Saturday, February 19, 2011

Defining Faith Part 2

(Video & photo credit Louis DeMeo)

It took a whole lot of faith to sit under that collapsed building on top of a ton of stinky rubble. Eeeeeooh! Who knows what lay underneath that stuff? But what is real faith -- the kind that delivers our souls from damnation? And what makes the Christian faith, belief in the Bible as God's inspired Word, different from other faiths?

One defining aspect of the Christian faith is faith. Sound simple? It is. But some people make it so darned complicated.

The Bible teaches that by faith we are saved, not by works (Ephesians 2:8). Faith, as discussed in last week’s article, must be based on truth in order to be true faith. To the Bible-believer, that object of truth is God’s Son, Jesus.

Most religions – just about all religions – believe that you must try to be good enough to merit Eternal Life and Heaven. That’s what makes Christianity or Bible-believing different from other religions; the very premise of Christianity is that humans cannot do enough good to merit God. They cannot arrive at perfection because they are bound by old sin natures.

The Bible says none of us will ever be good enough for all have sinned and fall far from the mark of perfection demanded by the very personification of perfection, God (Romans 3:23). That’s why God sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price of our imperfections and to die for our sin, so we could, in essence, go scot free to Heaven on the merit of what He did—and not on what we did or didn’t do. That’s called grace: receiving something we don’t deserve and never earned or merited.

Bottom line: He did it for us. We must accept it and accept Him, believe in Him, put our faith in Him. It’s not hard but it is clearly the most important decision one can ever make because it’s this decision that determines our eternal destiny. If we believe in Him, we become His adopted child and He promises Heaven and a life walking with Him now. Just takes a little faith...

But that doesn’t mean that once we have put our trust in Jesus and accept Him that we can live like Hell with no consequences. Whatever a person sows, he or she will also reap (Galatians 6:9). And a person who has asked Christ into his heart will be changed over time. Truly changed. And that will show on the outside.

The Bible says that faith without works is dead.

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:14-18, NKJV).

So here’s the cincher. If you really know Jesus you’ll walk the walk that reflects who He is. You’ll reach out to the hurting, pour out to the poor, reach out to a needy neighbor, pray for loved ones, seek to make your own wrongdoing right, sense when you’ve done something that grieves God and ask for forgiveness… The list goes on. But all that’s for another time. Stop by again soon for more on this subject.

Feel free to leave a comment. i value your feedback.

Janey L. DeMeo M.A.
Copyright © February 2011
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Makettles said...

First of I praise God that He is using you.
I agree with you that Faith without action is meaningless. However no matter how much faith you have god suspends your activities. Puts you on hold, delays your actions to be effective, and do you know whats worse, takes your idea form right under your nose and makes someone else do it as though it was their idea. :))
I speak from experience. It took me years to stop throwing a fit about this and realize that it was just a lesson in patience and humility.
Apostle Paul was in a dungeon. Imprisoned physically. I am in a social dungeon. No matter what I want to do , its not happening. God's message to me is : "Be still and know that I am God." I am a slow learner and I also think I
have ADHD cant sit still.
I enjoy reading your blog.

Janey DeMeo said...

Makettles, Thank you for sharing your heart. You are right. God does put thing son hold, suspends them, for our growth. God wants His will accomplished and sometimes He has to put ours completely on hold -- for our own sakes. (We don't always know what's best for us.) But it's not easy for sure...


Janey DeMeo said...
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