By Pamela Rose Williams
A friend of mine had a little post on one of her social media pages. She was talking about “unchurched, not religious, not God rejecting people” and the fact that there are so many of them. This is so true and it got me to thinking — and then I started replying to her simple post and realized that my thoughts were getting longer and longer. I think she was talking about how religiosity just swallows up people, those that might have been otherwise better off without all the dogma — well that is sort of how I came away with it. Then she ended the post with what was really on her heart, she said: “Christians as a whole are crazy, especially online… and simple belief & faith is better than getting involved in Christianity and losing faith or rejecting God, “— simple faith. She asked for our thoughts or experience and so here is what I have to share.
Even devils (demons) know God “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19) But what does that get them? Nothing! Well, something … a place in the pit (Matt 25:41; 2 Pet 2:4)
So just believing that there is one God is not good enough to get you to Heaven. Satan even quoted Scripture (remember the temptations of Jesus?).
So even being able to quote Scriptures is not enough!
It is truly an issue of the heart. What I mean is, we can have head knowledge but until it becomes a matter of the heart it will never take root. The fruit will never grow unless it takes root. But the fruit can’t come without Holy Spirit. AND Holy Spirit requires simple faith to do His job.
As people we are proud and that is why many so-called Christians never grow. They never really humble themselves.
It’s that humble submission in saying that you “believe” what God says is true, no matter what you have been taught growing up.
It’s that moment when you have a change of mind (repentance) and you trust that what God says is true and your own misguided beliefs are wrong.
It is not about “turning from sin”, which some might say is repentance, but instead it is about changing your thoughts to agree with what God says is the truth. We can’t turn from our sins — it is impossible! AND we don’t need to turn from them or pay for them when we have a Savior who already died to pay for them for us.
Simple faith is when we can make the choice to believe God’s gospel of salvation — we believe the clear gospel of grace, which is stated in the Bible:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:1-4)
AND then He (Holy Spirit) takes up residence in that deceitful heart of ours (Jer 17:9), and then things start getting cleaned up. But making change and then believing — that is just backwards!.
Here is how it works, according to the Bible:
- First you must hear the truth of the gospel of your salvation [That is what is stated up there in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4] (Eph 1:12-13).
- Then you trust Christ as your Savior. (Eph 1:12-14) This is that heartfelt “simple faith”. You believe that God made a way for you to be saved from certain death.
- Then comes the Promise — that is the Holy Spirit Who seals you until the day of redemption (Eph 1:13).
Essentially Jesus becomes your Savior AND THEN your Lord because the Bible says it is impossible to make Him your Lord unless you have the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3)
It is a simple truth and once you truly believe this gospel of your salvation then Holy Spirit will allow you to make better choices. For example, instead of lying you choose to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:16). Instead of stealing you choose to work with your own hands to give to them that have need (Eph 4:28). Instead of spending all your time doing things that are of no eternal value, you study to shew yourself approved (2 Tim 2:15), and so on.
When you walk with the Spirit (choose the things He tells you to choose) then your life begins to change and you can look back and see that you have become a new creature, old things have passed away (2 Cor 5:17). Now that is not to say that the old life does not rear its ugly head, because when we grieve Holy Spirit we reap the consequences that come with that too (Eph 4:30).
Religion can truly mess with the relationship. When you have a relationship with Jesus you should want to get the know Him. If you don’t want to get to know Him then you should question your salvation. He is the Word and His words are truth. You get to know Him by spending time daily in His word. Just as Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31) A disciple is a student — students grow in knowledge and then they share with others.
Simple faith is necessary but I believe the Bible tells us that we are called to grow in the knowledge of God and then share that faith EVERY DAY (John 5:39 ;Col 1:20; 2 Pet 3:18). We don’t have to grow but we ought want to .
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