Faith expressed in love - Hope 103.2

Faith expressed in love

By David ReayMonday 5 Sep 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Galatians 5:6

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. (NRSV)

Most of us are aware that we can’t get into God’s good books by merely trying to be good. Our goodness is not good enough. And for those to whom he writes here, Paul is reminding them that signs such as circumcision will not do the job either.

We might then expect Paul to simply state that what matters is faith, full stop. But he doesn’t say this. He qualifies faith by saying that the only faith that matters is faith expressing itself in love. In other words, faith does not stand alone. It has to find expression, and the primary expression is love.

Elsewhere in Scripture, Jesus reminds us that people will identify us as his followers as we show love for one another. Beyond all our proper desire to retain our biblical orthodoxy, we are to show love. Our doctrinal debates, important as they are, cannot be allowed to obscure the importance of love.

And we do recognise that love is not some easygoing sentimentality that indulges people. And we do recognise that just because we love others they will not automatically think well of us and honour Jesus. But without love we don’t amount to much in terms of our witness to the world. And very disturbingly, we show that our faith doesn’t amount to much either.

David Reay