works of faith

Fear and Trembling

October 18, 2010 // 42 Comments

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling… (Php 2:12) This is a verse that religious-types love to quote. They use it to say that salvation is something we need to work for, that we must [...]

Rahab’s Faith

September 27, 2010 // 6 Comments

Last Sunday, near the end of the service, about ten people responded to the invitation to give their lives to Jesus. Of course I was as shocked as you are. I thought, “Who let all these heathen sinners in the building? Don’t they know that church is just for Christians?!” Of course I didn’t think that! [...]

James 2:24

September 20, 2010 // 36 Comments

In this study on James chapter 2, we have been comparing works done under law with works done under grace. Understanding this distinction is essential if we are to reconcile Paul, the preacher of grace, with James, who said this… You see then that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (Jas [...]

What About James? (Are We Really Justified by Works?)

September 14, 2010 // 29 Comments

Whenever you preach the 100% pure gospel of God’s grace, someone will inevitably ask, “What about James?” The gospel of grace that Paul preached declares that we are saved by faith alone. But James said that faith is not enough, that we need works as well. Consider the following sound bites from these two [...]

Incomplete Deeds: The Zombie Church of Sardis (Rev 3:1-6)

April 11, 2010 // 18 Comments

UPDATE: This is an old article. An updated and expanded commentary on this passage can be found in Paul’s book Letters from Jesus. What a wonderful thing for a church to get a letter from Jesus! The seven churches of Revelations 1-3 were a real mixed bag with some getting rebukes and others encouragement, but [...]

Gifts + Message + Mission: Lessons from 2 Timothy

February 3, 2010 // 2 Comments

Near the end of his life Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy. It is full of practical wisdom for every Christian. In the first two chapters we find three timely challenges for the church: (1)    Fan the gift of God into flame (1:6) Like many, Timothy battled timidity and fear. He needed lots of [...]