Faith Which Worketh By Love

Galatians 5:6 reads “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Notice this verse teaches it takes at least three things to avail with (to be pleasing to) God.

First is faith. If there is anything the New Testament teaches, it teaches faith is necessary to our salvation …

· Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

· John 8:24 “I said … unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

· John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The second thing listed by Gal 5:6 as being necessary to pleasing God is works. Did you notice that none of the above faith passages say that we are saved by “faith alone”? Gal 5:6 says that “faith which worketh” is what avails, not faith alone. Other passages confirm this …

· I Pet 1:22a “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth …”

· Heb 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

· Matt 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

And lastly, love is required. I suppose it is possible for a person to have a faith which works, but not have love. Gal 5:6 shows that doesn’t avail in the sight of God either. We must have the right motivation for whatever we do in our service to God and man …

· John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

· I Cor 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. 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. 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.” (NKJV)

· Eph 4:15a “But speaking the truth in love …”

Conclusion: So Gal 5:6 makes it clear that all three traits (faith, works, and love) are necessary to us being pleasing to God, our salvation.  We know many people around us who only have faith. They talk about their belief in God, but their daily life is like anybody else in the world.  Some of those even have love for others. They are good at helping others in need, but they are not careful to follow God’s word in many of its particulars (John 8:31-32 – “Then said Jesus … If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”).  And we all know some who have faith and works, but don’t do it out of love (Eph 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”).  I think the song “Trust And Obey” sums it up pretty well.

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