The book of James teaches us that faith without works is dead. Notice that Romans 10:9-10 reinforces this biblical truth. (If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.)
Our Christian faith is not to be kept to ourselves, as Jesus pointed out in the parable of the talents. (Please read Matthew 25:14-30) The ‘works’ part of our faith doesn’t mean that we all have to leave America for missionary work in third world countries. Our missionary work begins from within our own immediate circles of family, friends, and neighbors. Simply, confessing our faith to others, privately or publicly, and/or allowing Jesus to do work through us is the practice of acceptable and sacrificial ‘works of faith‘.
Below is a very brief summary of God’s perfect Old Testament Law and covenant that allowed Him to look upon, bless, discipline, and judge His people; since God and sin cannot co-exist! The italicized words, below, draw further conclusions and bring more meaning into the New Testament covenant of Jesus Christ:
The bible teaches us that sin separates us from God and the wages of sin is death. But, since our omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God is complete perfection in every way, He planned, implemented, and mandated a perfect system of justice for all of mankind. God told us that sin brings death, the life is in the blood, and only the blood can cover sin!
All throughout the Old Testament, God’s chosen people were instructed, in accordance with His given Law and other ordinances, to bring their very best designated animals to the outside altar of His established tabernacle and Levitical priesthood. These animals served as blood ‘sin offering substitutes‘ to cover the, daily, sin atonement of the person(s) who brought the offerings. Once a year, the designated High Priest would, also, sacrifice the very best animal as a ‘blanketed blood sin atonement‘ for himself and all the other chosen people of God. This was called the ‘Day of Atonement‘.
God didn’t desire sacrificial burnt offerings in the Old Testament. He wanted His people to know and honor Him, to repent and give Him their hearts, faithful love, obedience, and devotion. He created man for fellowship with Himself. But, since His people would, constantly, turn back and away from Him with their stubborn minds and hardened hearts, God enacted a temporary plan to cover His people’s sins with the blood of innocent animal substitutions. This way, God’s relationship with His people would not be, permanently, broken; since their consciences could not be cleansed by animal substitutions and were, constantly, seared again with sin.
This temporary guardianship of laws and sacrifices were in place until God’s appointed time to send His only perfect, sinless, and innocent Son to die on a cruel Roman cross. Jesus, the Messiah, is the substitute and sacrificial atoning death for all who believe in Him. Jesus came in human form and the fullness of God to save His creation. On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave and is back in heaven with the Father. Once a believer accepts Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside their hearts and minds for cleansing and regeneration. This is what it means to be ‘born again’.
So, all of the Old Testament temporary sacrifices lead up to the ultimate and final sacrificial atoning death of Jesus Christ, who was crucified outside the gates of Jerusalem at Calvary. His voluntary death was a one-time blanketed blood sin covering for all who believe and trust in Him. This was the ultimate ‘Day of Atonement‘ finale! He is, now and forever, the believer’s Lord, Savior, and High Priest who will come to earth, again, as our eternal King.
Faith is, not only, BELIEVING in our hearts that Jesus Christ died for our sins, is our Lord and Savior, and God raised Him from the dead, but also, CONFESSING that ‘Jesus is Lord ‘. This is the sacrificial ‘works’ part of our faith, today. Confessing, witnessing, and/or testifying about Jesus Christ to others is the second essential piece of our faith for SALVATION.
With thankfulness to our Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
In Jesus’ name,
Debby Mac Manes, disciple of Jesus Christ <><
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Lev 17:11
According to the Law, in fact, nearly everything must be purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Heb 9:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. Isa 59:1-2
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. Psa 51:16
For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me. Hos 6:6-7
Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 1 Sam 15:22
“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. Isa 1:11