It would be prudent for us as a Jesus Community to emphasize what God has done for us because of His grace rather than focus on what we should do for God. Although Paul and James make it clear, there is a healthy response in a faith that works; our works must never be the focus of the message of eternal life (Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:14-26.) We must focus on what God has freely done for us on the cross alone (John 3:16).
We must trust God’s finished work for our salvation, not our own merit or man’s works to get us to heaven. The Psalmist writes, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7) No matter how tempting it can be to seek help or approval from man, we must look to God alone for help, for man cannot save us; only God can. “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.” (Psalm 146:3) Our help and hope are in God alone.
Paul writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3). Everything we need is found in Jesus. Everything! Therefore, this must be the focus of the message of the Church: what Jesus has done. We must seek as a church family to faithfully teach God’s blessings and all He has done for us in and through Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son.
You and I are responsible, no matter how hard or complicated life becomes, to faithfully direct others to Jesus. Paul writes, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10) Let us seek to help others see the hope in Jesus, even when we are hurting. When we do, our hope will once again be restored as we are reminded about our own living hope.