- Pastor Luis Cruz
Make Your Faith Real
Faith is sometimes a sticking point in Christian discussions, especially between different denominations. The apostle James had a very similar issue with a group practicing religious legalism in the Jerusalem church he co-pastored. To them, James said, Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:18. James challenged them to show their faith in deeds. Today, we are issuing the same challenge, “Make our faith real!” There are four challenging statements that I challenge you to consider and think about. My prayer is that, our faith will be translated into practice.
1. If we say we love God, then, we must demonstrate our undivided allegiance to Him. vv.15-16.
“15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
· A challenge to give your complete allegiance to God.
· Its’ either God or the world.
· Satan, for a limited time, is the prince of this world. See John 12:31.
· The devil has a powerful influence in the different worldview, culture, tradition, education, personal opinions and ideas.
· (v.16) Lust is a negative term for a strong desire for evil things. Flesh refers to the rebellious self that is dominated by sin, while pride is the self that opposes and belittles God’s work.
2. If we say we belong to Christ, then, we must be committed to His church. vv.18-19.
“18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”
· A challenge to love those whom Jesus died for.
· Christ is the Savior and the Head of His church. See Eph. 5:23.
· There is an inseparable bond between Christ and His true believers.
· Like a husband who loves his wife, Jesus loved us and is completely committed to us. See Eph.5:26-28.
3. If we say we have received Jesus as Christ, then we must remain in His Word. vv.20; 24-27.
“20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth… 24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life. 26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
· A challenge for true believers to treasure and hide God’s word in our heart.
· Compare the world’s version of truth, your own personal version of truth and other spiritual truths with God’s truth.
· Know your Bible to help you discern deceitful spiritual teachings.
The Bible is the final authority where we base our beliefs, and decisions in life.