Once we are saved does it really matter what we do with our lives? I mean, as Evangelicals, we believe the old adage, “Once saved, always saved”, don’t we? We were taught, as the Bible clearly states, “Nothing can pluck you out of his hand”, right? (John 10:28) Works do not save us nor keep us saved. Salvation is by faith alone–it cannot be earned.
So, now that I’m saved, why not just prop my feet up, read my Bible in the comfort of my own home, and enjoy my blessed life?
Well, I believe the answer can be found in the book of Ephesians where the apostle Paul is talking about the fact that we are saved by grace and not by works. (Ephesians 2:9)) He goes on in verse 10 to say, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
You see, we have a purpose in the kingdom of God that was actually laid out for us before we even came to know Him. There is work for us to do!
And in the book of James, we are reminded in no uncertain terms that: faith without deeds is dead faith!
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way,faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
James 2:14-17 (NIV)
You see, our faith, if it is useful only to us, is not complete. Our faith should have great impact on the world around us–meeting needs and changing lives.
And our faith is to be a marker of whose we are. In the gospel of Matthew, when speaking about how to recognize false prophets, Matthew states, “By their fruit, you will recognize them.” When the world looks at us, it needs to see Jesus–so that lost souls may be drawn to him. What better way to represent and identify with him than to be his hands and feet in the world, meeting the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of his sheep.
As a matter of fact, once when he was speaking with Simon Peter after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter several times if he loved Him. (John 2:15-17) Peter answered, “Yes, Lord” each time. Jesus replied, “Then feed my sheep”. Jesus was letting Peter know that by meeting the needs of others, he could show the depth of his love and devotion to Him. The same goes for us today. If we truly love the Lord, then we too, will feed his sheep.
If you are like me, then you sometimes find it a challenge to step out of your comfort zone, disrupt your schedule, put selfish things aside, and take the time to go and minister to someone in need. After all, we are busy with our families, our husbands, our parents, our jobs…but if we are to truly be salt and light in a dark and desperate world, we must take the time to serve others.
God’s Word commands it.
It establishes our identity in Him.
It opens the door for sharing the good news of the gospel.
By all means, enjoy your quiet time with the Savior, and the many blessings he has bestowed upon you. But, be sure to take the time to look outward at the needs of those in your neighborhood, your community and the greater world. After all, as the old adage goes, “We were saved to serve, not saved to sit!”