(Today’s post by Chris Queen)
Faith Is An Action Word – Luke 5:12-26
While it’s God’s work to save us, once we’re saved, faith transforms from a single act of belief to an action word. What I mean is, our belief in Jesus is what saves us, but that’s just the beginning of an active journey of growth.
In Luke 5, we see two examples of what happens when people put their faith in action. First, a man with leprosy – the grossest, most socially unacceptable disease – approached Jesus to be healed:
12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.
Later on, some friends of a paralyzed man demonstrated bold and determined faith when they had their chance for Jesus to heal their buddy:
18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” 21 But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”25 And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God.
See what happens when people put faith in action? Lepers were the pariahs of that world – unclean outcasts – but this one leper sought out Jesus to ask him for healing. And the friends of the paralytic weren’t content to wait for Jesus to finish speaking; instead, they built a skylight in someone’s roof just to lower their friend in for healing. Jesus gave the man so much more than physical restoration – He forgave the man’s sins!
Please don’t get me wrong: we don’t act in order to earn points or curry favor with God. His grace saves us, and the overflow of our hearts causes us to put our faith in action so that we might bring glory to Him and make more disciples.
At Eastridge, we have a saying that goes something like, “We believe everyone has a next step in becoming a disciple who loves God, loves people, and reaches the world.” Active faith leads us to continually search for that next step, whether it’s to disciple another believer, dig deeper into God’s Word, serve in ministry, or travel to another part of the world on a mission trip.
Jesus’ brother James said, “I will show you my faith by what I do.” For a growing disciple, faith isn’t a one-and-done thing. It’s vibrant and energizing and never passive. Faith is an action word!
What’s your next step of faith? How will you put your faith in action today?