I wish to encourage you to view your faith as God views it.
At the heart of all false belief (fraud faith) are 3 terribly wrong perspectives; a small view of God, a wrong view of God’s Word (The Bible), and a deceitfully high view of self. All three of these errors lead to devastating consequences.
Now, the world views belief in God as having value only if it produces what we want, how we want it, and when we want it. Worldly faith thinks that God is only of value if He serves us for our pleasure and comfort. You see, worldly faith, wrong faith, assumes that a general acknowledgement of the existence of God equates to saving faith which results in eternal life. Any form of faith that is disconnected from behaviour is a fraud, and not from God. At best, this self-generated false belief serves no purpose other than to appease the human conscience, leading the sinner to greater independence from God.
However, authentic faith is germinated by the Holy Spirit. It’s a faith that is genuinely Jesus Christ focused.
Jesus Focused Belief
As John the Baptist said; “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). The bulls-eye of faith is Jesus Christ, not self. This faith rejoices in opportunities created through difficulties so that it can be proved real. Peter refers to this type of faith as “more precious than gold… and, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). Christian faith exalts Christ, that’s its purpose. Any other faith is fake!
A person whose faith is centered in Jesus Christ, is one whose heart beats with love for Jesus. As the apostle Peter writes; “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). Holy Spirit inspired faith loves Christ so much that joy is unavoidably experienced. This is faith’s ultimate purpose; to glorify Christ and to experience the salvation of the soul, which is eternal life.
James, Jesus’ half-brother, speaks of faith 12 times in his short letter. He didn’t care much for the lip service of superficial belief which is typical of a religious person. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14). Obviously, the answer is NO. Faith recognised by God, is a whole-hearted belief, a consuming dependence upon Christ as master which high-jacks the entire life and is visible for all to see through behaviour and speech. “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).
James’ point is this; good works, even religiously motivated works, cannot save a sinner from the penalty for their sin. However, faith in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross in place of the sinner will not only attract God’s forgiveness for sin, but will unavoidably express God pleasing behaviour. Why, because this faith is compelled by love for Christ as Lord! All else in life comes second.
Invariably, behaviour and speech betray the true heart of a person. Jesus is not an add-on to life, He is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). If you find yourself struggling to grasp the significance of this Jesus focused faith, ask the Lord as the apostles did; “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz