In a meeting this week, a man gave a group of us a nugget of profound wisdom - ‘A dog does not bark to be a dog, but barks because he is a dog.’ In a folksy way, he was simply saying that being and doing belong together; one is not separate from the other. Dogs bark because that is what dogs do. They are not trying to be dogs by barking, but barking is part of what it means to be a dog.
In the same way, followers of Jesus do certain things because that is what they do. When a woman surrenders to Jesus, she becomes a new kind of person. John says she is born again of the Spirit. She performs acts of love not to become a Jesus follower; she loves because of a changed nature.
James, the brother of Jesus, talks about this truth in terms of faith and works. He asks, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but has no works?” The answer is that talk of faith is useless - unless there are works. A bit later he says, “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’.” In other words, works are not imperative for faith, works are indicative of faith.
Thus far, this is straightforward and clear, and yet, there is an uneasy question – What does it mean when a dog meows? Well, if a true dog meows, then... click HERE to read the rest of this article.