A Caution to the Faithless

Faith matters.

Faith in God brings peace and freedom. Lack of faith in God brings confusion and bondage.

In most Christian conversations, faith is applied primarily to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. This is a clear biblical teaching which rightfully takes it’s place in every gospel-flowing talk.

Yet faith means more than just our initial step in Christ.

The same faith that saves is the faith that sustains.

Our faith should be expressed with every thought, decision, motivation and action. Faith is essential to the gospel and is essential to our walk in the gospel. We ought to be saturated in faith.

Why?

Faith keeps us trusting in God instead of ourselves.

We remain in a place of dependence and waiting upon a good, sovereign and powerful God.

Practically, many Christians place faith in Christ for their eternal destiny and go it on their own for their daily living. They use the Bible as a helpful guide but rely primarily on their ability to reason out what should be done. It comes out as a functional deism, believing God spins things into action but has no interaction in our daily lives.

Living in faithlessness will lead to a distortion of God’s character, a mishearing of God’s voice, and a sense of “lost-ness” that was never meant to be experienced by a child of the King.

In other words….

For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23b, ESV)

Paul takes a long consideration of something seemingly simple – eating and drinking. Even in our choices of what we choose to do with our three or more meals speaks volumes about our relationship with God and those around us. If we eat and drink in faith of God’s blessing and provision, we do well. If we do it with doubting, we will stumble and cause others to do the same.

In the original language, this understanding is stressed even more than in our versions. It says, “Everything which is not from faith is sin.” Therefore any act or attitude that proceeds from a lack of trust in God is sin. Regardless of how good and moral it looks on the outside to those around us, God looks at the heart.

Living in faithlessness will lead to sin.

Perhaps the greatest piece missing from the story of Christians who are living in faithlessness is the place of prayer.

For those who do pray consistently, they do so along without brothers and sisters to pray alongside. In such cases, it is so easy to simple pray what we want to hear instead of “Your will be done.”

Another unsettling observation is that so many are praying simply their own words and not the Word given to us by God Himself. Praying the Scriptures grounds our prayers in the will of God and fine tunes our hearing to His true heart, character and voice.

If you find yourself in a place of faithlessness, remember that the faith that saves you is the faith that sustains you.

Most believers take their first firm step in Christ through offering a prayer. Your first step out of faithlessness can be the same.

Though applied in the context of suffering and sickness, I’m not sure faithlessness is unlike the situation considered at the end of James’ epistle.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:15)

You don’t have to continue in faithlessness. Confess it to brothers and sisters. Pray the Scriptures together that you all might grow into unity by the Spirit into a true understanding of the heart and character of God. Then know that the Lord will raise you up. You will be forgiven.

You will be free.

 

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