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Walk with God: Being AND Doing

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The importance of a small word … AND … cannot be over-emphasized.  A lopsided approach to our walk with God leads to deficiencies and inconsistencies.

Three key combinations of being and doing in the New Testament

Spirit AND Truth (Jn. 4:24)

Faith AND Works  (James 2:14-26)

Grace AND Truth  (Jn. 1:14, 17)

What Happens When we Take an Either/Or or Lopsided Approach:

If we focus on spirit, faith, and grace, we can potentially walk by emotion or licentiously.  We are into the experience.  We tend to make decisions subjectively.  We can get caught up in the means or process to the neglect of the end result.

If we focus on truth and works, we can potentially walk cerebrally or legalistically.  We are into the evidence.  We tend to make decisions objectively but can be callous in the implementation.  We can get caught up in the end result to the neglect of the means or process of getting there.

Note the “AND” in the Greatest Commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart AND with all your soul AND with all your mind AND with all your strength. (Mk. 12:30)

God wants us to love Him with our emotions as well as our knowledge, our attitudes as well as our actions.  And, God wants us to love Him with all, not some, of our heart, soul, mind, AND strength.

“Being” is the Starting Point in Our Walk with God

Who we are inside affects what we do so it is vitally important that we guard the heart above all else (Prov. 4:23).

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  (Matt. 12:34)

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Lk. 6:45)

Are you a Bible teacher? – The Be-Attitudes for Teachers book brings in this balance.  This teacher training devotional puts a heavy emphasis on “being” but being that turns into doing what is best in the classroom.

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3 Replies to “Walk with God: Being AND Doing”

    • I’m glad you asked, William, so I can make sure it is clear. This post is dealing with our walk with God, subsequent to salvation. God’s Word is very clear that salvation is by grace. Faith is the means of appropriating that grace. Salvation is solely a work of God on our behalf, doing something for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that we could not possibly do for ourselves. — “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)

      The statement in James 2:26, “faith without deeds is dead,” is not a contradiction. If you read the context, along with other Scripture passages, you will have to conclude that works are the evidence of our salvation, not the means.

      Once we are saved, we have a purpose as “God’s workmanship.” We were “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). Consequently, if we are truly saved, there should be evidence of it in the way we live. In Christ we are a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). God changes us.

      Works following salvation are not what keeps us saved but rather it is still about God’s grace. Colossians 2:6 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” How did we receive Christ Jesus? — by grace through faith according to Ephesians 2:8-9 “… if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Rom. 11:6). “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).

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