Gal. 6:14 says in the NIV, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
While we are in the world but not of the world, we are challenged to express our faith through works. The challenge is what type of works express faith.
James 1: 26 says, “Faith without works is dead. But let’s analyze that scripture by looking at the entire passage that starts with James 1:18. James 1:18 – 22 says, “18But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?”
The challenge we should address is, “What are ‘works of faith?’” Well we know that our faith is explained wonderfully in John 3:16-18 16“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
So the foundation of our faith is the belief that “salvation only comes through Jesus Christ’s work on the Cross, whereby His suffering and death is the substitutionary payment and wages for our sins.
The goal is to have our “faith working through our works. Only through those types of works, is faith perfected. James 1:24 says “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” This only is possible if the work is an active expression of faith. Remember Jesus said in Matt 7:23 that many will come to me saying, “Lord I did works in Your name,” and Jesus will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
The causes to which we attach our identity, such as feminism, social justice, sustainability or racism only are works of faith if they line up with what the Bible says are ways to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Otherwise they are works that have replaced faith – not works that are expressing it.
Serving these human causes by participating in government sponsored initiatives that forbid us to share our faith in Christ is a dead-work in the name of faith. Christ came to set us free. The man-made cause ultimately leaves those it serves bound in sin. Let’s not be deceived. Only bringing people to salvation is Christ is what lifts them up in Liberty.