Faith And Works In The Christian Life (And My Diagrams To Explain Them)

My speaking slides and helpful diagrams I designed to understand the interplay of faith and works in the Christian life.

I normally post anything and everything about my speaking on RileyAdamVoth.com if I post about it at all, but this one seems a bit too obviously evangelical for what I’m doing with that blog right now. Ha!

So in fitting with the theme of this Elasson site, here, I’ll break down a bit of my thoughts and developments on this as well as simply share the slides and the ideology behind it.

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The discouraging, damaging lie of “working out a muscle” of “spiritual discipline”

I’m not looking to pick a fight, but I will fight on this if I must. I believe the ideology, and more aptly put, theology, of needing to “work out a muscle” of a so-called “spiritual discipline” is a very destructive thing to believe or to teach people.

What do I mean by this?

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What does it mean to “work out your salvation”?

When Paul told his spiritual children that made up the Philippian church to continue to obey (Phil 2:12), with the added charge to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…”, he was speaking from a plane of spiritual understanding most of us don’t operate in.

I cannot pretend to understand fully what this charge means — at least not yet. I do know some of what it means though, and even more of what it does not mean.

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On mindfulness of details in our messages

We are no longer a society of biblically familiar, church friendly folks, but rather, one of intelligent skeptics. We must learn to communicate carefully and intentionally as such.

I am convinced that we (leaders in the church) must learn to prepare messages – teachings and sermons – with the de-churched and unchurched in mind with nearly the same level of awareness and importance given to this audience as which we give our churched and biblically literate audience.

Even if our audience approaches the topic from a Christian-friendly point of view, they are often no longer coming from any background in the scriptures or understanding of scripture’s realities, reasons, laws or graces.

The difficulty of this is that though they aren’t biblically educated, they are highly intelligent.

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