Jul 11, 2007

Works Produced by Faith

In keeping with the discussion we've been having the last week or so, I found this. It's the notes part of my Orthodox Bible.

Matthew 25:31-46 Commentary

Here is the majestic climax of the discourse, which is not simply a parable but an account of the universal judgment. Since the Cross is now near for Him, Jesus raises up the hearer to the sight of the glory of the Son of Man, His judgment seat, and the whole world before Him. He shows the heavens opened and all the holy angels (v. 31) present to witness His judgment. For if the first coming of the Son of Man was in humility, to serve and to die, the Second Coming will be in glory, as a King to judge all the nations (v. 32).

The standard of judgment is uncalculated mercy toward the needy. The works produced by faith are emphasized, for a saving faith produces righteous works. It is possible to fool ourselves about whether we truly believe, but what we do so reflects our true inner state that we will need no other evidence before God's court. The needy are the intimate brethren (v.40) of Christ. The least of these (v. 45) may refer primarily to Christian missionaries or to needy Christians and, by extension, all who suffer. Jesus identifies Himself with the poor and the outcast and invites to brotherhood all who are kindled with love for others (1 John 4:20). These are crowned with grace.

I'll comment more later. It really struck me.

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