The Devils Believe
About whether faith is enough for salvation, the Bible says, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble” (James 2:19). The demons have faith in the existence of God (Mark 3:11; 5:7). In fact, the they have so much faith in God’s existence that they are horrified at the idea of their end in the judgment (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4).
The demons’ belief may be mentally right, but they remain demons nevertheless. In fact, the devil himself has faith in the saving power of Jesus. Yet, he will not be saved. Therefore, no one should say now that intellectual correctness is faith enough. For the faith that saves is the faith that changes the life.
Faith and Works
The Lord says, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). There is not life in the body when the breath is absent (Genesis 2:7). Apart from works, true faith does not exist. Intellectual agreement, doctrinal beliefs, may exist without good works, but not living faith, which unites with God’s power to change the life of a person. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4).
Faith in God should give the fruits of a righteous life. There was nothing dead about the heroes of faith, who were honored in Hebrews 11. By faith they all overcome (v. 33-38). Christians in name only, without godly lives, that reflect the character of Christ are, as it were, lifeless bodies. Christians should be “created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10) that reflect God’s image to the world (Matthew 5:16).
Full Victory Over Sin
Some think that because they have “grace,” their sins are covered even if they lead disobedient lives. But does it really make sense to continue to sin because we have God’s grace? Of course not. God wants not just to forgive our sins but to “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” ( 1 John 1:9). Jesus came to save us from sin not in sin. He came to restore our minds, heal our hearts, and give us the power to resist temptation—not give us a free pass to live in sin (Galatians 1:4).
John says: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that continues in sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God does not continue in sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:7–9). That is, he does not continue to sin, or makes sin a habit (v. 6).
Those that accept Christ as a personal Savior and have experienced the new birth, will certainly have a transformed nature. They will reflect the Father in their characters (John 3:3–5; 1 John 3:1). They hate the sin they used to love, and love to do God’s will instead (Romans 6:2, 6; 7:14, 15). The Lord has given them the victory over their weaknesses, and is ready to helping them in all of their trials.
The Bible says if we cling to Jesus through daily study of His word and prayer, we will have complete power over the flesh. Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The Lord promised us all the grace necessary to overcome. For “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Then we can say with full confidence, “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
In His service,
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