Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Believing in God isn't enough!

Do you believe in God? Do you believe that there is only one God and that He is the God of the universe and he created all mankind and everything in this world? Some people are under the misunderstanding that if they believe in God then they will have eternal life. Of course for anyone to be allowed into heaven, yes they must believe in God, the very same God I described earlier, but, to believe in God alone is not enough! Having faith in God is not enough!

James 2:19 says... You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.

James tells us that even the demons believe there is one God. So I ask you, are the demons going to spend eternity in heaven with God? Of course not. But the lesson here is that even they believe in God. So believing that there is a God or saying that you believe there is a God simply isn't enough to ensure you'll spend eternity in heaven. Our faith is not evident when we speak our belief, it's only evident in our actions and the way we live our life. In other words... our works for the Lord will be the evidence of our faith and it's the evidence of faith that makes our belief in God genuine. Truth faith in God and what He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ on the cross, is the only way to heaven. We must confess Jesus as our Lord and repent of our sins. This repentance of sin is the evidence of a Spirit lead life. Our actions or works will be of the Holy Spirits leading if we have true faith that saves us.

James 2:17-18 says... (17)So you see, faith by itself is not enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (18)Now someone may argue, "Some people have faith; others have good deeds." But I say, "How can you show me your faith if you don't have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds."

So you see, if we don't have good deeds, if we are not showing our faith, then we have to ask ourselves a very serious question. Am I really saved at all? The truth is... genuine faith in God that saves us produces fruit in our lives and others see it in our actions. God's Spirit works through us, or God's Spirit may not be in us. That's the harsh reality of these verses. My fear is that the churches are filled with people that believe, but may be lost, because faith in God alone isn't enough.

I remember attending a Promise Keepers conference a few years ago, and the speaker that year said something I've never forgotten. He said, "You can say you are a "promise keeper," but you're not one till your wife or your kids says you're a "promise keeper." The point of course is if we truly are promise keepers then there will be evidence that as a man of God I keep these promises I've committed to live by. If the evidence is not there, well I can say I'm a promise keeper, but it would be a lie wouldn't it? No one sees it. No one believes it. Like James says in verse 20 of Chapter 2. "How foolish! Can't you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

I want to encourage you here. I know this devotion may cause some to doubt their salvation. Please remember that we will not be perfected in any way till the day we've been made complete in heaven in the presence of God. Till that day, we're still in bodies of flesh and all it's sinful selfish desires. The Spiritual battle continues daily for us till were in heaven. Saying that though, we should show in our actions our love for the Lord and our love for others. Yes we'll make mistakes and we'll always fall short, but people will see the fruit of the Spirit in our lives because of our faith in Jesus. The only way to Heaven is through Jesus. We must have faith in Jesus and our works or actions will be the proof of our faith.

So what's it look like when we live by the Spirits power?

Galatians 5:16-26 reveals to us the truth of our faith.
Gal 5:16
So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.
Gal 5:17
The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.
Gal 5:18
But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.
Gal 5:19
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure,
Gal 5:20
idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group,
Gal 5:21
envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23
gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
Gal 5:24
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
Gal 5:25
If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.
Gal 5:26
Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I ask you right now to reveal to me where I struggle in my walk with you each day. Help me Lord to live for you. Fill me with your Spirit so that it overflows and touches others through my actions. May others see You in me. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen

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