Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Our Labor in the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

IMG_0301Have you ever wrestled with an idea – wrestled with a theology? The church – the Body of Christ – has wrestled with several things over the years. One of those theological areas that people wrestle is between works and grace.

On one hand we have passages about grace. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is a free gift from God to His people. Grace is available to all – all who turn their hearts toward Jesus – confess their sins and receive His Lordship. What follows are a few scriptures about grace.

Ephesians 2:8–9 – 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 – 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Romans 3:20-24 – 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

On the other hand (as Randy Travis use to sing) – we are called to do good – to work out our salvation – to serve – and more. Works are not required for salvation – salvation is a free gift – but good works are required or rather will be evident in a believer’s life. What follows are a few scriptures about good works.

1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Philippians 2:12 – 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,

James 2:18–20, 26 – 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Grace is a free gift – but – if we receive grace and become a child of God – actions are required of us. Our good works do not save us – but they are part of our witness to others that God has transformed our lives. Our labor in Christ – in the Lord – is something we should always be working on (no pun intended) – yet with the promise that when we fail or fall short – our sins are covered by the blood of Christ.

So – how’s our walk? How’re we doing day-to-day as we walk with Jesus and witness to others about Him? Seek His face and desire His grace!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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February 5, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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