By Leonard Lauriault: QCS columnist
The tale of the Three Little Pigs could be based on Matthew 7:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, where Christians are taught to build our houses (lives) on the foundation of Jesus and his teachings using gold, silver, and costly stones (materials that can stand the test of this life and the judgment to come — 2 Peter 3:7; Job 23:10; Psalm 66:10; 1 Peter 2:4, 5; 1:7).
We’re to make certain that everything we believe is entirely supported by God’s word and that we don’t dismiss anything taught by Jesus through his inspired writers (John 14:26; 20:22, 30, 31). Otherwise, our house will be built on a shaky foundation with wood, hay, or straw (materials that burn readily, or that any predator can blow away (Matthew 7:15; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Some today would have us accept their teaching (Matthew 15:8, 9) that faith is all we need to be saved and that any action on our part nullifies God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
This interpretation of Ephesians 2:8, 9 does not consider the context of the rest of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians or the rest of God’s word. Yes, we must base our salvation on the fact that Jesus is God’s Son who, out of grace, died for our sins and was raised from the dead (John 8:24; Romans 10:9). But, because faith without actions cannot save (James 2:14-17), there must be a response to our belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior, such as oral confession (Luke 6:46; Romans 10:10).
But that’s not all there is to it. Real faith causes us to turn away from our former life, making us want to please God (Luke 13:5; Acts 26:20; Jeremiah 18:11, 12). Real faith causes us to want to mend our relationship with God as our Father (Isaiah 59:2; Acts 3:19; Galatians 3:26-4:7; Acts 2:38, 39).
Real faith causes us to position ourselves so God will make us alive with Christ and raise us up with him in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:4-7; Romans 6:3-5).
Peter told the Jewish religious leaders that we’re to obey God rather than our religious leaders when they tell us to do something contrary to what God says (Acts 5:27-32). We’re each responsible for comparing what we believe with the standard of God’s word (Acts 17:11). When we do that, obeying what God says, he gives us his Spirit, who reminds us of his love for us as his children (Romans 8:15-17).
If we build our lives on God’s expectations and promises, we’ll be blest beyond belief (Ephesians 3:14-21; Leviticus 25:18-22). Using another nursery rhyme about pigs, we’ll be able to go to market and have roast beef (Matthew 6:25-33) rather than stay home and have none (Deuteronomy 11:13-20, 26, 27).
When we live as God’s obedient children, standing on his promises, his answer to all our desires is “Oui, oui, oui (Yes, yes, yes – 2 Corinthians 1:18-22; John 16:22-24),” and our life experience becomes, “Whee, whee, whee (Joy, joy, joy – John 15:9-11; Matthew 13:44; 25:21)” for eternity.
But if we build our lives on anything other than God’s precepts and promises, even if we once were obedient (2 Peter 2:20-22; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2), we’ll cry, “Wee, wee, wee (or Wah, wah, wah)” all the way home to eternal destruction (Mark 5:11-13; 9:47, 48; Matthew 25:30, 46). What tune will you be singing when Jesus comes back?
Leonard Lauriault, church of Christ