Jesus says - Show Me you believe....
What God says throughout His Word is that if you believe Him, you will show Him. Our Lord has never one time in Scripture said to any person, just tell me you believe. He has always said SHOW me you believe. Please consider the following:
Ever wonder why the believers described in the New Testament seemed to have believed so much more strongly then we typically do? I beg you to if you haven't. They truly believed it was a matter of eternal life and death and it is evident in the way they followed Him. Did they know everything immediately, obviously not but they wanted to learn immediately, turning all their attention to the eternal matters of life, forsaking the temporal, the world and ALL that is in the world. This is the Gospel they received from Christ and it is NOT the same Gospel we typically hear.
It is wrongly assumed that the thief on the cross was saved simply by stating he believed. This event is the only seeming example of such in Scripture. But it only seems that way on the surface my friends. Every single example demonstrated faith in our Lord and if you read the account of the thief carefully you will also see how this thief demonstrated to our Lord his saving faith by rebuking his unbelieving colleague and declaring his belief in the Lord Jesus to the crowd assembled. Would he have been baptized and grown in Grace, absolutely had he lived and the Lord knew this 1. Because He is omniscient and 2. based on the demonstration the thief already provided Him. This thief confessed Him before men. Just as baptism was designed to do. It is the first works after salvation. It is the demonstration God gave us to fulfill all righteousness.
Please consider the books of James and Hebrews and the Peters. The apostasy of mental acknowledgement sold through merchandisers was already present before God's Written Word was even completed and God had to correct it in these general Epistles.
Here is just one passage of many in these general Epistles:
James 2: 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou 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 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 believed 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. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
The point I am making is this my friends, If Noah merely said he believed God but did not build the ark (demonstrating he believed) then he would have drowned like all the rest. The action came as a result of the faith in God's Words - not before it my friends.
If Lot merely said he believed God but failed to actually leave Sodom, he would have burned with the rest. The action came as a result of his faith in God's Words. Not before it.
If Paul had merely said to the Lord he believed Him on the Damascus Road but did not go into the city as commanded, he would be blind still and in hell right now. The Action came as a result of belief in God's Words to him. Not before it.
ETC, ETC, ETC....
Jesus said repeatedly "how can you call me Lord, Lord and DO NOT the things that I say?"
This is what the great commission is all about dear friends. Real belief causes demonstration. IE, believe, get baptized to demonstrate and then spend the rest of your life here growing in Grace, striving for Christlikeness through God's Word, His Living Water, His Bread of Life.
This is not describing working for salvation my friends, this is describing saving faith. This is the only Gospel contained in God's Word. Dead faith saves no one. Is there even one instance of righteousness being imputed on a person in Scripture who merely said they believed but did not obey? Please study the faith hall of fame in Hebrews 11. In all instances their faith was demonstrated to God by action after they believed God. They obeyed God because they believed God. That and only that is how God imputes His Righteousness on us.
This isn't from anyone's book, these are the only examples of salvation contained in Scripture from cover to cover.
Friends, none of this is new. They all knew it in the first centuries after our Lord. That is the difference between us and them.
"The people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me"- God
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