True faith in Christ leads to action.
What James, Paul, and Peter have detailed in their epistles was overwhelming agreement that faith is active, evident, and productive. And the reason it is so is because of who God is.
And so, through the lens of Scripture, we will see how and why faith is active through observing God, the Holy Spirit, and His believers. And we will also see that faith is accompanied by other virtues, active and fruitful in design, and confirmation of the Lord working within us.
God, in His glory, uses Earth as a footstool for His feet (Isaiah 66:1) because Earth cannot support the full weight of Him. In fact, His glory is so immense that He cannot be confined to a humanly place, image, or idea.
He is without limits, without barriers, without error. Yet, He has decided to work through us- to call us His holy temples and have His Spirit dwell within the confines of our own bodies.
Why? Because God is love (1 John 4:16), and because of Him the impossible is possible- we are transformed from murderers to prophets like Moses, persecutors to apostles like Paul, and the dead to life like Lazarus.
When we become believers in Christ, our loving and uncontainable God gives us His powerful Spirit to dwell within us. And proof of this power, throughout the book of Acts, was newly converted Christians having active faith immediately upon receiving the Holy Spirit.
So much so that they testified of Christ under heavy persecution (Acts 5:17-40), sold their property to support one another (Acts 4:32-37), engaged in fellowship and prayer constantly (Acts 2:42), prepared meals and washed wounds (Acts 16:33-34), and started churches in their own homes (Acts 17:5-7). They had so much expressed faith that it had become known everywhere (1 Thessalonians 1:8), spreading the gospel of Christ to others.
Active faith is just one of the evidences of God. In Galatians 5:22, […] the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit […].
Simply put, God did not design faith to be stagnant nor solitary; it is accompanied by the other expressions of the fruit of the Spirit. So faith works cohesively and actively with joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and strength to testify of God and His sovereignty within us.
This fruit shows us what real love looks like, how it tastes, and what it produces. In other words, it shows us what God looks like, His richness, and His fruitfulness.
Therefore, the more He works through us, the more we bear His likeness. And, in essence, we become more magnificent, rich, and fruitful just like He is.
So let me pause and ask this question: have you ever eaten fruit that was beautiful on the outside and bitter on the inside? Have you met any Christians like this?
Sadly, I have. If a deed or act is not expressed in love, it is not from the Father (1 Corinthians 13).
God’s love is not growing within them, transforming them, or testifying of His existence to others. Instead, there is pride, bitterness, and other sins stunting growth and even causing them to rot, spiritually.
Our life’s mission as Christians should be expressing the fruit of His Spirit more and more every day. In order to do this, we need to seek God as often as possible through prayer, worship, and the study of His Word.
For the longer we have been believers in Christ, the juicier our fruit needs to become and the more it should produce. Because fruit wasn’t meant to just look pretty on a tree; it was created to nourish others and produce more of itself.
The same goes for the fruit of the Spirit- God’s love is meant to feed others and grow disciples. We see this when someone wholeheartedly praises, prays, and serves others in Christ throughout every season of his or her life.
Specifically, we see God’s love at work when a believer patiently takes the time and effort to correct another in error. And when he or she has peace, joy, and thankfulness in God even in the wake of a lost loved one.
Let me reemphasize: God’s love is not pretty and pointless. And this statement extends to the varied expressions of His love as well (see Galatians 5:22).
God’s love is powerful, active, transforming, and redeeming. And it’s the fruit of His Spirit that declares this truth.
In the world, believers may not have much in the way of wealth, success, or popularity. We may suffer more, give more, and receive little.
But in Christ, we have everything we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). And He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), which is why we can still produce godly fruit throughout times of great testing, difficulty, and sadness.
And it’s how we can give kindness and love when others keep taking from us, and why we can have great strength through persecution in order to finish well in life. So yes, faith is very active, evident, and productive.
So, fellow believer, what does your fruit look like, taste like, and produce? Are you showing a smile on the outside, but bitterness and resentment on the inside?
Are you showing a well-groomed exterior, but rotting away with anxiety and depression? Our outward expressions should be testimonies of a real and unshakeable God residing within us, and not of anything or anyone else.
And our fruit should make others wonder what we are doing to make it so abundant and heavenly. By which, gives us an opportunity to speak of Jesus Christ in order for Him to produce fruit in their lives.
So, dear friend, take some time to evaluate your inner and outer self. What fruit are you producing?
In what ways could you seek God more in order to grow and thrive as a Christian? Maybe you could spend more time casting your cares upon Him throughout the day, or thanking Him in every situation, no matter good or bad.
Or perhaps you should just sit down, take a deep breath, and spend some much needed time in His Word. Because God wants us to be overjoyed, brimming with gladness, and excited to put His love into action, so that we may be as beautiful, as healthy, and as fruitful as He intended us to be!
Prayer of Repentance
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