[ecko_quote source=" James 2:18"] But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds[/ecko_quote]
You don’t have intellectual problems if you don’t believe; you have moral problems. Your problem is not in your head; your problem is in your heart. Hebrews 3:12 says, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Psalm 14:1a says, “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God."
It is not that you cannot believe; it may be that you will not believe, because Christ gives faith to every man, and what you must do is accept it, receive it, and believe it. Christ is that Light; the Light of every man that comes into the world. You can believe, if you will believe. Unbelief is not weak; it is wickedness. It is rebellion. If you want to believe today, God will enable you to believe.
What is faith? Faith is a response to God Himself. You see, true faith is always linked to obedience. You hear the Word, believe the Word, then obey the Word. Faith is not simply saying that you believe and not obeying. Faith that does not lead to obedience is not faith at all. Obedience is the fruit of faith. To obey in New Testament usage, means to give earnest attention to the Word, to submit to its authority, and to carry out its instructions.
Obedience in this sense is almost dead in modern Christianity. The Church of our day has soft-pedalled the doctrine of obedience, either neglecting it altogether or mentioning it only apologetically and without urgency. This results from a fundamental confusion of obedience with works in the minds of preacher and people. To escape the error of salvation by works we have fallen into the opposite error of salvation without obedience.
The Bible knows nothing of salvation apart from obedience. Paul testified that he was sent to preach "obedience to the faith among all nations." He reminded the Roman Christians (Romans 1:5) that they had been set free from sin because they had "obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
The weakness in our message today is our overemphasis on faith with a corresponding underemphasize on obedience. This has been carried so far that "believe" has been made to double for "obey" in the minds of millions of religious persons. The result is a host of mental Christians whose characters are malformed and whose lives are all out of proportion. Imagination has been mistaken for faith, and belief has been robbed of its moral content and made to be little more than an acceptance to gospel truth.
Image source: http://jonah.uec.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/obedience.jpg
Pastor Jonah Ravinder- United Telugu Church - Auckland, New Zealand; LMF