What will you say?

Have you ever given any thought to what you might say when you finally come face to face with God? At our recent Alpha weekend, we discussed what our response would be if God asked us, “Why should I let you into heaven?”. The ‘model’ answer to that is of course, “Because of what Your Son Jesus did for me on the cross.”. That’s great – I like it. But for me personally, I’d like to be able to say more than that.

James muddies the water a little when he says in chapter 2 verses 18 and 19:

“But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” (NIV)

Many have been a bit confused by this. On the one hand, we are taught that grace alone saves us, and that nothing we can do will make our salvation any more or less assured. Then on the other hand, you have James here who preaches of his good deeds being the indicator of his faith.

I don’t actually find this very hard to grasp at all. There is a very natural response to grace that flows from gratitude – setting our minds, hands, and feet to work for His kingdom, BECAUSE of the faith we have from His death and resurrection.

The term ‘faith without deeds is dead’ doesn’t contradict our inability to earn our salvation through works. More, this is a statement that says, “If I truly grasp the full measure of what God has done for me through Jesus, then I will be unable to keep myself from the good deeds of serving Him. If I have faith, but not deeds, then I misunderstand salvation.”

In light of this, I return to my original question. When God asks why I should be allowed into heaven, I can’t think of a better response, than that of David:

“I desired to do Your will O my god; Your law was within my heart. I proclaimed Your righteousness in the great assembly; I did not seal my lips, as You know, O Lord. I did not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I spoke of Your faithfulness and salvation. I did not conceal Your love and Your truth from the great assembly.” (Adapted from Psalm 40: 8-10 {NIV})

Next year I’m embarking on an incredible new journey, answering God’s call on my life to serve Him in ministry. Oh that I will be able to stand before Him one day, and quote the above scripture with complete integrity, humility, and joy!

What do you want to be able to say?

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