The end and aim of our Christian faith is that we might develop a Christlike character. This is extremely important to remember. Far too many people have the idea that the most concrete expression of their faith in Christ is all in their talking. They even buy into the non-biblical doctrine that says the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is talking in tongues. At base this doctrine puts emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit and nearly neglects the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit emphasizes character.
This over emphasis on talking about our faith as opposed to living our faith results in people studying the Word, hearing the Word, talking about the Word, but never allowing it to transform their life. With this kind of person, it’s all talk! This kind of “saying, but not doing” faith leads us to have workshops, retreats, class after class, discussion about problems, both personal and global, and yet, never translating any of what we learn into concrete ministry. We “say” the Word, but the Word never becomes flesh and dwell among us.
Saying and doing are two different things in our Christ-centered life. Saying what we believe ought lead to doing what we believe, but it’s not necessarily the case. Doing what we believe does not necessarily mean that we will say what we believe. But in either case, it is the doing what we believe that counts with God.
In Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus tells the parable of a man who had two sons. He asked them both to go into his vineyard and work. One said he would go and didn’t. The other said he would not and did. The question Jesus posed is: “Which of the two did the father’s will?” The obvious answer is the one who went into the vineyard and worked even though he had said he would not. One said he would and didn’t. The other said he would not and did. Doing the Father’s will is more important than just saying it.
Saying and doing are two different things! The concrete expression of what we are in reality is in our doing!