How important is faith in the Christian life? Well, to become a Christian you must believe in the Only One who can save you, Jesus Christ. So faith in Christ is required to be a Christian.
If you want to please God we must have faith:
â€œBut without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.â€ (Hebrews 11:6)
Suffice it to say dear Christian that it is our duty to have faith. It is a duty that Jesus did not take lightly and believing, having faith, was central to His message:
â€œJesus answered and said to them, â€˜This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.â€™â€ (John 6:29)
The question Jesus is answering is â€œWhat shall we do, that we may work the works of God?â€ In other words, if I want to be doing the will of God, I have to believe in Jesus.
Okay then, as Christians weâ€™re good! Not so much.
The Greek verb â€œbelieveâ€ is pisteuo and it is used in the New Testament 241 times. It means â€œto believe, put oneâ€™s faith in, trust, with an implication that action based on that trust may follow.â€ So, our faith should be backed up by our works. Sound familiar?
â€œBut someone will say, â€˜You have faith, and I have works.â€™ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believeâ€”and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, â€˜Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.â€™ And he was called the friend of God.â€ (James 2:18-23)
James says that â€œby works faith [is] made perfect.â€ Again, the word perfect does not mean without sin or error, it means to be complete. So to be a Complete Christian we must perform works of faith. Works that base themselves not on potential results but pious reverence.
Most of us are Doubting Thomasâ€™ and thatâ€™s why weâ€™re willing to cut him some slack. Jesus wasnâ€™t:
â€œNow Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, â€˜We have seen the Lord.â€™ So he said to them, â€˜Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.â€™ And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, â€˜Peace to you!â€™ Then He said to Thomas, â€˜Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.â€™ And Thomas answered and said to Him, â€˜My Lord and my God!â€™ Jesus said to him, â€˜Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.â€™â€ (John 20:24-29)
Jesus told Thomas, â€œDo not be unbelieving, but believing.â€ Thomas was merely being pragmatic. For him to believe that Jesus did what He said He would do, Thomas had to see and touch Jesus for himself. Thomas was very pragmatic. I think many of our self-described Christian leaders would do well to join The Doubting Thomas Society on Facebook, â€œa home for the believer, the skeptic, the doubter, and the indifferent.â€ That description nicely sums many Christians; they claim to be a believer but their skepticism and doubt makes them indifferent to the Word of God. That is because they spend more time reading the newspaper and political position papers than they do the Bible. They put their trust in the G-O-P instead of G-O-D.
The issues we have in Washington DC could be easily solved if we would first elect only godly men and women to represent us. And then we must hold them accountable once elected by correcting them when they err and encouraging them when they stand on principle.
More so with our pastors! When was the last time you said an encouraging word to your pastor about his willingness to stand on the Word of God?
Bro Dave, how can you say it would be done easily when the problems we face in America are so complex. Well let me share a familiar quote I love to use but put it into context. Quoting from William Federerâ€™s wonderful â€œAmericaâ€™s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotationâ€™s,â€ Federer writes: â€œWhen asked why he never seemed discouraged or depressed over championing such an unpopular fight (slavery), John Quincy Adams repliedâ€:
Duty is ours; results our Godâ€™s
Oh would that God raise up a people who would actually believe that! Would to God that I would be that man! Would to God that you would be that Christian!
Can you, can I possibly be that person? Yes, but it takes courage. Are you willing? Are you able? You are if you are basing your faith on the Word of God and now the word of man!
Oh but Bro Dave the world is so evil, Washington DC is so corrupt, and our efforts seem so small and ineffective.
Fear not my precious brothers and sisters in Christ! For there is safety in numbers so let us grow. But more importantly there is safety in Christ, so let us believe!
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers
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