Believe in God? Living an Active Faith!
By: Bruce R. Booker
Many of us have been taught and understood that a belief in God requires “Faith” only. This is true, however, the question we must ask is: “What constitutes ‘Faith’ in the biblical sense? Is it just a “head knowledge” that there is a God, or is it something more?”
If you ask some people on the street whether they believe in God or not, you may get a nebulous answer, “Yes, I believe in God” or “I believe in a Higher Power.” And, when asking them another question, “Do you believe that you are going to go to Heaven?” You’ll often hear, “Yes. I do. I live a good life. I’m a good person.”
Sounds fine according to Western thinking, but is this what the Bible really says about it?
The writer of the Book of Hebrews (11:1) defines a biblical faith as: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” and verse 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.”
Now, while it is absolutely true that one’s salvation is not based upon “Works,” but “Faith” ONLY; once a person is “Saved” it assumes that his or her works (“faith life” – “works”) will follow.
The Scripture notes, Abraham was justified by his faith: Genesis 15:6, “And he believed in the Lord, and he accounted it to him for righteousness,” this passage is cited by Paul in Romans 4:3, 22; Galatians 3:6 and by James 2:23.
Comparing these passages with each other begs the question: “Was Abraham justified by faith or works?”
The answer ultimately, is “Yes.” That is, Abraham was justified (saved) by faith and by works – NOT by head knowledge alone!
The Hebrew way of thinking, as seen in the Bible, is that one’s “Head Knowledge” is reflected (or proven) by their faith walk (i.e. works).
Abram had faith in God and when God commanded him to leave his home and go to a land that God would show him, he went without argument or question (Genesis 12:1). Noah had faith in God and when God commanded him to build an Ark because He was going to destroy the Earth by a Great Flood, Noah built the Ark (Genesis 6:13-18). He did so without argument of question.
In fact, when you go to Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame” in every case, a believer’s “Head Knowledge – faith” in God was proven by their works! No exception!
Sure, their “Salvation” was free by their faith in God, but their faith in God actually cost them something! Sometimes the price was their very lives!
Think of it this way: salvation is a free gift of God through the faith in the One Who saves, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:9), however, once you are saved you will live a grateful life glorifying and honoring to the One Who saved you – that is, Jesus the Messiah.
We who are a part of the “Saved” community of believers in the One True God, are supposed to be walking out our faith in Him by obedience to His commandments.
1 John 2 says that a belief in Jesus ought to walk out his or her faith in Jesus by walking like Jesus did: “3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
A true biblical faith is not simply defined by what you think, rather, it is defined by what you DO with your head knowledge.
The days of “Easy Believism1” should be over for all of us who call upon the Name of the Lord, Our God! We must realize that once we accept Him as our Savior, that He also becomes our Lord and what He says, we must do.
A true believer, “walks as Jesus walks” and “obeys His commandments.”
A true believer “takes up his cross” and follows Him…even to death if He so calls us.
1 The term easy believism is in regards to those who believe they’re saved because they prayed a prayer—with no real conviction of sin and no real faith in Christ. Praying a prayer is easy—thus the term easy believism—but there is more to salvation than mouthing words.
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