The Pryor Times

Religion

February 27, 2014

Are you walking by faith?

PRYOR, OK — Many good and sincere people believe that we are saved by faith alone, and therefore we do not have to do anything.  Is that really logical?  Do we make God happy simply by believing in Him?  Since God is our Maker and the Creator of the universe, it is wise to seek to please Him.  But the only way to please Him is to walk by faith.  

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  We are told at least three times in the New Testament, “The just shall live by faith.”  The faith by which we are to walk comes from God’s word (Romans 10:17).  We are to trust God and do the things He tells us to do.  Walking by faith simply means to live in obedience to God’s word.  It is reasonable to conclude that one must obey God in order to please Him.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God.  Jesus said in John 8:24, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  There is only one Savior, and that Savior is Jesus, the Son of God.  No one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).  But is believing in Him all that is required?

John 1:12 tells us that those who believe in Jesus have the power or the right to become children of God.  Unless a person has faith, he does not have that right.  But there is a difference between having the right to become a child of God and actually being a child of God.  A person who has a ticket to get into a ball game has the right to attend, but he may or may not use that ticket.  To get into the game, he must use that ticket.

In Acts 8, when Philip the evangelist preached Jesus to an Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch said, “See, here is water.  What hinders me from being baptized?”  Philip answered, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”  If the eunuch did not believe, he would not have the right to be baptized.  But the eunuch confessed, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” thus showing Philip that he did have the right to be baptized and thus be saved.  Therefore Philip baptized him.  Romans 1:16 says that the gospel of Christ is God’s power to save everyone who believes, whether Jew or Gentile.  Faith gives any individual the right to obey the gospel, which is God’s power to save him.

Although faith is essential, faith cannot save by itself.  Paul tells us in Romans 5:1 that we are justified by faith; but notice that he does not say we are justified by faith only.  A careful study of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews will reveal that the phrase, “by faith” does not mean “by faith only.”  We read there that Abel offered a sacrifice by faith.  Noah built an ark by faith.  Moses kept the Passover by faith.  The Israelites crossed the Red Sea by faith, and they later conquered Jericho by faith.  In every single example, the individuals did what God commanded them to do.  Their faith led them to obey God.  Faith without obedience is like a body without a spirit.  Both are dead (James 2:26).  A failure to obey God demonstrates a lack of faith in Him.

Anyone who truly believes that Jesus is Lord will obey Him.  Jesus asks in Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say?”  If we are going to call Jesus our Lord, we must be willing to submit to Him – not to self, or to some man or religious group.  It is inconsistent to call Jesus Lord and not obey Him.

I John 2:3-4 says, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”  According to God, a failure to obey not only indicates an absence of faith; it also shows that the individual does not even know God.  True faith always leads to obedience.  To walk by faith is to obey God.  Are you walking by faith?

 

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