Beyond the Cross
The cross has become a symbol of salvation for Christians and yet, for many Christians, the cross represents all of their experience with Christ. The fact is, the cross was merely a form of execution in the time of Christ. It cannot bring anyone salvation. It is a symbol of shame, pain, and death. It was the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, coupled with our belief in Him that affords us salvation.
Faith. Believing that there is nothing you can do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make God love you less. Works. Believing that He loves you too much to leave you where He found you.
Churches have been searching for centuries for the balance between these two states of being. Paul and James even weighed in on the topic. Paul states that we are "saved by grace, not works," while James says, "show me your faith and I'll show you my works."
So, at the cross we find grace. In life we are looking for works. Can they truly be separated? Not according to James. He states that faith without works is like the body without the spirit. It takes two, baby, it takes two!
Today we begin a series that will examine our Christian experiences beyond the cross. How can we blend or marry the concepts of faith (grace) and works? Is it required or even possible?
We think you will be informed and inspired when you consider the relationship between faith and works. When you put faith with works, it's like putting walk and talk, or more like walking the talk!