Tag Archives: Christ

Faith vs Works for Salvation

Our family was reading recently about when God sent fiery serpents amongst the Israelites as a punishment because of their wickedness.

The part that I found interesting was that God told Moses to create a brass serpent and fasten it to the top of a pole. Then, when someone was bitten by one of the serpents, all they had to do was look at the brass serpent and they were healed.

This story is of course very familiar to me, as I have heard it retold since I was a child. However, when we read it through this time, I saw it from a different perspective.

I realized that this was an excellent analogy to help me better understand the age old arguments about faith versus works for salvation.

In the brass serpent story, God prepared the way to be saved, but there was still a task to be performed in order to RECEIVE that salvation.

Just as many symbols that were given to the Israelites, the brass serpent was in similitude of Jesus Christ.

We have all been bitten by the fiery serpents we call sin. Our Heavenly Father has prepared a way for us to be healed from those deadly bites. He raised up His Son, even Jesus Christ. He has prepared a way for us to be saved. And as free as it is for the taking, He still requires us to do something to RECEIVE that salvation. First, we need to have faith in Jesus Christ that He can actually save us. Second, we need to look unto him. Jesus Christ is our perfect example. They way He lived His life is the perfect example to us for how we should be living our lives.

Thus, faith leads to good works. Good works are fruit of faith. That is why James told us that faith with out works is dead. Because if you truly have faith in Jesus Christ then your actions will mirror His actions.

We certainly cannot save ourselves without Jesus, yet He also cannot save us without our acknowledging and accepting that salvation and performing the tasks that He requires of us (His commandments). He has made salvation freely available for us, but we still need to RECEIVE it. We need to have faith in Jesus Christ that He can save us, then look unto Him as an exemplar of how we should live our lives, and live accordingly.

Christ is the example of giving

During Christmas time everyone seems to become more friendly and more willing to give. Our hearts seem to be more open to the idea of sharing our blessings with other people. Why is that?

The simple answer is, Christ. Christ is the reason that we have Christmas. Christ set the example of how we should treat each other. It then makes perfect sense that as we participate in a season devoted to our Saviour, we begin to emulate Him.

The life of Christ was a life filled with giving and love for others. Whether teaching or sharing or healing, He was always giving of Himself to those around Him.

I think that it is wonderful how giving we become every year around the Christmas season. Yet, as Christmas day comes and all the presents are unwrapped and decorations taken down, I wonder, why is it that we can be so filled with the love of Christ one month and the next be back to our regular selfish routines.

If only the spirit of Christmas could last the whole year long.

But wait… cannot the spirit of Christmas linger with us for more than just the Christmas season? Christmas, after all, is based on Christ.

We know that as we focus on the meaning of Christmas our hearts are softened. We know that the meaning of Christmas is Christ. We do not need presents wrapped in pretty paper, or colorful lights, or merrily decorated trees to remind us of Christ. Everything around us can remind us of Christ.

As we read the scriptures every day, as we attend church and other religious meetings, as we meet together often to talk of Christ, we will be focusing on Him. The more we focus on Christ, the more we become like Him. The more we become like Christ, the more giving we will be all year long.