Ethical Demands of the Christian Faith
“True faith and righteous works go hand in hand.” (Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible) In my first article titled “Every Saint has a Past and Every Sinner has a Future,” I addressed the issue of discouraging an individual who was attempting to do good. Particularly, the ex-offender who has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Here I will take the appeal a little further. Logically, I can make a case with statistics and numbers showing the benefit of helping ex-offenders and society’s obvious benefit; however, I believe the word of God is enough to persuade the intended audience of this article. Blessings to the communities and churches who have already started an active role in addressing the issue of ex-offenders and employment. The Apostle James said in James 2:20 (NKJV) “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
For the churches and ministries that have not taken a hold of the ethical demand of the Christian faith to agree in one accord, that action is needed in many areas; notwithstanding, ex-offenders and jobs, I would elaborate on the analogies of the Apostle James. In James chapter 2:14-17 it is said that “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ [BUT] you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” This is not a difficult Christian concept to grasp. If you have the means to give a person that is in need the need then it goes to follow that your belief and responsibility as a Christian you will provide. Contrarily, merely telling the person I will be praying for you and I see blessings coming your way is erroneous; hence, dead. Genuine faith will compel a willingness to adhere to ethical demands of the Christian Faith. Simply stated is that true faith will automatically produce works. When we look at Corinthians chapter 13 we understand that love is an action. By simply expressing goodwill in word without deed, a lack of genuine faith is the underlying cause. The Apostle Paul made it clear in Galatians 6:10 that “[t]herefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” I believe “all” includes the ex-offender, and I believe it is a good thing for an ex-offender to work.
Note that the Apostle Paul said “as we have opportunity,” thus wisdom and discernment does have to be applied. However, that does not place us to be the judge outside the rightful capacity that God gives to judge. There are communities where the Church do have opportunities, people, resources, and connections to help the ex-offender in gaining meaningful employment (emphasis added). It is imperative to realize the blessing that a church can miss out on by not recognizing a person’s gift or talent and placing them in an area that does not fit his or her skills. The foot can not be the hand, nor the hand, the eye, nor the eye the toe. Along the same vein, it is understood that certain churches has limited resources or may have a special ministry in other areas. Still and all, pray, seek the Lord, and look in your community to see the areas that the church has a responsibility to do good works. We are in an interesting time in history and remember there is a judgment seat of Christ where “each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10)
Facebook Anthony W. Brown
For more blogs they can be found here–anthonywbrown.com