Pictured above are two Rawlings baseball gloves. Both are black 11.5 inch trapeze web models that look the same, other than the one on the left is a left handed glove with white stitching and the one on the right is a right handed glove with gold stitching. To the naked eye, they look comparable and I’m sure if they were placed on the right person’s hand, they both could catch a baseball.
However, the glove on the left is a Gold Glove Gamer series glove made out of deer tanned cowhide valued $79.99, while the glove on the right is a Gold Glove Opti-Core collection made of European Leather valued at $499.99. Now to real ballplayers, you put that on your hand and you immediately know the massive difference between the two. To people outside the game, they are astonished why the one on the right could really be that much more valuable than the one on the left.
To them, they look the same and they do the same things, so what’s the difference?
When people outside of the Faith look at us, what do they see? Or maybe a better question, are we projecting works to prove our faith or are our works in response to our faith? Both may look the same, but they are very different. One has value and the other is a cheap counterfeit.
“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
The way this is often debated within the church is Faith vs. Works. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that we have been saved by grace through faith and not by works. The fact that the statement was made indicates that people believed the opposite. Or at the very least, their lives communicated that belief. We’re no different. We can set out to do good works to prove that we have good morals and character without ever having faith. This is a cheap counterfeit.
The other mistake we as Christians can make is to use verses 8 & 9 (that we’re saved by grace through faith and not through works) and say that we don’t need works. That’s not true either. Verse 10 goes on to say that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works. The glove on the right doesn’t say to the glove on the left, “I don’t need to be crafted into a glove and catch baseballs because my real value is in the leather.”
The fact is that whether you are a baseball glove or a follower of Jesus Christ, the following is true.
- Cheap imitations and the real thing hold the same functions but insanely different values. The function isn’t the value.
- Cheap imitations don’t work as well as the real thing and they never last.
- The real thing’s value is meaningless if it’s never used for the purpose for which it was created.
“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:14-18
Go. Fight. Win.