We all know that common sense isn’t nearly as common as its name implies. And common sense isn’t the only thing that isn’t as common as it should be.
You are generous because of your faith. And I am praying that you will really put your generosity to work, for in so doing you will come to an understanding of all the good things we can do for Christ.
Philemon 6 (NLT)
The New Living Translation makes this verse pretty clear, but Barnes Notes on the Bible expounds on it even more.
Calvin has well expressed the sense of this passage, “…For although faith has its proper seat in the heart, yet it communicates itself to men by good works.” The meaning is, that [Paul] desired Philemon would so make common the proper fruits of faith by his good deeds toward others, that all might acknowledge it to be genuine and efficacious.
Barnes Notes on the Bible
My faith is personal. Yes, of course it is. It should be. But our faith should be anything but selfish. Like we discussed earlier this week, being a Christian, by definition, is to be Christ-like. And even Jesus, in his most personal moments, took the time to generously minister to others.
GENEROUS: Liberal, bountiful, free to give; strong, full of spirit; full, overflowing, abundant; sprightly, courageous.
That doesn’t sound much like something meant to be kept on the inside.
Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.
Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)
James 2:26 states that …faith that does nothing is dead (NCV). Works or good deeds are not what saves us—grace has done that—but works are what prove our faith to everyone else. Works are what draw others to our faith. Works substantiate our claim to belong to Christ. And, as we act more and more like Christ, not only to we look more and more like him, but we get to know him better and have a deeper understanding of who he is and strengthen our personal relationship with him.
Like common sense, the fruits of our faith are not nearly as common as they should be. We shouldn’t have to tell others we’re Christians. Our good deeds should do it for us.
Daily Bible reading: Jeremiah 36-37, Philemon