Table of Contents
Belief Versus Faith
Belief is totally different from faith. The existence and power of God, the truth of His word, are facts that even Satan and his demons cannot deny. The Bible says that “the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). We read that “the unclean spirits, when they saw Christ, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God (Mark 3:11 also 5:7). Demons shudder at the thought of their punishment in judgment (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4). Their belief may be intellectually correct, but they remain demons nevertheless. Therefore, theological correctness is not faith (Romans 12:2).
True faith is that, which saves and transforms the life. It exists where there is not only a belief in God’s word, but a yielding of the will (Luke 22:42), submitting of the mind (James 4:7) and focusing the love on the Lord (Romans 8:7). God’s gift of Faith works by love and cleanses the soul.
Through this faith, the heart is transformed into the image of God. Paul explains how this change takes place, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
A person may read, hear, speak, or even preach about God’s law, but unless he loves its principles, he will gain nothing. Love leads to obedience of the law (1 John 5:3). For “Love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). Only in a heart where love dwells can the law of God be truly loved and obeyed (2 John 1:6). The converted heart, will delight in obeying God’s moral law and will say with the psalmist, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
Relationship With God
A living relationship with God means more than to be His follower or disciple. It means a daily, living union with Him (John 14:20; 15:4–7). Jesus emphasized the closeness of this union by His parable of the Vine and the Branches (John 15:1–7). And he who claims to be in Christ is expected to bring forth fruits suitable to his claim.
These fruits are called “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9), or “fruits of righteousness” (Philippians 1:11Hebrews 12:11), that is, fruits which are righteousness. These fruits are seen in the character and the life. When these “good” qualities (James 3:17) are missing, it becomes necessary to cut the fruitless branch.
The apostles of Christ wrote about this living relationship. John describes the union between the believer and God as being “in him” (1 John 2:5, 6, 28; 3:24; 5:20). Peter also wrote of being in Christ (1 Peter 3:16; 5:14). And Paul applied this union both to churches (Galatians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and to individuals (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:1).
The scriptures declare that unless a person is experiencing a changing union with Christ, he cannot claim freedom from judgement. Thus, the saving faith is that faith the produce both justification (instant forgiveness of all past sins) and sanctification (life-long process of transformation) by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Timothy 4:5).
In His service,