Show AND Tell.
On the morning of my assigned ‘show and tell’ day in grammar school, I grabbed a funky looking, turquoise ash tray from our hardwood coffee table in the living room. Mom said she’d purchased it on a trip to Mexico during a time when it was fashionable for a lady to smoke. As hoped, my classmates were impressed.
I’ll never forget this one young man’s ‘show and tell’ in the second grade. He asked that his three-month-old baby sister be brought in. And Mom complied with the request. His teacher beamed, his friends giggled. Problem is, the young man showed but didn’t tell. Lips clamped shut, he gave his shoulder a shrug. Nerves maybe? The ‘show and tell’ moment lost its potential impact.
It’s called show and tell for a reason.
Oswald Chambers said…
If you say you are sanctified, then show it. You may know all about the doctrine of sanctification, but are you running it out into the practical issues of your life?
Jesus’ half-brother James already had the low down on the faith-works issue.
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?…Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14, 17
Deeds do matter.
James challenged, “Show me your faith without deeds…”
Show without action? I see no way to pull this off.
“Hey Doc, I need you to operate on me, take out this tumor.”
“Yes, I have faith that I can do this.”
“Okay, fabulous. Could you, like, put me under and let’s get started?”
“Indeed, I believe I’m capable.”
“I heard you. Now would you prove it, please?”
“Ah, just trust me.”
“…and I will show you my faith by what I do.” (2:18)
There now, that’s better.
But how’s about the account in Luke 23:39-41 of the two criminals being crucified on either side of Jesus? One of them foolishly hurled insults at Him. Tisk, tisk. The other rebuked his fellow bad-deed-doer, acknowledging fully that both of them were well deserving of their predicament and that the blood of an innocent Man – God – was being poured out to pay the price for their sins.
The repentant criminal simply said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Following his confession of his faith and knowing the sincerity of his heart, Jesus answered him,
“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (vs.41)
What if Jesus had said, “Love the confession, but deeds, dude. I’m not seeing any deeds.”
Deeds weren’t necessary for the criminal to enter paradise. Showing his faith was impossible. Telling was all he had. And Jesus applied His righteousness to the guy, saved his soul. Without first requiring he volunteer time at the Jerusalem soup kitchen. Amazing grace.
My simple confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the resurrected Lord, a holy atonement for my sin is all God requires for salvation (Romans 10:9).