"THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD"
So what is this, "The work of God"? And who said it?
I did an internet search, and here are just a few items taken from Church or Religious organizational websites, regarding their work and purpose of the church for God:
The Gospel Coalition, a web page says your "job as a church member is"
1. Attend Church regularly
2. Help Preserve the Gospel
3. Affirm Gospel citizens
4. Attend member meetings
5. Disciple other church members
6. Share the Gospel with outsiders
7. Follow your leaders"
Saint Gabriel Church has a web page that says, "
1. We must look forward and secure our financial future
2. Face the challenges that our growth presents.
3. Breaking ground on our new parish hall facility this fall/early winter
4. Our goal is a simple one: to substantially increase our Sunday offertory contributions by asking each family to prayerfully consider a 5% increase of your current offertory,
Saddleback Church says, " (Rick Warren says) Every church is driven by tradition, finances, programs, personalities, events, seekers and even buildings can each be the controlling force in a church.
Purpose #1: You Were Planned for God's Pleasure (Christian Worship)
Purpose #2: You Were Formed for God's Family (Christian Church)
Purpose #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ (Discipleship)
Purpose #4: You Were Shaped for Serving God (Christian Ministry)
Purpose #5: You Were Made for a Mission (Christian mission)
The Pentecostal and Charismatic churches say,
1. "Speaking in tongues is the work of the Holy Spirit and the initial sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
All of these things are 'good things'. But, are THEY "THE WORK OF GOD" as described by Jesus?
What do you say is the Work of God?
We read, in the Book of John, that Jesus, over a span of several days, had met with the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob and introduce Himself as Messiah, spent several days in Samaria and many believed. Jesus healed a Nobleman's son and had healed a man at the Pool of Bethesda. Jesus feed five thousand from five barley loaves and two fish and later walked on the sea of Galilee and proceeded to Capernaum.
The crowds who had been following Jesus, (John 6:25) got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”
(John 6:26) Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
THIS IS A GAME CHANGER
27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
“This is the work of God,
that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
This may be hard to hear, but listen:
Giving water to the thirsty, is not the "Work of God"
Sharing the Gospel, is not the "Work of God"
Performing miracles of healing, is not the "Work of God"
Feeding people, is not the "Work of God"
Miraculously walking on water, is not the "Work of God"
Saving people from the dangers of storms, is not the "Work of God"
1. Attending Church regularly
2. Preserving the Gospel
3. Affirming Gospel citizens
4. Attending member meetings
5. Discipling other church members
6. Sharing the Gospel with outsiders
7. Following your leaders
8. We must look forward and secure our financial future
9. Face the challenges that our growth presents.
10. Breaking ground on our new parish hall facility this fall/early winter
11. Substantially increasing our Sunday offertory contributions
12. Fulfilling Purpose #1: You Were Planned for God's Pleasure (Christian Worship)
13. Fulfilling Purpose #2: You Were Formed for God's Family (Christian Church)
14. Fulfilling Purpose #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ (Discipleship)
15. Fulfilling Purpose #4: You Were Shaped for Serving God (Christian Ministry)
16. Fulfilling Purpose #5: You Were Made for a Mission (Christian mission)
All of these good deeds, and many more good deeds, but they are they not the "Work of God" as spoken by Jesus. They are the results of doing THE WORK OF GOD, which is "believing in Him whom He has sent".
This is NOT just a matter of semantics
This explains a mystery of God
This is an Oracle of God
The Bible tells us clearly in Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."
We do not create the "Work of God"
We believe in Him whom He has sent.
God prepared His Good Works ahead of time so that we would just walk in them.
God created us in Christ Jesus for good works
We are His Workmanship
The work of God is,
that you believe in Jesus the Son
whom God the Father has sent
We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added.
If you have a hard time with this, it is nothing new. The book of John tells us that "As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore."
But, for those who "Believe in Him whom He has sent", the Bible says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." John 14:12
The Bible also says, “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17)
Let's be encouraged because He has made a way!
Your Brother and Friend,