Faith is Not ENOUGH

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True Bible Teaching - About You and God and Your Hope of Salvation

Faith is Not ENOUGH

Faith is Not ENOUGH

Faith is NOT ENOUGHEli had chosen his new car carefully, as he especially wanted one that was reliable.

The mechanics had told him “Check the oil, water, and tyres regularly and you should have no problems”.

Eli had great confidence in his car.

However, he ignored the advice and even took no notice when a warning light showed on the dashboard.

The oil was low and soon after this the engine was damaged. His car became unusable.

He had been confident that the car’s reputation was sufficient and had failed to follow important instructions.

He only had himself to blame.

Sadly, this is not an uncommon approach to life. As one of the proverbs says:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

In other words, believing you are right does not make you right. Many people have a very strong conviction that they are ‘saved’ by God, but – like Eli – they may be deluded.

Faith can be deadFaith without WORKS is DEAD

Firstly, ‘faith’ on its own is worthless, because it is not proper faith. The apostle James makes this clear.

“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:17-18); “and Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).

Hebrews chapter 11 lists people deemed ‘faithful’ by God, and in every case this is evidenced by their having done something consistent with their faith. In John chapter 8 there is a discourse between Jesus and the Jews who argue that they are the descendants of faithful Abraham. Jesus retorts:

“If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

Later, Jesus says to his disciples:

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (John 15:10).

The gospels and New Testament letters are full of instructions about how the faithful disciple should strive to obey God and live in a Christ-like manner. While we can never earn salvation, which is an undeserved gift of God (Romans 6:23), we can forfeit it by not trying to be obedient.

Jesus says that unless we are born again (the first step of which is baptism) we cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

The Apostle Paul compares the believer’s battle against human nature with a soldier preparing for battle (Ephesians 6:13-18).

In this letter the believers are described as ‘saints’ − holy ones. But such saints can be unfaithful and disobedient people will be rejected by Jesus when he comes (Matthew 25: 41-46).

Believe the truth

Secondly, faith determines actions, so it is critically important to have the correct faith. The Pharisees had a strong faith and were very zealous, but Jesus described them as ‘fools’ and ‘hypocrites’ despite their dedication (Matthew 23, especially verse 15).

In the time of Jesus the Jews mistakenly believed and argued that they were protected by God because they were descendants of Abraham. This was not what God had said. The Law of Moses made it clear that divine protection was conditional on their obedience (Deuteronomy 28).

This was not a new mistake. In the days of the prophet Jeremiah the Jews in the southern tribes had become so disobedient that God warned them, through Jeremiah, that they were to be taken out of their land into captivity in Babylon. The princes and false prophets refused to believe Jeremiah, ignored the warnings, and treated him dreadfully. The people believed that because the temple in Jerusalem was ‘God’s house’ then He would never destroy it, but Jeremiah judged these as ‘lying words’ (chapter 7:1-14).

False prophets kept contradicting Jeremiah, saying that God had promised peace (chapter 23:16-17). Moreover, some of the Jews who had mixed worship of the true God with worshipping the ‘queen of heaven’ (strictly forbidden under God’s laws), argued that this false worship did them more good than worshipping God, saying:

“For then we had plenty of food, were well off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by famine” (Jeremiah 44:17-18).

Of course, Jeremiah’s words came true. Jerusalem was captured and the nation went into captivity in Babylon.

What about Us?

Faith is absolutely essential but is not, in itself, enough. Eli believed that his car was problem-free. By not following the maker’s instructions, and even a warning, his faith was unfounded.

Similarly, blind faith that we are ‘saved’ by God because God loves us all and wants us to live forever, is pure fiction.

God’s Word the Bible is utterly dependable, and God always keeps His promises.

But God’s promises involve conditions and judgements as well as giving us a true and certain hope. Even receiving God’s blessings like peace, good health and food does not imply that He is pleased with the way we are living. As in Jeremiah’s day, there are many false teachers and we cannot afford to follow them.

It is a matter of life and death to establish, from the Bible, precisely what God has promised and what He asks us to do. It is then up to us to believe Him and to live accordingly by doing the things God asks us to do.

By Anna Hart

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