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January 17, 2022

The Complicated Dynamics of Faith and Works

The relationship between one's faith and the works that flow from that faith has always been complex. Oftentimes, the two seem to create one of the many paradoxes of faith; we are saved by our faith alone, not our works, and yet our works demonstrate our faith and we must have them.

The challenge to depend on salvation, spiritual renewal and empowerment, and sanctification from the Holy Spirit rather than our own doing is the location of every Christian’s battle with pride, making the relationship between faith and works one that we must revisit daily. 


Fat man runningIn this article from Desiring God, Jon Bloom unpacks the complicated dynamics of faith and works through a parable of his own. Bloom imagines a man struggling with his weight who visits the doctor to find out that if he does not change his eating and exercise habits he will soon develop diabetes. In response to the news, the man begins the difficult work of eating healthy foods and making exercise part of his daily routine. A year passes and on his next visit, the doctor is delighted to see that the man has changed his ways, averted a health crisis, and is thriving in ways he never imagined. “Question: Was the man’s health restored through his faith in the gracious knowledge provided to him pertaining to life and healthiness, or was it restored through his diligent efforts to put this knowledge into practice?”


The answer is certainly both. The man took the doctor's warning on faith and then acted in accordance with his word by changing his habits. Oftentimes, Christians downplay the role of obedience when it comes to the Christian life. But our Savior did not die for us that we might accept his sacrifice and be unchanged. Jesus himself was obedient to the will of the Father to the point of death so that we might follow in His footsteps, obeying his words and commands, being transformed into His likeness, and ultimately earning the same reward He did—glory. 


Chrisitan Union is deeply committed to the whole-life discipleship of students and professionals. Through mentorship and one-on-one discipleship, those who participate in Christian Union’s ministires gain the essential virtue of pursuing obedience to Christ and the following blessings of walking in holiness with Him.


Read the full article here.