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Do YOU Have Faith?
Do You Have Faith?
Most of us would affirm that we have faith, just as most of us believe we are saved. But what do we mean when we say we have faith? Is our belief different than the saving faith found in the Bible?
Different Views: The most common belief among the churches of men is that faith is merely believing in God. John 3:16 tells us of God’s love and our salvation, if we believe. Since belief (faith) is a condition of salvation it needs to be understood and practiced. They have reduced faith to an acceptance that Jesus is the Son of God. All the commands, teachings, practices, and so on are considered optional. "We are saved by faith,” they contend.
This doctrine is not only satisfying for the individual who does not want to do all the New Testament teaches, but it is also rewarding for the the churches of men who don’t wish to draw lines of division between themselves and those of differing practices. It is a comfortable doctrine to the preacher who can convert thousands at a time over the TV set or in a crowded auditorium without having to engage in personal contact with anyone. But is it in the Bible?
A preferred passage by these false teachers is Ephesians 2:8-9 which says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Some claim this verse teaches we are saved by grace alone. Others observe that salvation is through faith in the passage, and they declare we are saved by God’s grace along with man’s belief. Both views agree that obviously man’s works are not needed for his salvation. But the question is what are man’s works and what are God’s works? You see verse 10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Man’s works (those designed by men) won’t save him, but God’s works (baptism, repentance, attendance, etc.) will.
The Bible teaches us that faith is trusting in God to the degree that we obey His teachings. Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” There is no diligence in the "do nothing doctrine” of "faith only”. Our coming to the Lord is by His terms, not by our imaginations.
Different Objects: Most would acknowledge that it takes faith in God to save us. However, when you ask them about their beliefs and practices they cannot supply a "thus saith the Lord” for their convictions. They will not refer to the Bible but to their preacher’s words, their doctrinal views, their traditions practiced, or their preferences held. In truth their faith is not in God but in men. Biblical faith requires man to obey what God says in order to be saved.
James 2:17-20,24 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou host faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?... Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Different Sources: There is only one place where we can get the faith that saves. Romans 10:17 tells us it is "by hearing the word of God.” We do not get this faith from a warm and fuzzy feeling. Faith is not born out of a religious experience or a dream of God’s love. Our belief in God must be based on what the Bible says and that is what must be responded to. It is interesting that some will say they are saved and refer to a "justifying” verse whose context clearly condemns their belief. Consider our reference of Romans 10:17.
Romans 10:13-17 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
False teachers will instruct people to pray God into their hearts or to ask Jesus to save them based on verse 13. These methods of "calling on the name of the Lord” are completely manufactured by men. To truly call on the Lord you need to know what the Bible says as the passage clearly instructs. Calling on the name of the Lord involves being told the truth by a preacher who studies in truth the Word of God. "Calling on the name of the Lord” is consistent with obeying the Gospel.
What about you? Is your faith in man? Do you feel saved today, but you won’t be sure tomorrow? Do you have the faith that saves? If so, you can read about it in the Bible. Do not lose your soul by believing in man’s errors.
Adapted: Bro Ron Roberts
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