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Believing in Christ Is Not Just Superficial Belief

Many times the word "believe" is so confused with just merely believing without realizing what the Greek stands for.  The Greek word used is pisteon which means complete reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ.  It's not just merelya ffirming the truth of who He is that He's the Son of God.  James 2:19-20 warns that the devils do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and tremble but that's mere superficial belief.  It's a warning against inauthentic faith or that faith without works is not real faith, it's useless because it's not real faith.  Now this doesn't mean it's a faith plus works salvation but rather that if you're truly saved then your faith ought to show it.

Many accuse the Reformed of believing that faith is all there is and works have no place in the Christian life.  On the contrary, the Reformers like John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Knox, Huldrych Zwingli and others taught that faith that doesn't produce works is not faith at all.  Luther may have insisted that salvation is by faith alone but he hammered out the idea that faith can be dead and not produce anything.  The idea of salvation is by faith alone but never by a faith that is not alone is not invented by the Reformers as "Easy Christians" want to believe.  Instead, it's a biblical truth upheld by the Reformers.

It can't be denied sometimes Christians can be carnal and can fall into states of disobedience.  Christians are not perfect and it can't be denied.  But stating that they can remain that way even when they're saved is totally unbiblical.  Where there's the grace of God then deliverance from sinful habits is not impossible (Titus 2:11-14).  1 Corinthians 6:11 talks about how salvation delivers people from their lifestyle of sin and now they're different from they were before.  Romans 7:14-25 has Paul struggling with sin and declaring war on it.  No Christian an ever truly say they're saved and still continue in the same pattern, remain sinful and never bear fruit because God's grace is greater than all their sins.

The more faith grows, the more the Christian becomes obedient.  If the Christian is disobedient it's because there's some lack of faith on their part.  This faith is always obedient and it's what makes Christians obey.  Christians disobey when they're in doubt.  That's why this faith must be cultivated and strengthened by God's grace.  It's because Christians have that lifelong battle of faith vs. self.  Self always disobeys but faith always obeys.  When Christians lack faith they naturally disobey but the more this faith grows then they grow in obedience and the disobedient self is defeated more and more.

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