Faith & Insight: Just have faith?

In a time of continued turmoil and division, faith has been an interesting concept. Salvation and turning to Christ have never been quite as important as it is right now in order to obtain and maintain a state of peace. Just like the rest of the world, Christians struggle to focus and remind themselves that God is in control and has the victory. In spite of all the current events and even small victories that we see everyday, what does believing in Jesus actually look like?
The issue of salvation has been stirring in my heart for quite some time now. In a Bible study I host on Tuesday evenings alone, there are three perspectives as to what it means to be saved or believe in Jesus. In order to find answers, I began looking at what the Bible says about belief.
Belief is an interesting concept that is not to be taken lightly. But what does true belief look like? James references this concept in James 2:19 when stating that true belief is followed up with action.
James 2:19-20 “‘You have faith and I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that God is one. Good for you! Even the demons believe that— and shudder.
Throughout the years, this idea of belief has become very abstract. What does it mean to believe when even the demons believe? Is belief enough? A person cannot save themselves, so if something is needed other than belief, what could that thing be?
A popular verse often repeated by Christians is John 3:16. I want to look at this verse, however, in conjunction with the one directly following it.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
This verse seemingly contradicts what James says in James 2:19-20. If faith without works is dead, is believing enough? Sadly, language, just like people, has changed and evolved over the times. For this reason, I researched the original Greek word for “believe.” According to Strong’s Concordance, the word used here in Greek is “pisteuō,” which means to commit to, to trust. One cannot believe without committing to whatever or whomever it is they say in which they put their faith.
When thinking of a marriage commitment, true love is followed by actions. The actions are not what provokes love, yet the actions are a direct result of the love which the couple say they have toward one another. Similarly, when believing in Christ, one must be committed. Salvation does not come from one’s actions; there is nothing one can do to save themselves as “no one can come to the father except through (Christ)” (John 14:6, NIV). However, salvation or belief will directly relate to subsequent actions or works, as stated by James. For this reason, in a day and age of confusion, we must be a people who truly believes, thus commits to the Lord. Only through surrender can we show the love to people who so desperately need a savior. May our actions reflect the heart of the father as we draw closer to him in true belief and worship.
In a time of continued turmoil and division, we must have faith.


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