Growing is automatic in children as long as they are healthy. They may
develop eating habits which damage the process, but their bodies and minds must grow and develop. The child soon sees the advantage of standing and then walking. Parents are happy. They see the advantage of saying words, and parents are happy still. When these evidences of development cease or are hindered it is tragic.
Is it not also tragic that demands of job, and other things hinder the growing up spiritually? As adults we adjust to the limitations of not learning how to walk (by faith), talk spiritually, work consistently and conscientiously. So the work is turned over to others or left undone. Worse, we excuse this lack on grounds that work is bad, not to be done, as "not by works of righteousness which we have done" is correct doctrine, so we do not have a part in that.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according
to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing
of the Holy Ghost" (Titus
Have we not misunderstood the meaning of works? Again, let us read our
text in v. 8:
"This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."
Johnny works at learning to walk. He takes many bumps but grows and is glad. His talking is not the best, but it is cute, and sweet, and we are glad. So is Johnny. Is it not good that school days are for children largely? But do we not strive to learn skills? Maybe we stop learning too soon to be a good driver.
The job is the church's to teach and train new members to serve. We may have to warn those who develop wrong habits for driving, but it is essential. So is it with spiritual maturity. Without it we shall not inherit the kingdom. Have you noticed the number of hymns which express concern as to whether the song writer's name is on the white page book of the kingdom? (See: "Is My Name Written There?").
Do you understand that the saints shall inherit the kingdom? But this is only as they have served by faith. We hope your saying you believe is not merely that you have trusted Jesus as Savior. One must trust Him as Lord and obey him by faith.
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." (Hebrews 11:8)
He went! Is going somewhere a work which saves? Not in the first step, but it surely was a work which saved his life and that of His seed. It was a work of righteousness. The faith, which we see as not work at all, is counted as a work of righteousness by our God (Romans 4:5, 6).
We all are so slack, so low on active faith, until we do not remember God's words as often, or as certainly, as we should. Our church in Harrison is blessed as we see good things happen. This is a challenge to believe God for what we do not yet see. Bro. Steve Cecil and wife, Sister Stephanie, have moved to Harrison. He has a job at Branson, has to drive daily to work. His wife, who formerly worked away from home, is now busy at home with two year old Caroline. They are expecting another momentarily. A young, growing family encourages us greatly, and so we are challenged to believe God for others to come our way.