Faith in Works

This morning, I have just a quick observation on today’s gospel, in which the servant who made five talents more out of the five talents entrusted to him by the master, hears, “Well done, good and faithful servant.  Because you were faithful over small matters…[Matthew 25: 21]”  The word for ‘faithful’ in both cases is the Greek pistos, from the same stem (essentially the same word) as the word that the New Testament authors always use for ‘faith’ in the more abstract sense: pistis.  In making this connection, can we deny that mere belief is not sufficient for salvation?  Rather, must we not conclude that effective work with the gifts entrusted to us is precisely what will demonstrate our faith?

1 Comment

  • Missfire says:

    I think we can deny that (if I understand the double negative in your question). You seem to be saying that mere belief is not sufficient for salvation. In all of Jesus’ healings he said it was their faith that saved them (not their good works). When the stories are told, they are not preceeded by a recounting of the good works that the person did in order to deserve salvation. It was the “belief,” I think. I do agree that effective work with the gifts entrusted to us will demonstrate our faith and one might question if one has true faith if not accompanied by good works and other such acts indicating the presence of the Spirit. But if mere belief is not sufficient, then a person who has a conversion and truly comes to believe in Christ but who is 10 minutes later run over by a car and killed, would not be saved since he had no time to seal the deal with works. It’s sorta like the story of the prodigal son. The bad son went off and squandered everything; the other son stayed and did what he should have. The both made the same mistake, however. They both thought that the Father’s love had to be earned. The bad son thought he was not worthy and the older son thought the Father owed him something because he had earned his love by his works. Both were wrong and contrary to the example set for us by Jesus – unconditional love.