by Buzz Dahlen
Faith, we just have to have it, there is no getting around it, you have to have faith. We saw how vitally important faith was in the Old Testament, God’s people had to have faith, it no different for God’s people today. If we are going to survive, we need to have faith. You might ask, “Why do I need to have faith?” That is a fair question, because most people don’t believe that it takes that much faith to believe in God. Most people believe that all they really need to do is just believe in God and that should be enough. Well it’s not enough to just believe in God, the devil believes in God…
Jesus’ disciples one asked Him what did God require. The conversation is recorded in the Gospel of John Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6: 8-29 Hmmm, that seems like Jesus is saying that all you are required to do is believe in Him. So, what does believe mean? Let’s do a little Greek word study… Believe: pisteuo, pist-yoo'-o; credit; to entrust, believe, commit, put in trust with. It comes from the word pistis, pis'-tis; assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity. Pistis comes from the word peitho, pi'-tho; a prim. verb; to convince, to rely (by inward certainty):--agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) content, obey, persuade, trust, yield. So basically when Jesus says “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” He is saying, “God requires us to trust in, commit to, rely on, agree with, yield to and obey Jesus.” I believe that in order to do this “work” you will need faith.
James understood this and challenged the early Christians with this: What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no works? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have works." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without works is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. James 2:14-24
What James is trying to communicate is that faith is a verb. Where there is faith there is action. Now do not misunderstand what James is saying. Works alone, doing good things, will not save you. The bible is very clear that it is by faith that we are saved and not by works. But if you have faith there will be evidence that follows along very closely. James is not judging anyone, he wants you and I to look at our life and honestly ask, “am I walking by faith?”
Do you have faith in Jesus? Are you totally dependent upon Him? Have you by faith, given your life to God? We’re not done with this subject yet. But something to think about, Father’s Day is coming up in a couple weeks. I have a great Father’s Day gift idea. If you haven’t yet, why not give your life to God? I know He would love that gift, and I am petty sure there is a “no return policy” on that gift.