What is genuine faith?
Jesus’ half-brother, James, didn’t have any trouble sharing his thoughts on the subject.
The Bible is clear about the fact that everyone is saved by God’s grace…
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.Ephesians 2:8–9
Yet, at the same time, James pointed out the importance of having faith that is alive and active.
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?James 2:14, 19–20, 26
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
Being a follower of Jesus is not simply about “affirming the right doctrines or agreeing with biblical facts.” (LAB notes)
Yes, we are covered by God’s grace . . . praise God!
But God’s grace does not abolish the importance of obeying Him.
Faith that is based on God’s living and active Word transforms our lives into children who love God so much they want to spend their lives in active obedience.
- “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:14)
- “Why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)
- “I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34–35
- “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 15–16)
So what is genuine faith?
- It is a heart that loves Jesus. – Genuine faith is repentant and surrendered to God.
- It is a heart that wants to obey God. – SEEKing to know and follow His will.
- It results in a changed life. – No, transformation doesn’t magically happen all at once. We are all works in progress. But through faith we surrender our will to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to guide and help us.
- It is a heart that wants others to experience the blessings of genuine faith. – You and I want our faith to show not so we can show how good we are but to let people know how wonderful God is. We want them to want what they see in us.
I want that! I believe the Lord wants that for us, too. I also believe that with His help – it’s possible!
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”Matthew 19:26
A Prayer to Live Every Day with Genuine Faith
Father, Thank you! You are so merciful and gracious. Your love for us is so great You sent Jesus to save us. Your patience with me humbles and overwhelms me. Thank you for making it possible for me to have genuine faith . . . to trust and love You with all my heart and soul.
Please forgive me for not always living in ways that show my love for You. Forgive me for my lack of obedience. You are the perfect parent and I often act like a spoiled rebellious child. I am so sorry.
I want my life to be an example of Your power to change lives. I want everyone I meet to know how much I love You. I want people to see Jesus in me. I want them to want what I have because they see the difference You make in my life. Please help me.
Lord, I surrender my life to You. I give You my day. Please fill me with Your Spirit and help me follow where You guide me and obey Your will as You reveal it to me. May my life glorify You today. Amen.
I am so thankful that when I fall short of faithfully living in ways that glorify God, He is faithful to forgive me and give me another chance…
If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.1 John 1:9
Every day is a new beginning, a day to surrender our lives and live for God’s glory with genuine faith.
On today’s note write:
By God’s grace and with His help, I have everything I need to live with genuine faith.
May God bless you today and fill you with faith, hope, and love.
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