Belief vs. Obedience
Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 32-35; James 2
Today’s Key Passage – James 2:14-26
How many Christians do you know? It seems like an easy question to answer, but for most of us, it is not. In our society today, the line of who is and who is not a Christian has become a bit blurred. From pop stars wearing crosses to people marking “Christian” in their religious views on Facebook, there are many people today claiming to be followers of Christ. The problem is that in many cases, people are calling themselves Christians without really understanding what that word means. It has become somewhat diluted over time. For the first 30 years or so of my life, I claimed to be a Christian. When anyone asked me about my religious beliefs, I always said I was a Christian, but my behavior did not match up to my claims. I believed in God. I even believed in Jesus. What I did not understand, however, is that there is a big difference between belief and obedience.
In today’s key passage, James talks about empty faith. He talks about people claiming to have faith in God whose actions do not match their words. Apparently, this has been an issue since the beginning of Christianity. There have always been people who have claimed to be Christians without following through on their claims, and the line has always been blurred in the difference between belief and obedience. James said, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (Vs. 19) The bottom line is that belief in God is simply not enough. Knowing about God or knowing the story of Jesus does not make a person a Christian. Going to church on Sunday or reading the Bible does not make a person a Christian. Believing in God does not make a person a Christian, because even the demons believe in God. While we are all initially saved by God’s grace alone, what makes a person a true follower of Christ is obedience. Jesus never said, “You are my friends if you believe in me”. He never said, “You are my friends if you go to church on Sunday or get a cross tattoo”. What Jesus actually said was, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14) The mark of a Christian does not lie in belief. The mark of a true follower of Christ lies in obedience. Make sure your words are matching up to your actions.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.