Is the Christian life primarily a matter of faith or a matter of works?  Which is more important – what we believe or what we do?

                If a woman believing an attractive appearance is a necessary part of life, that being beautiful is essential to her social salvation, then she’ll work at it.  She will spend her money on clothes and cosmetics.  She will read articles that offer all sorts of beauty hints.  She will exercise to keep her body in shape.  She will sit in front of a mirror and very carefully make up her face.  She will do whatever is necessary to achieve and maintain an attractive appearance, because she believes in it.  She is convinced that beauty is an essential part of her well-being. 

                The same thing is true about money.  Just about everyone believes in that.  Many people get up in the morning and go to work, not because they believe in their work, but because they believe in their salary.  They are convinced that a steady income is an essential part of life, and it is that conviction that keeps them on the job day after day.

                But there are some people who believe not only in a salary, but in their work as well.  I have known teachers who would do what they do for free if they could afford it.  They believe that a human mind is a tragic thing to waste.  They are convinced that education is essential, both to the individual and to society; therefore, they give themselves to it, willingly and wholeheartedly.  The people who feel that way about their work are blessed beyond description, and those whose lives they touch are doubly blessed.  We work at those things in which we believe.

                Now, carry that same thought over into the area of religion and see how properly it belongs there.  The person who truly believes in Christ and those things for which He stands is going to work at it – that is to say, he is going to put his faith into practice.  Jesus lived and taught a particular way of life.  It included loving enemies, answering evil with good, achieving greatness by becoming a servant and trusting God, even when all of the evidence seemed to be against it.  Now the question is whether or not you and I believe in Him.  Was he dealing with truth in the way that He lived and the things that He taught?  If we truly believe in Him, we will follow Him; we will pattern our lives after His.  Faith produces works; we work at those things in which we believe.  The plain truth is that there is only one way for you and me to show our faith to anyone, and that is to put it into practice

                So which is the more important part of the Christian life – faith or works?  I’ll answer that question, if you will tell me which is the more important part of breathing – inhaling or exhaling?  They are both a part of the same process.  Faith produces works, and works prove faith.