Live By Faith

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The question is: How are we saved? As Luther discovered
in the writings of the Apostle, it is by faith we are
saved. We are saved by our aspirations. Our aspirations,
not our achievements. You see our aspirations show out
our hearts. Achievements show us the times.

Most people can do very little dramatic or personally
significant because they do not have money, live
in bad times, or may be caught in evil circumstances.
The test of Christians is whether they keep a good
heart in bad times. This isnít easy. To keep a good heart in
bad times is achieving and an achievement in itself.

Could you think the Lord Jesus would condemn people with
good hearts for lack of achievement in bad times, hard
times or politically difficult circumstances? I could
not. Rather I feel the Lord Jesus would congratulate
those in hard times who keep a good heart and
godly aspirations.

We were created by God out of love to share the gift
of life and grace. The very act of breathing is a sacrament
which should be taken in gratitude. But life has a dark
side and can prove a bitter path in troubled times, evil days,
and hard times. Often confused, often poor, sometimes wandering,
it is a triumph of grace for some Christians to keep their
aspirations as high, their hearts as good, as they often
do. Indeed, such is often our principal achievement: to walk
with Christ, breathe in joy, breathe out benevolence, and so
maintain a healthy, caring heart within us.

But if many stressed or stretched for some reason or other,
may do little, I am convinced every good heart spontaneously
does something. It may not be much. But drop by drop the
rain falls and waters the earth so the crops remain capable
of growth. Tiny bit by tiny bit, and not just materially,
we learn to be considerate of others in the name of God. As
the rain falls drop by drop, little by little we bring
the Kingdom of God to earth. In little acts like flakes of
snow, we make kindness as heavenly grace falls covering some
of the ugliness on earth in need of being softened and mellowed.

We are Protestants, so belief in creed does not save
us. It enlightens us. We are saved by our relationship
with Christ that generates the aspirations of faith.
Together in Churches of Christ we work out our salvation
through grace aimed at harmony and caring for each other and
all peoples as Jesus taught.


Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.