"The Edge" features creative perspectives and reflections associated with the subject matter presented on the Current Lesson page.
Study Series: JAM
Jesus Casts Out Demons
A Useless Faith
When He (Jesus) came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. And they cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. The demons began to entreat Him, saying, "If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine." And He said to them, "Go!" And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters. (Matthew 8:28-32 NASU)
Faith and Works
A Useful Faith
But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works;
show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works
is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered
up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his
works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the
Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS
RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God.
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
A Complete Faith
"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NASU)
Many today acknowledge a faith in God, claiming "Christianity" because they believe in the existence of God, even that there is just one God above. Even the demons believe in His existence and His infinite oneness... and shudder! Thus, even the demons have a sort of faith… although useless in God’s eyes. Confronted with Christ, the demons knew their time was limited by God Himself, as evidenced by their questioning “Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Even they believed in the sovereignty of God.
May we then presume that faith with works is useful??? The Hebrews “Hall of Faith” may answer that question… Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses… (See Hebrews, chapter 11). These and others did not stop with the belief that “the Lord is one”. They "loved the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might," and it showed in what they did with their lives. They were obedient to their God and they were called God’s friends (see John 15:14).
Take Abraham. "You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected." A man that feared God and withheld nothing. Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness in chapter 15 of Genesis, but a little later in chapter 22 the Lord Himself speaks up on Abraham’s behalf. “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham’s faith was evidently much more than an acknowledgment of God’s existence or an intellectual understanding of His divine singularity. Abraham's faith was evident by his works. It wasn't that he simply obeyed the law by not doing this or that, but it was what he did that made the difference.
God promises a
reward not only to those that believe but to those that put their faith into
action. "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who
comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek
Him." (Hebrews 11:6 NASU). Abraham and the others
knew what they were supposed to do because they took the time out of
their daily lives to seek God. Some were rewarded in their earthly
lifetime while others stood firm to their faith even though their rewards were
unseen during their moment in history. They knew God would be faithful to
His promises as they stored up their heavenly treasures. "Do not store
up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where
thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in
or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me,
to render to every man according to what he has done." (Revelation 22:12 NASU)
on behalf of bookworms...
"A 40 day journey of fasting from the world & feasting on God"
Encourages the reader to consistently seek God and to discover what He wants them to do - how to put faith into action. Great for any age and at any place in one's walk with God.
A Call to Die, David Nasser
(Recommendation will change with each update of website!)