It’s amazing to me how resistant modern Christian ears are to hearing that they should do good. It’s puzzling how we’ve turned doing good, doing what God wants us to do, into sheer evilness.
Rather than doing good, we much prefer getting away with just saying nice stuff, having good intentions. As long as we say sweet things about Jesus what we do is irrelevant.
This is nothing new to human nature. It’s an ages old battle. People resist personal responsibility in every form. Jeremiah 7 contains a great passage about this subject. Here is the progression:
7:3–”Thus saith the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings“
7:5–”throughly amend your ways and your doings“
7:8–”Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.”
7:9-10–”Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?”
Israel went to their destruction singing the wonders of their great salvation, they had been delivered and were now free to sin, sin, sin! They trusted words over actions.
Granted, there’s another error on the other side which trumps doing good over faith. The answer is not to flip out to extremes.
The answer is to quit playing games with our words and start hearing God’s Words, which implies doing what He says. It is only by faith that a man is capable of pleasing God.
I fear for many who are caught up in word games, appeasing their conscience with happy Christian platitudes while their deeds deny they know anything about God.
The OT history of Israel shows that this attitude didn’t work for them and there should be absolutely no expectation it will work for us either. These things were written for our learning.