Archive for the ‘Works’ Category

November 8th, 2015

More than Lip-Service

“‘Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.’” Matthew 21:31 (ESV)

What kind of faith do you truly have? Is your faith transformative? Does it cause you to live differently in light of the knowledge of Christ and His atoning sacrifice? Or is your faith empty? How do you know? James, the brother of Jesus, gives us some insight into the answer to this question in his New Testament work writing, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14 ESV). Is James saying that works are a necessary part to a truly saving faith? No. He is saying, however, that true faith leads to obedience, working for the Kingdom of God.

In the “Parable of the Two Sons” in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus essentially says the same thing to the chief priests and elders who are questioning His authority. These religious men may have the appearance of true faith, but their lack of obedience in spite of their language proves their heart is not fully devoted to the Lord. They say they love the Lord and will obey Him, yet they never truly act in alignment with their “faith,” meaning that it is dead. True faith transforms us and leads us to action.

Christianity in America is in a dangerous place, composed of millions who claim a saving faith but relatively few who live out the gospel. Are you truly obedient? Are you truly driven to serve your Heavenly Father? Or is your Christianity more “lip-service” than substance? Commit today to serve the Lord, affirming your faith by your actions for the good of those around you and the glory of God.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 8th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Matthew, Obedience, Works.
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November 6th, 2014

Salvation That Works

“Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works.” James 2:20-22 (ESV)

Your good works will not produce salvation. If only you could work your way to heaven! Then the challenge would be knowing how much work would be required by God for you to deserve entrance into heaven. How would you know if you have done enough to get there? What if you almost made it, but fell short by one good deed? Fortunately, God does not base your salvation on your works.

The Bible does not present a works salvation, but a salvation that works. You cannot work for your salvation, but your salvation will be evidenced by good works. In response to God’s gracious gift of salvation, you will want to express your appreciation to God through deeds of righteousness. Your deeds will not produce righteousness, but your righteousness in Christ will produce righteous deeds. Your “want to” changes as a result of your salvation.

  • “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:21 (ESV)
  • “Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” 1 John 3:24 (ESV)

Your salvation is a gift from God and is marked by a life of obedience.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Grace, Works.
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November 3rd, 2014

Obvious Faith

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” James 2:14 (ESV)

You can profess Christ and not possess Christ. What does it take for a person to be saved? Is it possible to have saving faith without deeds? Will my faith be demonstrated by my deeds? So many have embraced an “easy believism” theology which can produce a false sense of security. You can spend your entire life on the earth thinking that you are saved and in reality, be lost.

  • “‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’” Matt. 7:21 (ESV)
  • “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet. 1:10-11 (ESV)

Your eternal destiny is determined by how you respond to God’s offer of salvation found in Christ alone. Knowing about Christ is not sufficient for salvation. You must know Christ personally through faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross.

Take inventory of your spiritual condition. Don’t rely on feelings. Trace your steps and identify the moment you had a life-changing experience. Clarify your conversion experience. When did you come to realize your sin and your need for God’s forgiveness? When you did acknowledge that Jesus is God’s Son and the only way to heaven? When did you receive God’s gift of eternal life?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Grace, Works.
Interact No Comments
November 8th, 2012

More than Lip-Service

“‘Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.’” Matthew 21:31 (ESV)

What kind of faith do you truly have? Is your faith transformative? Does it cause you to live differently in light of the knowledge of Christ and His atoning sacrifice? Or is your faith empty? How do you know? James, the brother of Jesus, gives us some insight into the answer to this question in his New Testament work writing, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14 ESV). Is James saying that works are a necessary part to a truly saving faith? No. He is saying, however, that true faith leads to obedience, working for the Kingdom of God.

In the “Parable of the Two Sons” in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus essentially says the same thing to the chief priests and elders who are questioning His authority. These religious men may have the appearance of true faith, but their lack of obedience in spite of their language proves their heart is not fully devoted to the Lord. They say the love the Lord and will obey Him, yet they never truly act in alignment with their “faith,” meaning that it is dead. True faith transforms us and leads us to action.

Christianity in America is in a dangerous place, composed of millions who claim a saving faith but relatively few who live out the gospel. Are you truly obedient? Are you truly driven to serve your Heavenly Father? Or is your Christianity more “lip-service” than substance? Commit today to serve the Lord, affirming your faith by your actions for the good of those around you and the glory of God.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 305:  Matthew 20-21)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Matthew, Obedience, Works.
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November 6th, 2010

Salvation That Works

“You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” James 2:20-22 (NIV)

Your good works will not produce salvation. If only you could work your way to heaven! Then the challenge would be knowing how much work would be required by God for you to deserve entrance into heaven. How would you know if you have done enough to get there? What if you almost made it, but fell short by one good deed? Fortunately, God does not base your salvation on your works.

The Bible does not present a works salvation, but a salvation that works. You cannot work for your salvation, but your salvation will be evidenced by good works. In response to God’s gracious gift of salvation, you will want to express your appreciation to God through deeds of righteousness. Your deeds will not produce righteousness, but your righteousness in Christ will produce righteous deeds. Your “want to” changes as a result of your salvation.

  • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)
  • “Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” 1 John 3:24 (NIV)

Your salvation is a gift from God and is marked by a life of obedience.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 6th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Grace, Works.
Interact No Comments
November 3rd, 2010

Obvious Faith

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” James 2:14 (NIV)

You can profess Christ and not possess Christ. What does it take for a person to be saved? Is it possible to have saving faith without deeds? Will my faith be demonstrated by my deeds? So many have embraced an “easy believism” theology which can produce a false sense of security. You can spend your entire life on the earth thinking that you are saved and in reality, be lost.

  • “‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’” Matt 7:21 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10-11 (NIV)

Your eternal destiny is determined by how you respond to God’s offer of salvation found in Christ alone. Knowing about Christ is not sufficient for salvation. You must know Christ personally through faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross.

Take inventory of your spiritual condition. Don’t rely on feelings. Trace your steps and identify the moment you had a life-changing experience. Clarify your conversion experience. When did you come to realize your sin and your need for God’s forgiveness? When you did acknowledge that Jesus is God’s Son and the only way to heaven? When did you receive God’s gift of eternal life?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Grace, Works.
Interact No Comments
June 15th, 2009

Salvation Works

“You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” James 2:20-22 (NIV)

Your good works will not produce salvation.

If only you could work your way to heaven! Then the challenge would be knowing how much work would be required by God for you to deserve entrance into heaven. How would you know if you have done enough to get there? What if you almost made it, but fell short by one good deed? Fortunately, God does not base your salvation on your works.

The Bible does not present a works salvation, but a salvation that works. You cannot work for your salvation, but your salvation will be evidenced by good works. In response to God’s gracious gift of salvation, you will want to express your appreciation to God through deeds of righteousness. Your deeds will not produce righteousness, but your righteousness in Christ will produce righteous deeds. Your “want to” changes as a result of your salvation.

  • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)
  • “Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” 1 John 3:24 (NIV)

Your salvation is a gift from God and is marked by a life of obedience.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Salvation, Works.
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July 14th, 2008

Faith Works (7)

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Phil 2:12-13 (NIV)

How does faith work?

Faith works through you. God works in you so that He can do a work through you. God’s heart is for the nations to worship Him. Can you see it? Imagine every person on planet earth from every language confessing Jesus as Lord and joining God in His redemptive activity. Imagine being so in tune with God’s work in you that you naturally allow God to work through you to touch the nations for His glory. As you pray, give, and go so that everyone may know of God’s love personally, the kingdom of God expands. The number of people delivered from the clutches of hell and placed in the kingdom of light multiplies as you faithfully allow God to work through you.

  • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
  • “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:10 (NIV)

You have been formed and fashioned by God to know Him personally through a saving relationship made possible by the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. Now that you know Him personally, make Jesus known. Give your life to expressing your faith in Jesus in such a way that those who don’t know Jesus will come to know Him personally. Let the faith that worked for you in salvation work in you and through you to bring others to a saving faith in Jesus. Does anything else really matter in light of eternity?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 14th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Deeds, Faith, Salvation, Works.
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July 13th, 2008

Faith Works (6)

“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4 (NIV)

How does faith work?

Faith works in you. God’s desire and design for you is to bring you to a point of maturity and completion. You are still in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. Each day, you are either becoming more like Christ or less like Christ. As John Eldredge says in his book, Walking with God, “We see the original and intended shape of our lives in Jesus.” Jesus is the model to follow.

  • “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” Col 4:12 (NIV)
  • “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Heb 5:13-14 (NIV)

God wants you to develop the faith He has placed inside of you. The orientation of your entire life is to be focused on growing spiritually and being used of God perpetually. Feed the faith planted in you by nurturing your walk with God daily. Your moment by moment awareness of God’s activity in you and around you will produce a desire to mature in the faith.

Are you working out the faith that God has put in you? Are you growing in your love relationship with Jesus?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 13th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Deeds, Faith, Salvation, Works.
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July 12th, 2008

Faith Works (5)

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

How does faith work?

Faith works for you. God is always at work to bring us to the point of recognizing our need for a saving relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and convinces us of our need for salvation. God enables us through faith to respond to His gift of eternal life. In faith we choose to receive God’s provision of forgiveness made available through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

  • “‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’” John 3:16 (NIV)
  • “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

Have you experienced faith working for you? God took the initiative to bring you into a right relationship with Himself. Jesus paid the ultimate price for the forgiveness of your sins. At salvation, you became the temple of the Holy Spirit. Faith is not a feeling. Faith is a fact of God’s activity in your life.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, July 12th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Salvation, Works.
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