Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why Work?

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I work many hours each week in ministry. I'm not an overly faithful servant of the Lord, so I don't want you to hear any such bragging in this post.

I spend a lot of time talking here at this blog divorcing Good Works from the process of Eternal Salvation. Why? Because Eternal Salvation truly is free to us. Truly. Not just in some complicated "mystery" way that we "can't really understand." Surely not in some way that makes God look like a liar when He declares it as a "gift." Eternal Salvation is truly free.

So why do I work. Why am I sitting at this computer while I can hear my wife cleaning the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon when I truly desire to just hang out with her for a while? Why? Because the time is short.

It happens SO often here (and elsewhere) that someone I'm talking with will be trying to make everything in the Bible about Eternal Salvation. Then when I tell them that the Gospel is the Gospel and everything else is everything else they accuse me of not being mindful of the full counsel of God. We saw this here this past week in a comment I felt I had to delete.

The Dispensational "view" of the Scriptures truly does allow one to see the full counsel of God and to properly obey it. See I know that my works don't show that I'm saved, for there are unsaved people who do the same things I do. I know that when I'm not working that this is no more an indication of my salvation than my work is. So why work?

Well first, I'm not looking to impress anyone. Not myself, not God, and not you. What I do know is that the Church (of which I am securely part) has been given a clear and all important mission. Mark 16:15 I also know that the time is very short. I know that the Church has a narrow window of time to accomplish this mission. I'm doing my part.

How is my faith involved? I know that the Lord will provide for my needs. I know that if I do what He says to do that He'll take care of the things that need to be taken care of. This is how faith played in the works of the "Heroes of the Faith" in Hebrews 11. They were willing to do the things God asked them because they trusted him. Doing them wasn't trusting, it was their trust that allowed them to do them.

The walk of a disciple is FAR from easy, but the only risk is loosing that which you don't need. Why work? Because God is telling me to. I don't have to, but I can. If I don't I will suffer correction - believe me I am WELL experienced in this department.

Which gets me to the TRUE reason I work - the Lord has disciplined me.

I want to be clear: I don't work because I'm saved. I don't work because of some great gratitude that I have. I don't work because I've been transformed into Super-Christian. I work because the Lord by His Holy Spirit has disciplined me. This includes the full knowledge of my ability to sin and my need to walk by HIS power Gal 5:16. I'm new in Christ, but my flesh is the same old stinky junk it was the moment before I came to faith.

I don't work because I'm a Christian. Because I'm a Christian the Lord has disciplined me, and this IN MY CASE has resulted in some small measure of maturity that results in some small measure of work.

Great runners are not fast because they agreed to become runners. Great runners are developed by great coaches, but not every runner who signs up to be trained attains the same level.

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