Near the end of 1 Corinthians, as the Apostle Paul wraps up this letter to the church at Corinth, he provides what, on the surface, appears to be a rather straightforward set of instructions.
- 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.
However, this is not just a checklist of things to do. This is a call to Godly action by those who trust and serve Jesus Christ. This is a bold proclamation to the church that ‘Faith Works!’ Let’s dig deeper.
Faith Produces Vigilance. With anticipation, resolve, attentiveness and humility we watch:
For God to Work
- Psalm 111:2 The works of the Lord are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them.
For Christ to Come
- 1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
- From the Flesh – Our Human Nature
- Romans 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
- From the World – Our Fallen Surroundings
- 1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
- From Satan – Our Great Adversary
- 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
But we don’t just watch; we respond with the desire and intention of honoring God in all circumstances. We work for His glory!
Faith Produces Stability. Our lives are built on Christ – He is preeminent. We work hard to keep Him at the center or our lives; grounded in His Word.
- Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
We may experience troubles, doubts and failures; but as we work, we stay centered on Him. We never walk away.
Faith Produces Courage. Serving the Lord means facing incredible odds with confidence in Him.
- Hebrews 11:33-34 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
The work of a Christian is rarely comfortable. Whether the battles are spiritual, physical, emotional or intellectual, we don His armor, engage in the battle and trust Him for the results.
Faith Produces Power. Our strength is made perfect in weakness. Surrendering to Him means victory.
- Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
The work of God requires the power of God.
Do All that You Do With Love
Faith Produces Love. Without true love, it is all meaningless.
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
No matter what we say; no matter what we have; no matter what we do; if our works are not motivated and empowered by Biblical love, they are of no eternal value.
Jesus’ brother James makes the relationship between genuine faith in Christ and good works very clear.
- James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
And we read in Ephesians that God did His saving work in our lives so that we can complete the work He already planned for us.
- Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
So How About It – Is Your Faith Working?
Loving and gracious Father in Heaven, may the faith of Your people result in the completion of the works You have prepared us for. Never let us confuse works resulting from salvation with working for salvation. You saved us because You love us – this is something we didn’t deserve and could never earn. But now we can show our love for, appreciation of, and faith in You by obediently completing the work You have placed before us; all for Your glory! I humbly make these requests in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.