(Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the American King James Version).
Most people view faith as merely believing God. Though faith involves believing God, not all who believe God have faith in him. For instance, devils also believe there is one God and even tremble before him, but they don’t have faith in him!
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
So, faith implies more than just believing God. Biblical faith implies obedience to God and his word, as evidence of our belief in him. From the chronicle of men of faith in the Scriptures, we discover that their acts of faith were tied to their obedience to God’s commandments. Noah obeyed God’s command to build an ark and shelter in it for safety against a flood that was promised would destroy the world. That was described as an act of faith. When God commanded Abraham to leave his father’s house and go to a strange land he didn’t know of, Abraham obeyed. That was described as an act of faith. When God commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to him, Abraham obeyed. Bible described Abraham’s obedience as an act of faith. Thus, we see from the heroes of faith in the Bible that faith involves not just believing God, but more importantly, it implies obeying him and doing his commandments.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went.
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
Hebrews 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall your seed be called:
Hebrews 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from where also he received him in a figure.
Faith as an act of obedience to God’s revealed will or directive is implied in the fact that faith comes by hearing the word of God. Faith may come by hearing the word of God, but mere hearing of God’s word without acting upon it is no faith. Faith may come by hearing God’s word, but biblical faith is demonstrated by obeying God’s word! If a man hears the word of God and acts upon it, he has faith in God. If a man hears the word of God and refuses to act upon it, though he may claim to believe God, but like the demons who believe God and tremble, such a man has no faith in God! Faith is not a feeling we work up in our minds. Faith is the individual’s response to the word of God. If we obey God’s word and act accordingly on it, we have faith. If we hear God’s word and we refuse to obey it, we do not have faith. If we disobey and rebel against God’s word, we are simply faithless! Refusing to obey God’s commandments is evidence of unbelief, even if we claim to believe God!
Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias said, Lord, who has believed our report?
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is preached among men for people to believe and obey, in order to be saved. It is the obedience of faith in the gospel that saves. Jesus said that for a man to be saved, he must repent and believe the gospel. Only those who believe the gospel and are baptised shall be saved. That’s what Jesus said. If a man claims to believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, but refuses to be baptised as Jesus commanded, is the man displaying faith? Such a man who repents, but refuses to be baptised will not have his sins remitted, for only those who repent and are baptised are promised remission of sins, according to the Scriptures. True believers are those who obey God’s commandments completely, not those who act otherwise. Jesus likened those who hear his words but do not obey them as foolish people who build their houses on the foundation of sinking sand. That faithless structure is destined for a monumental collapse!
Mark 16:15 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.
The Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do?
The Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
The Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
The Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.
Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Romans 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
Matthew 7:26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house on the sand:
Matthew 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
In conclusion, faith is an act of obedience to God’s commandment, and is not just believing God, for one can claim to mentally believe God and fail to obey him, like the devils who believe God and tremble, but do not have faith in him. Faith comes by hearing God’s word, and is demonstrated by obeying God’s word. Inward faith is revealed by outward obedience to the word of God. That’s how a man is justified in the sight of God—by hearing the word of God and by believing and obeying it. Anything contrary to this is not faith. Thus, one can believe in God and still perish, if he or she does not obey God’s directive on what to do to be saved.
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