James tells us that faith without works is dead being alone. (James 2:14-26)
Now Some people have a hard time with how faith and works operate together.
Some say that since salvation is free then all you have to do is receive it. You can live any way you want and still be saved.
This teaching is called antonianism doctrinally but in today’s world it’s called progressivism.
Not only is that doctrine scripturally unsound but it makes for a lot of false conversions with apostate world views.
On the other hand there are others who say that in order to be saved you must obey the law. You must keep the Sabbath, keep the ten commandments, fast and pray until your flesh has been abased, eat certain foods, don’t eat certain foods and a whole bunch of other do this and that or don’t do this or that.
It’s in fact actually laid out perfectly simple to those with eyes to see how faith and works go together.
Faith in God according to scriptures requires action in order to have the manifestation of the free gift. That action is laid out to us in the Bible.
Scriptures tell us that, Salvation is free. Healing is free and
Deliverance is free.
However in order to receive the free gift one must do something.
What must one do? Follow the instructions given in the Bible!
Believe, repent and recieve.
Acts 3: 19-21
Whoever comes to God MUST BELIEVE that he is. (Hebrews 11:6)
Is what? Is God. Is the great I Am. Is able. Is willing. Is faithful. Is all powerful. IS What he says he is.
AND must believe that he will reward those who seek him. In other words the seeker will get what is sought after.
Believing in God is the first prerequisite to receiving from God.
To believe according to scriptures is not just to know about from an intellectual perspective but to know from a heart that has been converted by God.
Believe (pisteuō in the Greek) means to have faith in, complete trust in.
No one can seek God unless drawn by the Holy Spirit according to the Bible. God is not in the thoughts of those who love their sin. (John 6: 44, Psalms 10:4, 1 John 3:8)
To actually trust in God requires knowing him. Knowing that he will do what he says he will do.
Faith is GIVEN the Bible tells us. (Roman’s 12:3)
It is not something one can drum up on their own. (2 Thessalonians 3:2)
So we believe because we have been given faith. Why are we given faith? Because we are drawn by the Holy Spirit.
Then once we believe we need to repent. What does it mean to repent? To turn from sin or a lifestyle against God’s word as set out in the Bible.
Repent (in the Greek metanoeō) means
To think differently, have a change of heart, to reconsider, to feel morally convinced of wrong doing.
Repentance is also GIVEN according to scriptures. Some people don’t realize that even repentance is given by God. (2 Timothy 2:25, Revelation 319)
The ability to give up sin comes from a heart devoted to God who loves God so much that they are willing to give up all selfish behaviors in order to please the Lord. (Psalm 51:10, Titus 2:14, 2 Corinthians 7:11)
Then the last part of the equation is to receive. As many as received him to them he gave power to become the sons of God. (John 1:12)
This principle of receiving relates not only to salvation but also to healing, deliverance, provision and every victory over the darkness.
The spiritual principle of believing repenting and receiving must all be adhered to in order to get the rewards of what is being sought after.
Let’s look at this concept from a human perspective using an example.
I am OFFERED a free gift let’s say in a giveaway from an advertising agency for a product.
In order to qualify for the free gift I first of all need to sign up for it. By signing up for the free gift I am believing under contract law “good faith” in the agency otherwise I would not sign up.
If I thought that the agency was a scam I would not sign up. It’s the same in the kingdom of God. If I don’t believe I won’t get the free gift.
Then once I sign up the agency says to me that in order to get the free gift I have to fill out a survey.
This means I actually have to do something. In this case it’s a survey. In God’s kingdom its repentance. I need to stop sinning.
Now that’s a choice but also an action.
The good part is that if I choose to turn from my sin and obey God he will give me the POWER to perform! (John 1:12)
So this is the good part! I don’t have to do this alone because God gives me the Holy Spirit as a helper. To help me perform. ( John 14:26)
That would be like an agent helping me along in filling out the survey because its complicated.
After I fill out the survey then I will get the free gift.
If I don’t fill out the survey then I will not get the free gift.
It’s the same concept in the kingdom of God.
If I don’t repent and give up my sin then I am not going to be forgiven. I do not qualify for any free gift. Salvation, healing or any other of God’s blessings.
In the same way if I believe in “good faith” that the agency will follow through and give me the free gift if I fill out the survey with the help of the agent then I qualify for the free gift and am able to receive it.
As scriptures tell us IF we are willing that is if we believe that God is able to do overly and abundantly above all that we ask or think and IF we are obedient that is follow all his instructions THEN we can be blessed with his abundance. (Isaiah 1:19)
Faith without works or following the Lord’s instructions to believe, repent and receive is dead without works or action.
Scriptures tell us that the devils believe in God and they tremble because they know they cannot be forgiven. They are still in their sins. No repentance has been given to them. (James 2:19)
That means that it is useless to believe like the devils believe because not only do the devils not have relationship with God but because the devils have belief without repentance they can never have a part in the kingdom of God.
It is the same with people. Without action accompanying our faith or belief it is useless. Meaning brings no profit at all.
Faith must always be accompanied by works or action, (Believe, repent and receive)to be genuine faith.