In a previous post I spent some time discussing the following idea often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.
(Check out previous posts on this topic here and here)
The quote emphasizes that disciples must walk the walk. It argues for authentic Christian living rather than hypocrisy. I’m in favor of authentic Christian living. Yet, I previously made the argument that we must also talk the talk. We must never deemphasize the verbal proclamation of the gospel. In a post I linked above, I spent some time deconstructing the Assisi quote. Now I will spend some time building it back up.
Disciples are to be salt and light.
Disciples are to be on mission. The mission (according to Matthew 5:16): Seek to influence others so that more and more may glorify our Father in Heaven.
What if a disciple doesn’t do this? Following the train of thought of this passage – they are useless, worthless. Like salt that needs to be thrown out the window. Like a lamp under a bowl.
Can we agree that we want to avoid being worthless? Amen? Can we agree to be on mission? Amen? Then let us live out good deeds. But what counts as a good deed? We need to talk about the gospel once again.
My definition of the gospel:
The gospel is the story of God reconciling and redeeming through the life, death, burial, resurrection, and future return of Jesus Christ as fulfillment of Old Testament promises. The gospel is a witness to God’s grace.
- Reconciling: healing a relationship broken by sin.
- Redeeming: giving purpose and power.
- Grace: We don’t work for it. Earn it. Or deserve it.
- It all centers upon Jesus
Good deeds are an avenue through which the gospel is preached.
Good deeds look like the reconciliation, redemption, and grace of Jesus Christ.
How can I be an agent of reconciliation? How can I be an agent of redemption? How can I be an agent of grace?
There is a link between our good deeds and the Savior we serve. For the sake of clarification, I’d rather call them disciple deeds. Let’s not concern ourselves with good deeds. Rather, let’s be about disciple deeds. The good deeds of the average do gooder are quick and easy. Disciples deeds are much more intentional and usually require sacrifice.