The problem with a breadless gospel

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works” —James 2:14

Blogger and author Jarrid Wilson writes from Armenia: “We cannot ignore the needs of those around us.”

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Today, I walked into another home. Not just any home, but a home in the rural hills of Armenia. The house was full of dust, and the cracks in the walls screamed for care and attention. Although the floor was full of dirt and rubble, the joy on the faces of those who lived in this home would make you think otherwise.

As we stood in the living room of this small and fragile structure, the family looked at us with great joy, honored to have us inside the place they call home. They knew why we were there. They knew we were all Christians, looking to help in any way we could.

As I stood there in disbelief, still baffled that I was halfway around the world on mission to share the love of Jesus, I couldn’t help but realize how broken the sharing of Jesus’ Good News has really become. Let me explain. 

James 2:14-17 states, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

We brought Mariam and her family hats for the winter hand-knit from American donors. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

We need more action

We must understand the importance of sharing the gospel through our words, but also activating the gospel through our actions. What does this mean? It means that although the good news of Jesus is sufficient for all things, one must not ignore the tangible needs of someone who is standing right in front of them. Faith without works is dead. Sharing The gospel without action is dead.

The gospel of Jesus is the most important thing anyone could ever digest, but don’t mistake this truth for giving you a “get out of helping tangibly” free card. The message of Jesus will transform a heart and soul, but a loaf of bread will fill a belly. The two must go hand in hand.

Bread that Mariam’s mother was baking. (©2015 photo courtesy of Jarrid Wilson)

How do we change?

We must change the way in which we share the message of Jesus and initiate a tangible love that coincides with the all-consuming transformative Word of God. We cannot ignore what’s in front of us. We cannot ignore the needs of those around us.

Jesus fed the hungry, healed the lame and even raised people from the dead, all while sharing the good news of grace and salvation. If we call ourselves Christians, then we must truly yearn to live a life that reflects that of Jesus. This means serving as he served, loving as he loved, and caring as he cared. We must break away from sharing a breadless gospel, and instead embrace a gospel that offers salvation and fulfills tangible needs.

Click here to sponsor a child in Armenia!

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See what the other members of our blogging team are writing about Armenia:

Addie Zierman: “This is how we survive the winter”

Amy Bellgardt: “Why I am traveling to Armenia”

Anna Whiston-Donaldson: “Get off the bus, Gus!”

Benjamin L. Corey: “The gospel isn’t about escaping this world, it’s about transforming it”

Matthew Paul Turner: “God have Mercy on us”

Juli Wilson: “When you can’t find the words”

Give a child in Armenia a second chance! Sponsor today.

This post was originally published on Jarrid Wilson’s blog.


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