Devotional Blog

Guest- Ryan Minner- Not saved by works but created for them

Faith without works is dead. We have heard this thousands of times, especially if you have grown up in the Church. But, what does this truly mean? Am I saved? Or am I deceiving myself?

In James chapter 2, James writes about faith and how without works it is dead. This seems to contradict Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” But, in all reality they are two sides of the same coin. Both James and Paul would agree that salvation is by grace through faith, with works not the basis of salvation, but the necessary result of true saving faith.

Some common sayings that matches this in today’s language are, “Talk is cheap” or “Actions speak louder than words” or “You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk.” These are not just mere expressions; they are truth statements.

Claiming to know Christ, and claiming him as Lord is simply not enough. Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the WILL of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you, depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” And in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and not do what I tell you?”

The American Evangelical Church is packed full of seemingly converted people. People who profess Christ, grew up in Church, or in a Christian family and seem to think that they are saved. But, have never truly come to saving faith in Jesus. My mentor was one of these people for 46 years of his life. And this is the worst place to be. Because you think you are safe, and you are not.

This is by no means a blog written to get you to doubt your faith. But, maybe to question it? Maybe to get you thinking about it. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves, as it says in 2 Corinthians 13. Ask yourself, “Do my actions truly reflect who I say I am?”

I was one of these people for 25 years of my life. I said the name Jesus when it benefited me and denied him when it didn’t. I sprayed on my Jesus cologne when I needed it, and changed shirts when I didn’t. I wore a mask everywhere I went because I was hiding who I was on the inside. A person with deception, deep sorrow and pain. I sold my life for over 10 years, on the alters of sexual immorality and lust, alcohol, and pills. Full of hate, anger, resentment, and rage. My life was completely focused on me, me, me. So, I speak from a place of understanding self-deception. I once walked in those shoes, I once wore those masks, I once talked the talk and didn’t walk the walk, and I once pretended to be someone I was not, everywhere I went.

Sadly, it took me losing everything, and I do mean everything, except my own life, to finally call out to God. God took everything from me, to humble me, to the point where I would come to saving faith in him. God looked down at me and said “I want that man.”

I don’t care who you are, what you have done, or how far gone you think you are. God is pursuing you right here, right now. He is looking at you with his eyes of compassion and mercy, Gods love never fails, and He wants you. His Grace is free.

So, where are you men? Where are you Saints? Where are you leaders and proclaimers of the faith? What has stolen your attention? What has stolen your action? Is it Pornography? Is it laziness? Maybe its videogames, maybe it’s something as simple as not reading your Bible daily.

Jesus calls us to “GO,” Jesus calls us to proclaim, Jesus calls us to Holy living. Not to the things of the world that rob our Confidence, Courage, and Power. Jesus does not want men who say they love him and then never serve him. Jesus does not want men that say they are a husband and a father, and never disciple their wife and kids. Jesus wants soldiers. And soldiers are always prepared, and always on guard.

Men, who are willing to put Jesus first. Men, who are willing to give up Television to grow in the Word of God. Men, who don’t just say they believe, but who prove, they believe. Men, who Act. Men, who desire God. Men, who stand up for Justice and Truth.

Are you one of these men? Are you one of these men who have come to saving faith in Jesus and are willing to do what Jesus commands us to do? Are you willing to act? Jesus does not want much, He just wants a heart that is willing. Are you willing?

The Great Commission is this, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19.

James is saying that “Actions speak louder than words,” God is saying that if you truly are saved, that you will serve, that you will act, that you will produce works. You are not saved by works, but created for them.

This is a call to action.

A call to get up off the couch, a call to put down the video games, a call to stop scrolling on Facebook, a call to turn your eyes from the lusts of the world, a call to stop killing time, a call to not love the world, but to love God, and to serve him. A call for you to go seek and save the lost. “The Gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone that believes.” Romans 1:16. When was the last time you shared it?

The most beautiful thing about God is, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. Right here, right now, you can tell God you are sorry. Right here, where you are, you can choose to serve the creator and sustainer of the Universe. You can serve God, where you are, with what you have.

Can you imagine if the Sovereign God of the Universe said “I love you,” to all of humanity but, never stepped into time? Imagine Jesus said “I love you” but, never took on human form to walk amongst us. Imagine Jesus said “I love you” but, never went to the cross, to die for sinners like you and me. Imagine Jesus said “I love you” but, never acted. His words would have been nothing more, than just dead words.

Prepare for war men, because you are in one. Whether you like it or not. You will choose a side, or be forced to choose. You will kneel, or you will be forced to kneel.

The big question is, are you saved? Or are you self-deceived?

Will you act, or continue acting?

Ryan Minner
Guest Discerning Dad


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