Faith and Works

An illustration of the balance between faith and works lies hidden within any tree, vine, or plant. Leaves use up the nutrients in the process of photosynthesis. As the leaves consume nutrients in the sap, a suction is formed, which draws more sap from the roots. Without the sap, the leaves and branches would die, but the continual flow of this sap comes only as it is used up by the work of the leaves. Likewise, we work, keep the Lord’s commandments, in order to abide in His love. (John 15:4-10).

A Christian worked each day transporting tourists across a lake. On occasions he would present the Gospel and its implications for life in an unusual way. He had painted the word “Faith” on one of the oars of his rowboat and “Works” on the other. When they got rather far from shore, he would stop, and beginning to row with only the one oar marked “Faith,” he would cause the boat to go in circles to the left. Reversing the process, he would pull on the other oar marked “Works,” and they would circle in the opposite direction. By this time the bewildered passengers were waiting for an explanation. This afforded him an opportunity to give the truth concerning discipleship. He always concluded by saying, “You see, neither faith nor works can stand alone. They are twins that cannot be separated!” (James 2:14-26).

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