Faith and Works
On the subject of faith and works*, the Editor [not myself] cannot refrain from relating a curious illustration which he once received from a person whom he happened to enter into conversation with whilst riding along the seashore. “Sir,” said the stranger, “My opinion of the matter is this: let us suppose that I am in a boat in that bay, with two oars, one of which I call Faith, and other Works; now I want to proceed to that town at the head of the bay; – then if I put out the oar called Faith, and pull with it, I shall only pull the boat round and round, without advancing an inch. If I lay in Faith and put out the other oar, Works, I shall just pull myself round and round, only in an opposite direction. But if I pull with both oars, Faith and Works, and give the boat’s head proper direction, then I shall be certain of arriving at the wished for haven, provided I faint not by the way.
So we can see that faith alone is not what we should trust in, as Paul says in Romans, “Shall we sin that Grace may abound? – may it never be!”, neither trying to please God in our own strength, works, is what we should try to do. We should have faith to trust Christ for our salvation, and ask for the help of the Spirit to do the right thing to glorify God: glorifying God in our works is evidence that we have faith in Christ and that we are saved. God has wonderfully re-created us to want to be complete in Him: is not that amazing – and a wonderful testament to the Wonders of God in Creation!
*Not the section we are looking at – that is what the book says!
For Christ’s Glory,