Thursday, January 15, 2009

Faith and Practice

Do you believe that it is important for unbelievers to hear the good news about how Jesus can take their sins away? What is more important for them to hear, do you believe?

Do you believe it is important for Christians to feed the hungry, care for the oppressed, and take care of orphaned children? What is a better use of our time and money, do you believe?

Do you believe that it is important for Christians to stand up for the principle of the impartiality of God – the truth that God does not show favoritism and all people are invited to enter the kingdom?

That last question was the one that Paul and Peter grappled with in Jerusalem. Peter, talked the talk of impartiality, but when Jews and Gentiles were in the room together, he favored the Jews. His reputation with the other Jews suddenly became more important than the truth that God does not play favorites with the nations. Paul, in his argument to the Galatians (chapter 1) that he is not out to please men, used his reaction to Peter to make a powerful point. He knew that his approval rating among the Jews was low, but his message of impartiality that he believed was from God was more important than his reputation; so he confronted Peter the apostle face-to face about his hypocrisy.

Our actions show what we believe the most. If racism that keeps the gospel out of the hearts of people of other groups around us goes unchallenged, we might believe racism is wrong; but the need to get along is a deeper conviction.

If we do not do all we can to feed the hungry we may be telling the truth when we say it's important; but we believe something else more deeply.

What do we really believe? Watch us and see. That's Life at Work!

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