Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From Joel's Podcast

Heard a great point from a podcast that is about 3 years old now -

"The opposite of fear is love" You want proof?
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

"The opposite of faith is works" Proof? Read the New Testament! ;-)


Gary Sparrow said...

Some would say the proof of faith is works.

James 2:18 "18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works"

John Fincher said...

Yes, works COME FROM faith, not the other way around.

I'm afraid though, that most people believe that works PRODUCE faith.

Only God, and perhaps the honest believer, can tell the difference.

Adam S. said...

I disagree that works (done out of faith) and faith that are opposite. Love drives out fear, but certainly faith does not drive out works, rather it gives rise to them.

But I do understand what I think you mean, and I might phrase it: "Faith in God is the opposite of faith in one's one works." And here we see the exact parallelism: for faith in God, though it gives rise to works done out of faith, certainly does drive out our faith and pride in the power of our own works.

Is that what you meant or do I misunderstand?

John Fincher said...

Adam, you have to understand my background, i.e. the Independent Baptist mindset.

In it, after one is saved, he/she is told to "get involved". That entails "being faithful to services", "tithing", "joining a ministry", ad nauseam.

All I am saying is that, in this mindset, all of the ACTIVITY (re: works)begin to take precedence over the Relationship/relationships.

My recurring theme is this - I now believe that our "works" flow out of the abundance and overflow of the Holy Spirit which we receive and depend upon by FAITH.

It's the old question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Or, to put it another way, "What came first, the faith or the works?"

The answer to the question is, of course, the "chicken"!

Adam S. said...

I absolutely understand that, but I don't think someone in that mindset is going to read and make sense of a statement like "works are the opposite of faith." If the seed of faith is already there but their judgement has been influenced by pride in their own works, what can God say through us to them?

In the Gospels we find plenty of parables which provide concrete statements of the point you are trying to make. (The prodigal son's brother and the workers in the vinyard.) I think the language in those parables is understandable to someone with a works-centered faith life and might move them to consider God's grace:

"Everything I have is yours!" is certainly the beginning of seeing the grace of faith and the unearnable privileged of sonship.

"Are you envious because I am generous? The last will be first, and the first will be last" is the beginning of putting aside pride in one's works and judgment of others'.