In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fruit instead of works

It's always been difficult for me to hit that balance between grace and works.

I know that it is a fact that God gave me the faith, the ability, to trust in Jesus' work on the cross on my behalf. I know that because Jesus died on the cross in my place, and intercedes for me before God the Father, I am acceptable in God's sight. I did nothing to earn this great salvation that is mine. It was totally a gift to me; all I had to do was accept it. Ignatius of Loyola said it so well:
"The direct experience of God is grace indeed, and basically there is no one to whom it is refused."

Yet, if my faith in God is real, there will be resulting actions. Real faith, a real choice to follow after Christ, leads to a different way of life.

That's where the whole debate comes in.

Recently I was commenting on the fact that James even says that faith without corresponding works isn't real. John, my husband, cautioned me that I need to be sure to differentiate between works and fruit. His comments have been ruminating around in the back of my mind for a few days now.

Fruit in my life is as a result of my connection to God. I can not produce fruit. Works are something I have produced on my own.

Jesus clarified it in John 15:3-5 (NKJV):

3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

I know that I need to be changed from the inside out. Ways that I can alter myself on the outside to look good, are not genuine. It's only as I spend time in God's presence and in His Word, only as I choose to open myself up to Him, only as I submit to what He is telling me to do - only then does real change happen.

What have you been learning about grace and works?


seekngsane said...

"faith without works is dead."

So sayeth the Lord and the Bible

is on our actions that we will be judged but it will not alone get us into heaven,least we boast.


p.s. I so enjoy your blog and was sorry to hear about your loss of job but am sure is to lead you to greater things. what a gift you and your blog are as are a testament of faith in action. Thanks. Gave you a link to mine,blog that is. -Ann

Tracy said...

Thanks Ann for your kind words about the job loss. I'm grateful that Romans 8:28 assures me that God will work all things to my good. I can already see Him doing that; I was awarded EDD (that the company who wrongly termed me has to pay from their reserve account) and that is plenty of $ for my needs right now. So I'm here getting to have more time for my family while still receiving a check.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Grace is something all of us have received when we surrendered our lives to Christ. Fruit is the result of our transformation as we walk in the will of the Lord. The Holy Spirit transform us from glory to glory until we reach the whole measure of the fullness of Jesus Christ. Where God placed us is our personal ministry. Through living a life that pleases God and gives glory to His name, we become a light of the world and a salt of the earth. People will gravitate to God by what they see in us and not what we say. The worse Christian is one who talks of righteousness but whose life does not reflect it. "So whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, let us do it for the glory of God" (1Corinthians 10:31) Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Brad said...

Enjoyed your thoughts here on grace and fruit. So true.

Just published a quote and link to this post at sound of a soft breath | Bible Devotional on Facebook. Check it out.

Tracy said...

Mel - May it be as you say for each of us who are His followers - may He shine through so that people gravitate to Christ in us.

Brad - Thanks for the encouragement and link!!

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