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Saving Faith-Part 4

Saving Faith Part 4
Shallow Conviction

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

We are going through a devotional series titled, Saving Faith.   
We have discussed the fact that we cannot be saved by our works (Eph. 2:8-9), but works should be evident in every life of those who are truly saved in Christ (James 14-20). And in Part 2 & 3 we began to look at 3-characteristics of what James teaches to be dead faith.  So far we have looked at the first two, which are:

1.    A dead Faith is marked by an empty confession (James 2:14).
2.    A dead Faith is marked by a false compassion (James 2:15-17).

Okay, let's look at our third characteristic of a dead faith, which is this:

3.    A dead Faith is marked by a Shallow Conviction to obey God (James 2:18-20).

But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:18-20 (NKJV)

So here we see James speaking of a shallow conviction.  Shallow conviction within a professed believer is when they recognize God's Word - they can even say, "Amen" when it is being preached, and agree that it is the truth - but they will simply refuse to submit to it, apply it, and obey it.  I see this shallow conviction everywhere I turn and look, and it is prevalent throughout the Church.

I have to tell you something disturbing here; I have heard some prominent pastors say they believe as much as 70% of those who sit under their teaching are not saved.  Could it be these pastors are seeing these very same character traits of dead faith in those they are teaching?  And, are they wrong when they say this or are they saying the same thing Jesus is saying?

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."  Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV)

Scripture teaches us there will be a majority who don't abide in Jesus' teachings and therefore will be lost.  Listen to what Jesus says to those who have this shallow conviction,

"But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord', and not do the things which I say?" Luke 6:46 (NKJV)

And we see an even sterner warning from Him a few verses later in Matthew.

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)

Jesus further equates our following Him and our doing what is right to loving Him, as He says, "If you love Me keep my commandments" (See John 14:15), and, "He who does not love Me does not keep My words" (See John 14:24).

Q:    What does this mean to us here today?

A:    It means that we must ask ourselves some honest questions.

Q:    Have I made Jesus my Lord?
Q:    Have I given my heart to Him fully?
Q:    Have I made the commitment to take my eyes off this world, and the things of this world, and put them squarely on God, His kingdom, Eternal life, and His Word?

Hey Christian, it is true it costs us nothing to be forgiven - Jesus paid the price.  But we must now remember to truly live as Christ, it will cost us everything (See Matthew 10:29; John 12:25).  But it is a price worth paying.  

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained within this devotional, what could we learn about true saving faith?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you committed to doing the will of God, or just doing what you feel like doing?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord in everything and make a commitment to follow Him wholeheartedly.  

Father, Thank You for forgiving me.  Thank You for Your mercy and grace upon my life.  Father, show me any area where I am not submitting to Your will.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000