Is Believing Enough?
Today, I am asking you this question. Although I don’t know the answer as fully as I wish, God has given me words to speak concerning it.
Whenever you say “I believe,” you are proclaiming that you have faith, trust, confidence, and conviction toward something or someone. “I believe” should cause you to act. If you really mean it, your passion will cause you to take the steps necessary to obedience and aid for that of which you believe. It’s easy to say “I believe,” but it’s hard sometimes to act out what you believe, especially when it comes to believing in Jesus.
Let’s ask Hans this question in an “interview.”
“I am going to ask you a question.”
“Hit me with your question, man. Say, umm, what is it about?”
“It is about Jesus…”
“—oh yes, yes, yes. I know all about my man Jesus. I go to church every single Sunday.”
“That’s great, Hans. But I’m still interested in your answer to my question. Are you ready?”
“Is believing in Jesus enough in God’s eyes?”
“What? Have you not read the Bible? You know, ‘…only son that whomever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). And then there’s that other verse, ‘if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved’” (Romans 10:9).
"I have. And yes, I believe those verses to be very true. But what do you do about it?”
“I told yah, I go to church every single Sunday!”
“That’s it? We cannot leave out any scripture. What about the Great Commission? The verses that Jesus gave towards the end of his life, telling his believers to make disciples of all nations. How effective is your message?”
“—how do your actions differ from that of the world? Could somebody look at you for a day and tell that you’re a “Christian?” What kind of witness are you to the broken?”
“I guess I’m a bad Christian.”
“Nope. That’s not the case. You just need to hear the truth that God wants to speak.”
“James says, ‘What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 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.” 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. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God with his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is deadwithout good works’” (James 2:14-26 emphasis mine).
“OH! I forgot about those verses.”
“Hans (and whomever else), Jesus doesn’t just want to inhabit your heart; he wants to change your heart. He doesn’t just want to take a place in your life; he wants to be your life. After all, he is the one that gave it to you in the first place!”
Now, I just let God’s conviction speak.