To enter the kingdom of heaven you must be a doer. Talking the talk just doesn't cut it.
Matt 7:21 - 23 (NIV)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’This passage does not fit well with an easy believism attitude that says all you have to do is believe. There is obviously truth in the fact we are justified by faith.
Rom 5:1 (NIV)
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (NIV)But we can't rest too heavily on one side of the spectrum on this. James confirms actions are required.
James 2:24 (NIV)I want to also look at the context of this Matt 7:21 - 23 passage.
"You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."
Immediately before this is a warning about true and false prophets. The way to tell if someone is teaching correctly is to watch their actions. Watch their fruit. If they are not 'doing' right, be careful they likely are not teaching correctly either.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matt 7:15 - 20 NIV)Then following is another familiar passage about the wise and foolish builders. Making the point if you know what is right, you better be doing what is right.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matt 7:24-27 NIV)This is a great reminder for me recently. I can easily get caught up talking about the kingdom of God. But I find it harder to focus on living my faith. All someone needs to do is read my blog to know what I think. But is there fruit? What am I doing?
My wife graciously reminded me of this recently with this verse: 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NIV)
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power."Related Posts: