How Good Do You Have to Be?

Many people were shocked and saddened by the death of musician James Brown recently. Brown was the proclaimed “godfather of soul” and performed in the music industry for over 50 years.

The comments have been coming forth heralding Browns accomplishments in the music industry and how he shaped the careers of other entertainers from Michael jackson to Prince. But one of the other running comments is one that you hear almost every time a famous person dies is, “he was a good person with a good heart”, which brings me to my point.

I don’t want to sound as if I am speaking ill of the dead, but I ask the question, ‘how good do we have to be?’. The story of James Brown is just one of many. You hear it all the time, from James Brown to Bono, its not about our committment to the Lord, it about what works we performed on our own.

Charitable acts certainly have value and helping others in need is definitely good for those who need help, but doing good works does nothing for you in the eyes of God without a faithful, obedient relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. Feeding thousands, raising millions and giving aways toys to children will not get you one inch closer to God. For the born-again believer, service is expected and required, and I believe, should go without the pomp, circumstance and praise of men. However, for the unsaved, those who reject Christ in every way, your acts, your good works, will die with you.

The book of James indeed tells us “faith without works is dead”. but it is also understood that works without faith possessed no life to begin with.

It isn’t just the Bill Gates’ of the world that are deceived in this false belief, but millions of people in churches are under the same delusion. Many church members are under the belief that if they work enough or volunteer enough, then that will put them in right standing with God, instead of their striving for righteousness and holiness, and being faithful and obedient to scipture. 

I don’t know if James Brown was a Christian. If he was, it was not reflected in his life. I pray he repented and placed his faith in Christ before the end.

To all of us here, it is not your works that save you, it is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, according to His Word.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9

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