"Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen."
-- Hebrews 11:1
Many have studied the doctrine of Justification by Faith, and have used it as a way to disregard the need for holy, Christ-like living. In fact, many would misinterpret the Doctrine of Grace to mean that we can do whatever we want, God will forgive us. He is faithful and just to do so, you know?
However, this was not the kind of thinking and practice that was going on in Paul’s day. He was not dealing with people that wouldn’t live holy, righteous lives. What he was dealing with were Jews that had rejected the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and were putting their faith in their works. They were “believing” that they were saved because of their own ability to follow the Law.
Consider what James wrote, “Yea, a man may say, Thou has faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18).
Many Jews during Paul's day were putting their faith in their own works. In other words, the “object” of their faith was in their own ability to follow the Law. This is the exact essence of self-righteousness.
However, in our day, we are dealing with even much worse issues. Truth be told, many believe in the false doctrine that all you have to do is believe in God and you'll be saved. The problem with that thought process is that even the demons believe (James 2:19). Does that mean they are saved?
Moreover, there is this belief that all you have to do is "accept" the Lord into your heart, accepting Him as your personal savior -- and some how doing this also implies being filled with the Holy Spirit. The only problem with that idea is that it is not scriptural. In fact, I heard a preacher once say, "It is not you that accepts God, it is God that accepts you."
I know this might be hard to read, but there is more to salvation than just believing. Notice what James said. He said that he would show his faith “by” his works and not “through” his works.
If you were to do an intense study on the topic of faith you would find that every good thing that comes from God comes through the avenue of faith. In fact, many times Christ told people that it was by their faith that they were made whole.
Moreover, you'll find that every man has been giving a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). Some have great faith (Matthew 8:10, Luke 7:9, Matthew 15:28) and others have little faith (Matthew 8:26).
We also find in Hebrews 11:6 that it is impossible to please God without faith, for one must believe that He (Jesus) is (that He exist and that He is God), and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
But, again, it is more than just believing for we must “diligently seek”. Seeking is an action verb. So there must be some action (or work) behind our belief (faith) in order to reap the reward.
"Therefore We Conclude That a Man is Justified by Faith
Hi, my name is William Ballard!
I'm the Founder and CEO of William Ballard & Associates, LLC where we work with incredible business owners and entrepreneurs like yourself every single day. We are big believers in the fact that one of the main keys to your success as to do with your spiritual growth. With that said, I encourage you to schedule a Bible Study call with us. We would love to be able to share the Love of God with you, and to be able to pray over any needs you might have.