“The just shall live by his faith.” Thank God for that one condition laid down for our salvation. But the seal of that faith, the evidence of its genuineness, is love and compassion for others. There is no such thing as a Christian with a right vertical relationship to God but without a right horizontal relationship to his fellow men.
One day a man asked our Lord which was the great commandment of the law, and Jesus replied: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22:37–39).
For some of us this is very strong meat. We think we love God deeply because we have an unquestioning faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But we look around us and find it exceedingly difficult to love some of the unlovely, cantankerous, unwashed people with whom we come in contact.
Yet it is precisely at this point that we exhibit the validating seal of our faith. When the Apostle James wrote, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (Jas. 2:26), he was in no way contradicting the Apostle Paul’s affirmation, “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8, 9).
It is clear as crystal that a faith content with mere affirmations is spurious, dead. True faith has a seal of its genuineness—love, concern, and action for others.
The story is told of a German church destroyed during World War II. Later, when the rubble was being cleared away, a statue of Christ was found with only the hands missing. A famous sculptor offered to restore the hands, but ...1
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