Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Do we Measure Up?

James 2:18 NKJV — But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
The Basics
We know that the Bible says that to be a Christian we MUST be born again (John 3:7).   We know that we are born again by believing in the name or authority of the Lord (John 1:12-13).  We must be clear that salvation is never by works.  Not by moral works or by rituals or ceremonial works. Our personal assurance that we are saved or born again comes from the promises of Scripture.  But for another person to believe we are saved or born again, they are going to be looking at our works.  That is why James says, “I will show you my faith by my works.”   The question then is, if we are truly born again, does our life reflect true Christianity?
James refers to the royal law.  He says, “Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures, “Love your neighbor as yourself (James 2:8).”  Then he goes on to show that breaking any of the moral laws found in the ten commandments is the equivalent of breaking them all since breaking any of them means that a person does not love his neighbor as himself.  
How Do We “Look” to the World?
So what should a Christian “look like” to the world?  While we know that the world will find things to criticize in the lives of Christians, there should be a change in our attitudes and behavior that is obvious to anyone who really knows us.  James lists many of those characteristics.  Galatians 5:19-23 contrasts the woks of the flesh with the fruits of the spirit.  1 Corinthians 13 lists 15 characteristics of love. These passages are worth studying and as Christians we should be asking ourselves, “Do we measure up?”
But to be simple, what does the world look for in a person who calls himself or herself a Christian. In my experience, they are looking for someone who doesn’t lie.  They are looking for someone who pays their bills and if they can’t pay them tries to make some arrangements for future payments.  In other words, they try to be honest in their business dealings.  They are looking for someone with compassion.  They are looking for humility.  
Truth and honesty, compassion and humility.  These are fundamental characteristics that all Christians should reflect because they are the characteristics of the Lord.  I am sure other qualities that are as important could be added but if we told the truth, paid our bills, dealt with others with compassion and showed humility by getting rid of our pride, I am sure that people would respect us when we say we are saved or born again.  
Even though we are saved by grace through faith alone, the world has every right to question the reality of the faith of those who claim to be Christians if their lives are characterized by lying and dishonesty,  a lack of compassion and who are filled with pride.  
Do we measure up?
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of August 23, 2020

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