Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deeds and evangelism- 2 Corrinthians chapter 3

Preach the Gospel to all the world

“Preach the Gospel (good news) to all the world- if necessary- use words” - St. Francis of Assisi.

Bible on deeds of the saints and how this is God’s letter to all

“1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves to you afresh-as though we needed, like some others, to have letters of commendation either to you or from you?

2 You yourselves are our letter, written in our hearts, that everyone can read and understand;

3 and it is plain that you are a letter from Christ, entrusted to our care, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not on stone tablets but on the tablets of human hearts. ” II Corinthians Chapter 3 http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=46&bible_chapter=3

We see, firstly, that God, primarily speaks via the acts of the church to the unbeliever. Through sin, weakness, or blindness, many have been blinded to God in nature. We also see, as Paul says- that in the distance, he makes great speeches, but in their presence, he lives his faith.

The effect of the Gospel, versus the effect of a false gospel
A second lesson that we see is this- there were others, who apposed the apostles, and who- for the ways of our world, were being accepted above their authority by some.

Paul noted, that they were a letter of recommendation as to the Apostle’s authority to all the world. They were the message the world understood. They, via their lives, were preaching the gospel. The Gospel has Jesus dying for his beloved spiritual “children” and his church- his “bride”, by the hands of those who hated him. The gospel shows kindness, and the ability to conquer sins, especially with the promises of God in the sacraments.

Our deeds prove our faith
How we respond to the call of becoming new creations, shows people that our faith is true. The false gospels have always had negative effects on their followers. Whatever their people preached, it was not beneficial, no matter how wondrous it seemed to the unstable.

Corpse in the closet, or Miracle

We are either corpses, or miracles to the world. Every time we do good, because it is often so rare, we are noted, and prove the gospel. When we stand firm, others see that our message has added to our wholes. When we look at the lives of those, whose gospel is not the Gospel of Christ, but a man made formula, we note that the followers of such are not free, as the bible promised, but often filled with spite, lies, hypocrisy, and with people who either pretend to be Holy, and seem to have all the right words, but are not. Or, with people who pride themselves in evil.

You know a good tree by its fruit.

You know the false profits, by the way in which their most loyal followers act.

We cannot save ourselves by deeds

“4Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” II Corinthians chapter 3 NIV (Protestant bible)


Only, if we have faith (reference) , or perhaps by Baptism of desire (Although such itself appears to require the standards of both faith and love), can we be saved, yet our faith is in the words of Christ, and in him, and God’s ability to make his own words come true.

With God’s help we become righteous. Our preaching of the gospel, which we cannot accept without the direct purpose of God (a miracle), is done by how it affects our lives. It is also done by our words, but these- we must be careful with- never saying too much or too little, but only what is required, and perhaps what God allows.

Gathering or Scattering

If we declare Jesus with our mouths, but hate our brother, our service is not to God.

If we declare Jesus with our deeds, but do not know the law, we declare Jesus to the world, for we declare his nature- which is Charitable love.

If we know the law, and do not obey our God, then we testify against him and scatter, this is a meaning in that those who do not gather, scatter, but it is not the only meaning.

The Christian represents God to the world
If we know what we must do, and obey God’s law, then we ourselves are miracles- testifying to others about our faith, and that the slander about the modern church, as with the slander against the apostles- is false. We testify to Jesus, and live in him, so far as we live our faith, but our deeds are worthless, unless they are based in God’s grace, and in our trust of his truth. Obedient goodness, is even required in Baptism of desire. Our deeds are only of worth so long as they are reflections of grace. No one is good, but God, therefore- all that is truly good, is of him. That is partly why we are called his children.

“Make No mistake- those who live evil lives are evil- those who live holy lives - are holy” - Adapted From The First Epistle of John

“7 Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. Whoever acts uprightly is upright, just as he is upright.

8 Whoever lives sinfully belongs to the devil, since the devil has been a sinner from the beginning. This was the purpose of the appearing of the Son of God, to undo the work of the devil.

9 No one who is a child of God sins because God’s seed remains in him. Nor can he sin, because he is a child of God.

10 This is what distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil: whoever does not live uprightly and does not love his brother is not from God.

11 This is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we must love one another, ” I John Chapter 3 New Jerusalem Bible


If we truly belong to God, he gives us the ability to obey him. In baptism, the Devil’s control over our lives is taken away from him.

If we consistently perform a single sin- this may be a sign of vice or mortal sin, which Catholic Christians have permission to destroy, via confession- where the Priest acts as a representative of God. We must destroy the flesh via the spirit- The sacraments that Jesus instituted- bring us back to God.
In effect- Faith saves the sinner, but God demands more that inactive faith. He desires to live through the lives of his servants. God is love- he lives via us in love. If we accept his message- that we must repent least we perish, then we should not shy from living such.

Faith and righteous deeds are miracles, and often signs of Grace. There is not considered to be such thing as faith without action. God predestined his saints for good deeds- and if we are his, he is our master, but to rely on deeds, instead of Hope, Faith and Love- in God’s grace- for salvation- is shown worthless in I Corinthians 13- in that I can give away all I own, and my body to the fire, but it is worth nothing outside of Charity (Biblical word can be translated as love). Likewise, I can have faith to move mountains, but without love I am nothing (From I Corinthians 13)(Nothing to whom- surely- human beings are impressed by moving mountains).


Faith, hope and love, are all signs of the Divine work of God.

Faith, without works- does not fit the mold shown through the ages (See our article on faith) and is shown worthless outside of Charity.

Works outside of Charity (A form of love- translated into Old English as charity) are also worthless, and outside of God, who is love- cannot gain salvation.

Because of our hope- to become like Christ- we act on our faith.

Faith and works, and hope- working in unity- testify as to our faith as reality.

Faith without works, is considered worthless faith, and such faith does not positively effect her followers.

The belief that deeds can gain salvation apart from faith, and such works focus does not positively effect her followers.

In Essence

God uses human beings- their lives, their love, their deeds- to show himself to the world at large. Christians are ambassadors as to God. If they live their faith, they show that they take the gospel seriously, and others may take it as more than philosophy. If they treat the words of God as worthless, and do not react to them- then they testify against God. We are also, not to be surprised if the world hates us- for being righteous- because they hate Christ first (see I John 3 Verse 13).

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