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Why Living Faith?

“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:17

Some may wonder why, of all the names possible, we chose Living Faith as the name of our ministry. For us, there was never really a question of any other name. It was born out of a growing understanding of what genuine living faith is. Our life together has been a long journey of steps of faith. Sometimes, the steps seemed like leaps, but mostly they were daily small steps with a good bit of stumbling thrown in.

What we soon realized was that faith is a lot like a muscle. When one first gives their life to Christ, the muscle is weak and frail from lack of use. Almost immediately God begins to place situations in our lives to allow us to spiritually exercise our faith “muscle.” The first hurdle for many is the act of baptism. It may be against our nature to be the center of attention. For others, it may be just a dislike of being immersed in water. However, this is our first step of obedience as a Christian. What does it say about us if we are unwilling to even take this little step of faith?

If we reject opportunities to strengthen our faith then our faith remains weak, but if we approach the situation in faith with our focus of God, then our faith is strengthened, and we are ready to go to the next level of faith. This is a recurring process that happens over weeks, months, and years. During that process God sends people and events into our lives which test our faith. Why do we need our faith to be tested? Having taught for many years, I know that the main purpose of tests is not to show the teacher how much the student knows. A good teacher gauges the development of every student and knows if they have truly learned the lesson before the day of the test. Instead, the test helps the student to see how well they have absorbed and applied the material. I believe that this is why God sends things to test our faith. As Adrian Rogers said, “A faith that has not been tested, cannot be trusted.”

Faith is organic, not static. Faith should be continuously growing, changing, and reproducing itself because it is living. As the Bible says in James 2, a major indication of living faith (as opposed to dead faith) is our works. James is talking about our actions- the things that we do each day. Our works should be the physical manifestation of our faith. Our genuine salvation will be evident through our works. It is ironic that so many Christians get ruffled when anyone talks about works. “Works won’t save you,” is a familiar refrain in churches. It is true that our works cannot save us, but we have been reborn to do the good works that God has prepared us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

Our ministry is called Living Faith to be a reminder that we must always be willing to step out in faith and to minister to those God calls us to serve, wherever in the world that may be.

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