Last Sunday a verse in Galatians really popped out to me.
“…what really matters is faith working through love.” Galatians 5:6b (HCS)
The preacher brought this up in his sermon and then we talked about it more on Sunday night. It really got me thinking…What would church look like if we took this seriously?
So many things we place such high importance upon don’t fit. Not that certain practices and traditions aren’t valuable. But when you really think about it, how many times do we find ourselves arguing, debating, and consuming our time with things that don’t involve “faith working through love”?
What does instrumental music have to do with faith, love, or action? Women’s roles? The manner in which we take the Lord’s Supper? Whether we meet in a building or not? What version of the Bible we use?
It’s up to you to decide whether these are issues worth fighting about. Each one of us must decide what belongs within the model of “faith working through love.”
As for me, I will choose to measure each church practice using this criteria.
1. Faith is essential. We must believe in and love God. No question about it. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
2. But we must show that faith somehow. James says that faith without action is dead. Our faith in God must be lived out, not just thought about. We must show our faith by our actions. (James 2:18)
3. Finally, our actions must be motivated by love. Love for God, for fellow believers, and for all humanity. Not out of obligation or tradition, but out of love. This is how people will know that we follow Christ. (John 13:35)
Faith, Love, Action. This is what matters. Now decide for yourselves which issues fit this criterion and which ones don’t.