The Judeo-Christian clergy tell our people that all they have to do to be saved and become a Christian is to come down to the altar; bow down and ask to be saved. Then they can go home and do anything they wish to do, because the law has been done away with and they have only to live by faith.
This is false teaching, and they know it, but they are not interested in truth; they are only interested in how much money a person can put in the offering plate. If they truly cared for their flock they would teach the whole truth, and not just a small part of it.
An issue that has been the subject of controversy to Christendom for decades is the subject of faith versus works. In the first place, it is absolutely essential to learn to walk by faith, for faith is indispensable to finding favor with God. This is impossible where there is disbelief. To approach His Written Word in an attitude of skepticism has the immediate effect of erecting a roadblock in the ay of understanding. Paul expressed it in well-put words when he said:
“Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
A Christian believes God without reservation. The old maxim states it concisely: “God said it; I believe it; that settles it.” On the other hand, those who manifest “the faith” will demonstrate their faith by their works. James apparently had this in mind when he said:
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without (apart from) thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; that doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified (shown to be righteous) by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham beleived God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:18-24)
Stated simply, faith is the belief that engenders conviction and conviction energizes the believer into action. If a man insists that he has faith, but his conduct belies this claim, ti becomes obvious that there is no strong spiritual persuasion engendering within him a fixed belief that motivates his actions irrespective of the burden of consequences. Paul stated:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The apostle was stating, in effect, that faith is substance and faith is evidence. In fact, a marginal rendering gives this translation:
“No faith is the substantiating of things hoped for.”
To substantiage is “to establish the existence or truth of something by proof of competent evidence.” Evidence in court in that which ascertains the truth in order to decide the case. All of these characteristics define what faith is.
A man of faith must act upon his convictions. If one truly believes, he cannot refrain from behaving accordingly, for the absence of works brings his faith into queston.
Let us, therefore, focus our attenation upon the relationship between faith and works. We obtain the salvation of our souls by faith, relying upon Christ as our Redeemer, and Saviro. We are not justified (i.e., makde righteous) by works aline, but through FAITH and in our Lord, whose righteousness is imputed to all those who have put their trust in Him, accepting the atonement He made for our Israel people. As the result of His sacrifice, we are rescued from the penalty of sin, which is death, having the promise of eternal life. He has provided this for all those who believe in Him. Paul sums it up:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yrouselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)