Faith Alone is Not Enough!

 "Faith alone" is not enough. Abraham was promised blessings if he would leave home and journey to the promised land. Without faith, he would have shrugged off the promises as unreal and that would have been the end of the story. But even with faith Abraham could have said to himself, "Well, even though I trust God's promises I'd really rather stay home, in my comfort zone, so I'm not leaving." Would he have received the promises? Of course not.

Abraham obeyed. He acted on his faith. He left home, journeyed to the promised land and received the blessings:

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (Hebrews 11:8)

By or through faith he realized he had a real choice to make, and he chose to obey. The Lord explained to Abraham's son Isaac that Abraham received the promised blessings because of his obedience:

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Genesis 26:5)

The apostle James wrote "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24). Abraham's obedience was his "works." He believed in the true, complete sense of the word "believe": he acted on his faith.

So it is with us today. We are called to confess and forsake sin, and to seek God and do His will. This is how we receive mercy:

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.  (Proverbs 28:13)

If we'll obey we'll be forgiven and redeemed, by grace, from the death penalty earned for past sins. We'll receive His spirit: God gives His spirit "to them that obey Him" (Acts 5:32). Jesus will lead us out of slavery to sin and into His righteousness IF we'll abide in Him, continuing in repentance. It is only through Him that we can be overcomers:

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  (Rev 21:7)

"Easy believism" says "just have faith that Jesus did it all for you on the cross. You don't have to do anything more than that." But Jesus calls on us to follow His example and overcome, just as He overcame:

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Rev 3:21)

Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:9).

We are not saved by faith. We are saved by grace through faith. It is through faith that we can come to choose to repent and seek God. Without faith that God exists and is responsive, no one would be bothered to repent and seek Him:

But 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)

Sadly, many are being deceived, being told that Jesus did it all for you on the cross, so your sins - past present and future - have already been covered, forgotten, paid for. Sorry, but NONE of our sins are forgiven until we confess them. The apostle John's words make it very clear that our sins remain, and are not forgiven until we confess them:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9)

We have all earned death, perishing in death, as the penalty for our past sins (Romans 6:23). We can be redeemed from that death penalty by the ransom that Jesus finished on the cross, His death in place of ours. That redemption is available if we'll choose to turn from sin, sin that earned us the death penalty in the first place. Jesus did not die to make it okay for us to continue in sin!

If we choose not to turn from sin, we remain unredeemed and will surely perish in death for our past sins. That's why Jesus said "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3,5). "Faith alone" is not enough! Like Abraham, we must believe: we must act on our faith and obey. God "now commands all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30).