Charles Spurgeon once said, “The surest way to promote godliness abroad is to labor for it at home.” Jonathan Edwards reflecting on the importance of being a man of God in the home believed that the home was a mini-church. By this Spurgeon and Edwards had in mind the idea that the home is to be a place where we take what we believe and put it into practice.
Real Faith Expresses Itself in Godly Works
James teaches that without works is dead (James 2:14-26). James in James 2:14 lays out his principle then illustrates it in James 2:15-17. James 2:18-19 deal with an objection to his point and then in verses 20-26 he gives two examples from the Old Testament. The most important thing to realize about this passage is that James uses the word “faith” in two very different senses. On the one hand, he uses “faith” to refer to living, saving, real faith (James 2:22); but he also uses the same word “faith” to refer to a dead, false, useless faith (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).
James is saying in James 2:14-26 that a real, saving, living faith will produce godly works. James is not suggesting we add works to our faith in order to make it alive. James is saying that, just as a living seed will produce a plant, so living faith will produce godly action. And just as a seed that doesn’t produce a plant is dead, so faith that doesn’t produce works is dead.
It’s not enough to be able to recite the right words or even pretend that we have it all together. A faith that does nothing is dead. A real vital, genuine faith in Jesus will express itself in godly works.
Paul four times in Ephesians 5:13-33 tells us that we are to love our wives. This isn’t an option; it’s a command grounded in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40). Since the Holy Spirit empowers us to live on mission for Him—we must obey Him. While every Christian will struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil, every Christian can overcome sin through ongoing repentance by daily reading, meditating and applying Scripture to their lives.
How to Labor for Godliness in Your Home
We can labor for the gospel in our homes in the following ways:
- First, we commit ourselves to ongoing repentance.
- Second, men not only say, “I love you” to your wife during the day but demonstrate that you love her with your words and actions.
- Third, men, you take your own sin as seriously as you expect others to so, and commit to casting yourself upon the grace of God before telling others to do so.
- Finally, we labor for godliness in all of life because of Christ. God expects us to lovingly lead our wives and our homes because we say we believe, love, and follow Christ.
Now that we understand the importance of promoting godliness in our homes, we must take it and apply it to our lives. We can do this by asking ourselves three penetrating diagnostic questions:
- Am I truly loving towards my wife in my thoughts about her, in the words I use when I’m with her, and in my actions towards her?
- In what ways am I specifically growing in God’s Grace?
- Do I have accountability to help me see areas of sin in my thoughts, words, and actions?
By asking these questions, we are seeking, to be honest before God. Men, your wife, family, neighborhoods, cities, and nation need you. Rather than sitting by the wayside and doing nothing, heed the words of Scripture and begin to follow the example of Edwards, Spurgeon, and a long line of godly men by God’s grace today and begin to promote godliness in your own home.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.