Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. -Matthew 7:24
Jesus says that everyone who hears his words and does them is like that wise man. Verse 26 describes the man that hears those same words but does not do them. (Read the full story here.) There is a obviously a difference between hearing and doing. There is even a difference between believing and doing. Faith is belief in action, and it is the action of the believer that makes all the difference.
James has a lot to say about the works of believers. Salvation is not earned through works, but James is clear that where faith is works will also be present; the works are evidence of faith. Paul writes in numerous epistles that believers must encourage and motivate one another to good works. The Christian faithful are meant to be “doers, not hearers only”. As the body of Christ, the church body must have working parts.
In the parable of the two sons (Matt 21:28-32) Jesus describes one son that tells his father he will not go work in the vineyard but later changes his mind. The second sons tells his father he will but then doesn’t. The disciples answer the first son is the one who did the will of his father. Actions speak louder than words. Sunday school is great, sermons are great, hey I’m even a big fan of blogging. But what we say and even what we believe does not demonstrate faith until put into action. Have we carried the Gospel to the ends of the earth? Have we shared a cup of water with the least of God’s children? Do we visit widows and orphans, or just discussed it in small group? These are more than hypotheticals, these are commands that we must apply for the good of those around us.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. -James 4:17