead, it’s a divine gift graciously bestowed upon us due to our faith. No amount of good deeds can guarantee salvation if they aren’t rooted in genuine faith.
The entire narrative of salvation, from the fall of man to redemption through Jesus Christ, revolves around faith. It’s a call to believe in the unseen, to trust in God’s plan, and to accept His grace through faith.
The Woman with the Issue of Blood: A Testament to Faith’s Power
Another poignant biblical account that underscores the power of faith is found in Mark 5:25-34. Here, we meet a woman plagued by a bleeding ailment for twelve years. Despite her condition, she harbors a deep-seated belief that merely touching Jesus’ cloak would grant her healing. Upon doing so, Jesus immediately senses the power emanating from Him and seeks the person responsible. The woman, realizing her actions, approaches Jesus. In verse 34, He reassures her, saying, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” This narrative emphasizes that it wasn’t just the physical act of touching Jesus that brought her healing; it was her unwavering faith.
This story is a testament to the transformative power of faith. It reminds us that our faith can bring about miracles even in our moments of desperation and despair.
The Just Shall Live by Faith: A Recurring Biblical Theme
Habakkuk 2:4 is a profound proclamation: “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.“ This sentiment is so pivotal that it’s reiterated multiple times in the New Testament. It serves as a clarion call for believers, emphasizing that our righteousness and spiritual vitality are anchored in our faith. Actions, while important, are secondary to this foundational faith.
Throughout history, many believers have faced persecution, trials, and tribulations. Yet, it was their unwavering faith that saw them through these challenges. Their lives testify to the truth that they shall live by faith.
Wrapping up “God Responds to Our Faith Not Our Actions”
In wrapping up, it’s evident that while actions play a pivotal role in our spiritual journey, faith forms the bedrock of our relationship with God. Through various narratives and teachings, the Bible consistently underscores that God’s response is more attuned to our faith than mere actions. When devoid of faith, actions are akin to a body without a spirit — lifeless and devoid of essence. As believers, our primary focus should be on nurturing and deepening our faith, ensuring that our actions genuinely reflect this faith rather than empty rituals.
Please leave a comment about your thoughts.
Click here for additional information about this site.