Faith In Action

Many argue that you are saved once you believe in God, and nothing can remove you from this position. In this belief, you may live as you choose because God is forgiving. While it is true God holds those who are truly His secure in salvation, the evidence of this is a pure and repentant walk with Him. The act of good works and keeping yourself clean daily from sin is proof of your salvation and that His Spirit is within you, restraining you from sinful behavior.

God does the work of refinement and salvation within, but this does not mean you can now live and do as you wish, then go to Heaven in the end. God has requirements for you to follow. Even more than that, the fulfillment of your salvation is that you obey His commands. It takes faith in God to please Him, and then you must act upon that faith to prove yourself genuine.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28

It is God who does the saving and the changing. But you must do the hard work of turning away from your sins daily. You must seek Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. You must repent and resist wickedness at every level. It is God who cleanses and sanctifies. But you are responsible for obeying His commands, precepts, and holy ways. It is not called a sacrifice for anything; God expects you to mirror His holiness more each day.

It is God who guides your steps. But you must master your mind, flesh, and lips to live in His righteousness and purity step by step, not turning to the right or left. God will help you, giving you the strength and ability to carry it out. But it is your job to resist temptation and turn toward Him to obey.

I hope you see where I am going with this. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it. Yes, that would be you since you are responsible for yourself. Don’t think that because grace and forgiveness have come, His holy Law has been lowered or eliminated.

No, Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

Let me give you an example from life. If you bring a dress shirt for a tux to the Laundry Mat, they will clean it. But once it is back in your hands, it is your responsibility to keep it clean. If you get it dirty again, you must clean it again before you would use it at a wedding. Most people would never wear a grimy and dirty dress shirt when they should look their best. It would be disgraceful.

You should apply this to your walk with Jesus Christ. If you become grimy because of sin, you are not presentable to God as holy. You must wash your heart from your sins through repentance every time you fall. Thank God He is always willing to forgive, forget, and cleanse when you humble yourself in repentance.

It is both the work of God and your faith in action that accomplishes this. You should obey Him from your gratitude, as a humble servant of the Lord, and because it is His command. But more than that, you must rely on the Holy Spirit. He will transform you from who you used to be, an unrighteous sinner, to what He desired you to be, a reflection of His image. The effort you put in will reflect the measure of faith you have in Jesus. But if you do not seek to change and accomplish the purification, He expects there is a good chance you are not heading to Heaven.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17

God wants you to be clean, but you must diligently keep yourself clean by continuous repentance. But, unfortunately, your sinful nature and flesh are still present, and the devil is on a mission to completely ruin your testimony with all kinds of temptations, day in and day out.

Resist him firm in your faith. Put your faith into action by struggling to do what is right. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you to help you. Call out to Him in faith, and He will answer you. He will help you stay righteous and clean in His eyes. Take action against the devil, guarding your mind, heart, and actions against evil.

Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:7-10

Remember, action without faith is dead, and faith without action is dead. Therefore, you must have faith in God and prove yourself faithful by obeying His commands. Those who claim Christ but do not obey Him hate Him and are still in rebellion. You may believe in God, but so do the demons. You are a hypocrite if you break His commands and continue to lie, steal, lust, hate, cheat, manipulate, and all things God calls wicked without turning back to Him.

If you act this way, you are like a person who puts on a clean white tux for your wedding and then goes to wrestle with pigs in the mud. Then afterward, you think you are presentable to go to your wedding without cleaning yourself first. But it is obvious that you do not care about cleanliness or the one you are marrying.

In this example, the false believer does not care about righteousness and God’s holy requirements as His servant. He continues to sin, disregarding how God has told him to live. If the power of the Holy Spirit has transformed you, you will care about righteousness and obeying His commands. So put your faith in action and do as He commands.

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:21-22

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