I am Constantly dumbstruck and can almost smell the brimstone when I hear the Baptist
and Pentecostal's favourite phrase “faith alone” I am compelled to understand that the
phrase in itself is double speech. I will not take my text from James today but in James
Chapter 2 it is very clear that what the Apostle James is writing about is an active
faith, and he clearly defines the difference between belief and faith, asking rhetorical
questions, (meaning, they carry the answer in their teeth as they come) regarding active
faith and working through your faith, as faith without working on your faith is dead.
The basis of this sermon is to identify for you the difference between the two, in so
much as to wit, how to rightly divide the Word of God as not to become dragged into the
lie of this belief only heresy.
Turn in your Bible to Hebrews 11:1-13
Now in this rather long passage of Scripture, I have heard this referred to as the “Faith
Hall of Fame” A rather accurate and apt name, wouldn't you agree? In this case they all
acted on what they not only believed to be true but what they knew to be true.
Please read this text and in the first verse Faith is defined as the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen KJV 1611
Its important to remember that faith is something that shapes, not only your Spiritual life
but also the physical life. Without faith you cannot please God, and it is described in the
verse 6 as an active thing, to wit, being a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
“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.” Hebrews 11:6 KJV 1611
You will also notice in this Verse that the word “believe” is used, expressly I believe to
indicate that belief is only the beginning of obtaining faith. The definition of the word
diligent or diligently is to be thorough through persevering and painstaking effort. In this
case by persevering to the end as the Apostle Paul told us to run the race to the end,
seeking the spiritual prize. Acting on your belief which then changes from belief to faith.
The primary difference is, one is non active the other dictates the way you live your life.
If you claim to have faith and you don't obey God, your not diligently seeking him,
neither do you have faith, you have belief.
“But he that shall endure to unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Matthew 24:13 KJV 1611
referring back to the word diligence this is perseverance or in this context endurance.
Let me give you one of the many examples from the Gospels where by the persons faith
they are healed by Christ.
“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent
all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came
behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately
her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all
denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude
throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is
gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came
trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all
the people for what caused she had touched him, and how she was healed
immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy
faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. Luke 8:43-48
She did not just believe, she knew that by just touching his garment that she could be
healed, so much so was her faith she even declared unto Jesus and all the people what
the cause was for touching her garments. In those days with issues of blood that was a
brave thing to do and indicates that her faith caused her to reveal this. OK so lets just
1. It is obedience
2. It is life Changing
3. It is knowledge of what you know, that despite lack of evidence you know it to be
4. It is perseverance
Belief does non of these things, it is neither life changing, by definition it really requires
no obedience. Remember the devils too believe see James 2:19
Yes, of course there are Scriptures that refer to belief only, The most Popular
However, if you read the rest of John Chapter 3 you will read about obedience,
repentance and even baptism when spoken of through water and spirit. A phrase I rather
like, traditionally with the Church of Christ is “the obedience of faith.” This is accurate
in the sense of without obedience to the Gospel you cannot be saved, to wit, Believe is
only the beginning, repentance, confession of faith and Baptism and continual obedience
and endurance to the end is part of the obedience of the Gospel of Christ, without which
you have no hope either in this life or the one to come.
If your in a burning room, it matters not one wit, whether you believe it or not, you will
burn to death unless you act and get out. No pun intended of course!