Our world has totally changed the meaning of what it means to believe in Jesus. What is widely believed is that when I simply say a “sinner’s prayer,” I have become a child of Christ. Those who teach that also believe that when one says that prayer he can never be lost again. How does the Bible use the word “faith”? How does God define it? Is faith simply saying a prayer written by a man, not by God?
James says that the manifestation of faith is not by saying, “I have faith,” but by showing faith in obedience to what God says. Read James 2:17-26 carefully. Faith without obedience to what God says is dead faith, and James says that dead faith will not save.
Hebrews chapter eleven is the chapter which emphasizes faith more than any other place in the Bible. There is a list which describes the heroes of faith and then shows that faith was far more than just saying words. There is not enough space to fully discuss this in this article, but open your Bible and see what these heroes of faith did, not what they said.
Verse 4. Abel’s faith offered the worship God specified. He did not just say, “I believe in God.” He worshiped.
Verse 7. Noah’s faith prepared the ark to save his entire family. He did not say, “I believe God; I put my trust in Him.” His faith built the ark.
Verse 8. Abraham’s faith went out from Ur. He did not say, “God spoke to me, I heard His voice.” His faith moved him a thousand miles from the land of his birth.
Verse 9. Abraham’s faith dwelt in tents, and he lived as a sojourner, never again in a house like he could have had in Ur. His faith made him to be a “gypsy.”
Verse 9. Isaac and Jacob’s faith stayed in tents. They could have at any moment returned to the land from which Abraham had come. They stayed (verse 15).
Verses 20-21. Isaac and Jacob’s faith blessed their children, knowing God would use them. Faith is not words said; it is action based on obedience, not just words.
Verses 24-29. Moses’ faith refused to be an Egyptian; chose to suffer; forsook Egypt; kept the Passover; and walked through the Red Sea. It was not just a simple prayer!
Verse 30. Joshua and Israel’s faith marched around Jericho. It was not just words saying, “I believe God has given us this city as a gift of grace.” Faith alone is a dead faith.
What about you? What has your faith brought about in your life? Do you have a living, saving faith?