Today’s reading: 6:32-49
In an easy to understand and straightforward passage, Jesus instructs us that good works are part of our obligation as Christians. He says:
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49
To be clear, I would not read this as Jesus saying we are saved by our good works. Note, that he who does not do what Jesus words say, had a house but lost it. Therefore, Jesus is saying that a person can be saved by the hearing of the word (he can have a house) but in failing to do what Jesus’ words say, the house will be lost.
To extend the metaphor further, in doing what we hear from Jesus, we are strengthening our foundation. As a practical matter, we are developing a habit for holiness. This habit strengthens us when “the stream broke against it”. The stream could be anything that tests us, from physical suffering, to attacks by evil forces. As material human beings, we need this practice to strengthen our habits to be prepared for adversity.
Thus, this passage disproves Protestant arguments for “faith alone” and “once saved always saved”.
Tomorrow: Luke 7:1-23