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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 Parts 2 and 3 we began to look at three charateristics 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 (Jas. 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 it is the truth, but they will simply refuse to submit to it, apply it, and obey it. I see this shallow conviction is prevalent throughout the Church. 

“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 our true love for Him, as He says, “If you love Me keep my commandments” (John 14:15), and a few verses later He says, “He who does not love Me does not keep my words” (John 14:24).

Q: What does this practically mean to us as professed followers of Jesus Christ?

It means that we must ask ourselves some honest questions, 

· Have I made Jesus my Lord?

· Have I given my heart to Him fully?

· 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, His Word, and eternal life?

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 may 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?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord in everything and make a commitment to follow Him whole-heartedly.  

PRAYER FOR TODAY: 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…


May the Lord bless your day abundantly, 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