Friday, February 4, 2005

Faith Works Through Love

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6)
Paul was addressing the issue of satisfying the righteousness of God. It is not a matter of being circumcised or being uncircumcised. These accomplish nothing. Only faith, working through love, means anything.

The Greek word for “working” is energeo, which is, of course, where we get our word “energy.” The Amplified Bible has, “faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.” This love is the love of God working in us and through to reveal His righteousness. Only faith working through love is able to bring this about.

Faith without love is meaningless. Paul said, “Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). Yes, faith can move mountains, but if we do not have love, then it doesn’t make any difference.

God is love. Love gives and serves, and that is what God is all about. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” Since God is love, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God, then faith must be all about expressing the love of God.

Love casts out fear, which is the opposite of faith. The Bible says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts our fear, because fear involves torment” (1 John 4:18). Again, it is the love of God that is in view here. When His love has done its work in us, there is no more room for fear in us—it is booted out because fear produces torment. The Greek word “torment” means punishment, or penalty. When we receive the love of God and let it do its perfect work in us, we are no longer tormented by ideas that God will punish or forsake us. We are free to live and act out of His love. It is His love that makes our faith meaningful and effective.

Faith works through love. If your faith is weak, check how your love is doing. Yield yourself to the love of God and let it heal you and set you free from all fear. Let it fill you and change you into a vessel through which God can pour out His love to others. Then your faith will be magnificent.