Friday, August 06, 2010

Faith and Works

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Mark 2:5,8 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. . . . And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?"
This is a great story! A man "sick of the palsy" had a need, and his four friends brought him to Jesus. The difficulty came when the crowd was too large to carry this sick man to the Lord, but these four friends weren't discouraged-they went to work on the roof and lowered their friend through the hole they had made!
Verse 6 tells us that some of the scribes reasoned in their hearts-they did not speak out loud. They were critical of the Lord Jesus and thought to themselves, "Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?" It is true that only God can forgive sins-no pastor, priest, or person can do that-but they obviously did not believe that Jesus Christ was "God only." However, the Lord Jesus "perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves. . . ." How did Jesus know what they were thinking? Because He is God!
With that in mind, what caught my attention is found in verse 5: "When Jesus saw their [the four friends'] faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy. . . ." How did Jesus see their faith? It was not because Jesus is God, although He is; He saw their faith because of their works in verses 1-4! They were not discouraged, they tore the roof off, and they lowered their friend down-that is how Jesus saw their faith.
Faith and works are not the same thing, although they are related. If these friends had depended on tearing off a roof for the man to be healed, that is works. But if tearing off the roof and lowering their friend down are because of their faith, that is something altogether different! Jesus perceived the scribes' hearts because He is God; He saw the friends' faith because of their works. We ought remember today that our actions need to be driven by our faith.

Prayer Requests
- Safety for summer staff traveling home
Camp Quote: 
"You don't forgive someone because they were right; you forgive them to be Christ-like." (Ephesians 4:32)
-Dr. Glen Jaspers
Visit our website for more information about our summer camp weeks!
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

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