Amidst biblical research, archaeological discoveries, scholarly assessment and ancient languages, enough information has been amassed to fill a lifetime of study. By sending e-mails and using the Internet, members in the Body of Christ have an unprecedented opportunity to seek advice and answers from God's ministers, who have been trained and educated in the truth.
One e-mail can yield a plethora of thoughts and insights into Scripture, providing a bountiful harvest of knowledge that can edify and provide spiritual direction. Never before has such a vast array of information been made available to humanity.
With such capabilities, surely no member in the Church of God could ever fall short of the divine inheritance.
With such resources, surely we would never have to ask ourselves the question, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).
Yet we ask because, as dedicated servants, we will do everything to ensure that we please our Father and our elder Brother, who seeks a harvest of like-minded brothers and sisters. We must seek to live a life consisting of more than once-a-week services and an immature application of Christian living. Our example to the world and our adherence to Christian living must be ever expanding, bringing about new depths of faith through spiritual works.
When the disciples asked Jesus how they could increase their faith, He responded with a parable. This parable involved servants who attended to their rightful duties but carried no further dedication to these services. Luke 17:10 states, "When you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'" Truly, as humble servants, we attend to our duties. But as servants seeking to increase faith, we also must ask ourselves, what else may be done and improved on in service to our Master?
This mind-set is the foundation for building faith. We seek the increasing of our faith, for we know that without pursuit—without action—faith cannot grow, for faith without works is dead (James 2:17). We must eagerly seek a spiritual breath of life to kindle the Holy Spirit into a roaring flame of righteous zeal.
If the faith that led us to baptism has not grown since that day we turned from sin, if we have not sought to go beyond our preconceived notion of "faithful servant," can we say that we have drawn closer to God? Or has our faith been without works—frail and feeble—worthless to shield us from Satan's fiery darts?
Character of Faith
Truly, the means by which we build faith is determined not solely by actions, but by the character those actions are rooted in. God knows every individual alive and every individual who has ever lived.
However, our collective history shows God developing personal relationships with a relatively small group of people, working with these individuals and through these individuals according to His will. This is the personal relationship we must bear in mind when considering the difference between our knowing God and God knowing us. Only when the character of faith sprouts action can the works of a servant truly reflect a relationship where the servant is known by God.
Consider Christ's own conclusion to those who cast out demons, did many mighty works and prophesied, all in His name: "I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness'" (Matthew 7:22).
It is the character of faith that leads to actions based in God's laws and blessed by God. The servant is known by God because he loves God (1 Corinthians 8:3); and he increases his faith with service that goes beyond a basic adherence to duty, beyond mere compliance and far beyond the practice of iniquity.
What a blessing God gives us to understand His plan of salvation with Holy Days that outline the gathering of His children now and later for a coinheritance of peaceful eternal life. As His children, entrusted with a responsibility to be an example to all men, let us breathe new life into our dedication to God and may our faith be known to Him by living as pleasing servants. UN