“Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29 ESV)
By faith, you and I are not defined by our own works. Our works are by-products of who God created us to be. When we believe, welcome and receive Jesus Christ into our lives as Lord, Savior and King, we become new creations in Him. With this new heavenly identity that we have, new life arises that produces new deeds. It is never out of compulsion that we force ourselves to do good works. They are simply produced by abiding in the presence of the One Who made us new. Old things have passed away and the new has come. We become born again, born of God, born not of corruptible seed but of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God and partakers of His divine nature.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Conrinthians 5:17)
We all desire to do God’s will. We all desire to do the works of God. We all desire to please Him. We so long to have this confidence to come to Him anytime, anywhere and be welcomed, embraced and accepted. But how? … is always the question.
With man, it is impossible. But when we learn to know His ways through His Word revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, all things are possible to those who believe. Our Heavenly Father never desires for anyone to perish but for all to come to eternal life. And guess what eternal life is? It is our intimate knowledge and oneness with God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, therefore, when we know Him and be one with Him, that calls for eternity.
“And THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)
The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) This simply means that it is not our own good works that please Him. It is our believing in Him, His Word and His finished work that pleases Him.
I have heard it so many times that RELIGION is defined as man reaching to God in and of our own ability, trying to obey the perfect law to a tee, but because of man’s fallen nature that was caused by disobedience in the Garden of Eden, we fall short of the glory of God. Left on our own, we do not have the character let alone the ability to do it nor sustain it. No matter how much we try, we can never be pleasing to Him by our own works.
When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, they became disjointed from being whole that they were created for. Man was not created to be divorced or independent from God. Our life is owed from His breathing in us and breathing is not something that is done once. We need a reconciled RELATIONSHIP with God that is only made possible by believing on the finished work of Jesus Christ. It was the shedding of the Precious, Unblemished, Untainted Blood of the Lamb of God two thousand years ago that made a way for us to be restored back to Him for “almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22). And for us to have access to this kind of relationship, God reaching to man because of His great love for us, it takes faith. It takes faith to believe Jesus Christ Whom God sent. Thus, the Holy Scripture says, “For BY GRACE you have been saved THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
Mankind is so accustomed to saving ourselves from the wrong things that we have done. This may work to such an extent, if we are only talking about temporary and minor things. But when we talk about eternal things, a total change in our lives that takes us from glory to glory, it takes faith. For us to be made new creations in Christ, the re-birthing of newness of our lives, and to be imitators of Christ, it takes faith.
It is not by our mere doing righteous deeds that makes us righteous. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and our being one enables us to do righteous deeds, and this takes faith to walk in it.
It is not by our possession that we are rich. We are rich because He became poor that through His poverty we may become rich. This takes faith.
You see, our natural intellect can only grasp as much. It has its limitations bound only to what our senses can perceive. “To see is to believe” is its motto. But our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ can see beyond the obvious. What He paid for, He made us worthy to receive. Name it, He purchased it for us. There was nothing left undone when it comes to our life and godliness when Jesus cried out, “IT IS FINISHED!”
Thankfully, before this world labelled us, God already described us because He foreknew us before the foundation of the world to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. In Genesis 1:26, it says, Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Before I became a believer of Jesus Christ, I lived my life the very way I wanted. At that time, I thought it was the best life ever, having had the freedom to choose what I would like to do, where I would like to go and who I would like to be with, as long as I thought I did not do anything wrong. I called the shots. Nothing else mattered because I did not know any better.
Did I get hurt? Oh yes! Did I get disappointed? Too many times, yes! Did I get tired? Yes! Yes! Yes!
But in spite of what I thought was a good life, there was always a longing in my innermost being that was in search for answers and deep satisfaction. The contentment that I experienced was not it. It was so shallow that I couldn’t stop myself from seeking for more, the Truth of what life is all about. I bought loads of inspirational books but none of them really filled me to the full. The effect of each book that I read was temporary. I just knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was more to discover that will utterly satisfy my need.
And yes, God is so rich in mercy and abounding in love and He is true to His word that when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. When the designated moment came for Him to unveil my eyes to see The Way, The Truth and The Life Who is Jesus Christ, I found Who I was looking for, yet I still couldn’t be stopped wanting for more of Him. It became my constant craving to know Him in a deeper way by the power of His Word. I attended Bible Studies, fellowships or any gathering that would spiritually feed me. I enrolled myself online for short courses until I postured myself to be in an online Bible School. These were in addition to my own time with Him, worshiping Him and meditating His Word myself for I always believed that a direct download from Him into our hearts make the most impact and can never be forgotten nor be snatched away from us.
Because I was so focused on hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ, I was not conscious of changing myself, my ways, my thoughts and my desires. The seeds of His incorruptible Word were sown and planted in the ground of my heart, as they are growing, things started to shift as my mind was being renewed by the revelation of His Word. My priorities slowly were rearranged and my desires were directed into being founded more and more on His Word that can never be shaken.
Of course there was resistance on my part as I was being changed since I was so used to the “World’s ways” rather than “God’s Word’s ways”, but as my roots grew deeper, drawing nourishment from Him alone, His grace, His enabling power by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit infused me with strength and courage that broke those opposing forces.
“[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” (Philippians 2:13 AMPC)
Truly, our divine encounters with Jesus Christ bring change from deep within us. The more we know Him, the more we become like Him. The more we spend time with Him, the more His thoughts becomes ours.
What changed the life of the Samaritan woman at the well? It was her meeting with the GIFT OF GOD our Lord Jesus Who gave her the Living Water and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 AMP)
Did she struggle to believe and change? No! It was her divine encounter with Jesus. In fact, she left her water jar after she partook of the Living Water. The primary reason why she was at the well became of no importance any longer as she ran back to the city and preached Jesus. Before long, the whole city believed not just because they heard her, but they themselves came to personally hear the Words of Jesus, Who is The Life.
What saved and changed the life of the Woman caught in the act of adultery? It was her being put in the custody of Jesus in front of the crowd while the Pharisees were waiting for Jesus’ judgment upon her.
“So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:7;9-11)
I just wonder how the woman felt when she heard the Words of Life of Jesus Christ saying, “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU; GO AND SIN NO MORE.” when all she thought I believe at that time was the end of her life.
How about the Woman with the issue of blood? What saved and healed her? She may be one we can consider an outcast for being unclean and financially broke for she spent all that she had on physicians yet could not be healed. She was emotionally broken for being unattached to the people she may love and care for. But with just one encounter with Jesus Christ, she was made well and whole.
“But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:46-48)
With these three women, do you think their way of life changed because they have been changed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the inside out? ABSOLUTELY! Truly those who are forgiven much, love much.
We love because HE LOVED US FIRST! Those three women were loved first by being forgiven first by the Only One Who can forgive us and save us. And in response, we love much, and the expression of our love for Him is our obedience to Him. Our love relationship with Him causes us to walk just as He walked.
“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:5-6)
Going back to our opening verse, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29 ESV), haven’t you noticed that the people’s question was about doing the WORKS of God (with S) and Jesus’ reply was , “This is the WORK of God (without S)? I believe it is because without the WORK of God, our believing in Jesus Whom God sent, no WORKS (the action or fruit produced) will be done.
We do the works when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. His Lordship in our lives, the leading of the Holy Spirit and our obedience to His Word is what makes us do His Works. Jesus said, He only does what He sees His Father doing, and only speaks what He hears His Father speaking, and when we believe that Jesus Christ dwells in us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then, He is living His life in and through us.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
Our boldness in doing what He called us to do does not come just because we are called to do it. It is the fruit of our intimate relationship with Jesus. Our being one with Him is what gives us the power and authority to subdue the earth. What He wants to do becomes our desire to do. When He wants to heal, we become conduits of His healing presence by our laying of hands on the sick and they shall recover. When He provides, we become kingdom financiers as His hands and feet. When He speaks and declare victory over a matter, we become His mouthpieces. The more we draw near to Him, the more He draws near to us and reveals Himself to us in the most special way. He shows Himself strong to and through us as we continually walk with Him.
The Holy Scriptures says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)
You see, two cannot walk together unless they are in agreement. How then can we walk as one with Him if we have not been in His presence and His presence is dwelling inside of us? We get to be more aware of His presence more than anything else and our awareness of Him will position us to do what He desires to do in and through us.
Freely we receive, freely we give! Freely we live and move and have our being in Him and Him in us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your great love for us that You gave us Your only Begotten Son Jesus Christ to make You, Your plans, purposes and desires be known to us. How You predestined us to conform to the same image of Your Dear Son by sending Him to us in flesh and blood to redeem us who were once divorced from You and be reconciled back to You. Thank You, Jesus, for Your finished work. You forgave us and made us new creations in You so none, not even a residue of being fallen, remains. Old things have passed away and behold, You make all things new and made us partakers of Your divine nature and Your co-laborers, called to be The Body of Christ, with every joint supply to fill the earth with the knowledge of Your glory as the water covers the sea. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for continually guiding us into all truth and revealing to us more of Jesus, so the more we know Him, the more we become like Him and do the works of God. Amen!