Good Faith and Bad

Scripture: James 2:19, ‘You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.’

 

Observations: James is talking about the fact that faith without deeds is dead (v17). James isn’t saying that faith is not important. In fact he says it is ‘good’ that they ‘believe that there is one God.’ In fact, it is essential that we believe in God. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews says, ‘without faith it is impossible to please God …anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists… (Heb 11:6)’ You cannot be saved by God if you reject his existence. James point is that we must do more than just believe God exists, we must allow our faith in God to flow into godly actions. Our faith in God ought to make us more like God. If it doesn’t, according to James we are just like demons. Demons believe in God, but it isn’t a source of hope or joy, rather it is cause for fear, that causes them to ‘shudder.’ They shudder because despite the fact they know God exists they have rejected him as their Lord, and they have rejected the things God considers right and good. They believe in God and yet their actions are evil. They know that God has reserved eternal condemnation for them. As opposed to the faith of demons, our faith ought to result in love for God and a desire to walk in obedience.

 

Application: What sort of faith do you have? Do you have a demonic faith, a faith that believes in the existence of God, but doesn’t live according to God’s will, that doesn’t love God and seek to please him? Or do you have a biblical faith, a faith that loves God and desires to please him?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I believe that You exist, but more than that I believe that You have saved me through faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ, I believe that You have given me the Holy Spirit, who is transforming my heart, my will, and my life, so that I am becoming more and more like You. Lord, forgive me when my faith doesn’t result in godliness. Help me to become more like You, that I might put my faith into action. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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