Monday is Labor Day, the day we celebrate all those who labor in the work force by taking the day off and having a picnic. I got to thinking about the Christian life and labor. Every other religion shows man how to work hard enough and be good enough to be accepted by God. But Christianity shows us that God did all the work. Jesus came to Earth and died on the cross so we can be forgiven and set free to follow Him.
Galatians 3:1-5 (NKJV) puts it this way.
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it wasin vain? 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
So all we have to do is believe in God and we’ll make it to Heaven no matter what we do. Right? Wrong! Even the demons believe in God.
James 2:19 (NKJV) You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
James also says in 2:14-19 (NKJV) 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
So I am saved because I believe on Jesus Christ. But I believe on Him not only as my Savior, as a being who will get me to Heaven and keep me out of Hell. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord. He reins in me. And because He is my Lord, I am being changed on the inside. And that causes me to change on the outside. I’m justified by my faith. But because I have faith, what I do will show it. I don’t have to work for it. But I do have to allow Jesus, my Lord, to work through me.