Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Love and Faith Require Obedience

The common denominator of “faith” and “love” is obedience, or action that expresses the love and that validates the faith. Without the obedience, “love” is not a big word; it is a cheap word. It is just a word and not a very good word at that. The more we use the word, the less it means. It has less and less value. It is a prime example of word infatuation. The more we love as Christ loved the more it means. Loving increases the value of love. Saying “I love you” often decreases its value.

It’s the same with faith.

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” James 2:14

Saying the word “faith” is no evidence of faith. In fact, it may be less than faith or a substitute for faith.

Recently, I was talking with a young man who said that he loved God with all his heart. He also talked of his strong faith: When we talked about the reading of the Word of God and obeying God he seemed to be absent. He told me that he loved God and he had faith, what more was necessary? He had convinced himself. In truth, he had neither love nor faith.

It is not possible to love without a giving expression. Love requires an object and love requires expression. However, it is possible to have an action without love and to convince ourselves it is love.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

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