Faith without works is dead. (James 1)
Faith is Listening, Believing, and Following
One day, God woke me up in the middle of the night with these words:
Any issue that you face can be solved by listening, believing, and following
Then, God led me to all of the Bible examples of faith to show me that faith can be explained as knowing God and following Him. Noah’s faith is a good example.
Many people (like me) mistakenly believe that faith is nothing more than believing and that the works of faith are obeying the rules of the Bible or following religion. But both of these beliefs are wrong.
The works of faith have nothing to do with following religion to maintain good standing with God, and they have everything to do with being blessed by God through knowing and following Him.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Faith is more than simple belief. Faith leads us to follow God’s instructions because we know they are for our benefit. For example, simply believing wouldn’t have saved Noah and his family. It was Noah’s actions that made the difference. Noah knew that God’s instructions were his only answer to surviving the coming catastrophe, so he followed those instructions by building a boat.
The “work” part of faith is following whatever God tells you to do ( like building a boat) because faith doesn’t just believe; it follows. James said that faith without works is dead. In other words, “faith” without following God’s instruction produces nothing. If faith was simple belief, and Noah had not built the ark, Noah’s faith would have produced nothing.
Faith comes from knowing God.
Bible Examples of Faith from Hebrews
‘7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[b] considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the stars.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” [c] 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.[d]
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again.’
The interesting thing about the Bible’s examples of faith is that the actions that people took (which were examples of their faith) resulted in blessings! Every Biblical example of faith was an example of following God to a miracle.
The stories of the Bible are all stories of being blessed immensely by knowing and following God. Abraham received an inheritance, and he became very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. (Genesis 13), Sarah had a baby, Jacob prospered immensely, Joseph became second in command of one of the greatest empires of all time, and so many more examples of amazing miracles as a result of the work they did following God.
I AM is still the same miracle-working God of the Bible. If we learn to listen to, believe, and follow Him, our lives will be exactly like these Bible stories: they will be miraculous. If we learn to follow God in the same way that the patriarchs did, we will also have miraculous stories to tell.
Works of faith have nothing to do with piety or self-righteousness and everything to do with following God to your well-being and prosperity. Everything that God requires us to do is meant for our GOOD!
Believing is Not Enough
You believe that God is one. Good for you! Even the demons believe that—and tremble.(James 2)
Demons believe and tremble, but their belief isn’t saving them. Our salvation comes through the perfect example of true faith: We listen to God’s message of reconciliation (the gospel), we believe (unto righteousness), and then we follow by confessing that Jesus is Lord (unto salvation.) Salvation is the result of true faith, namely, listening, believing, and following. (Romans 10:9)
If God told James to build a boat, you can bet he would have been looking for a hammer.
Works aren’t following religious doctrine to obtain righteousness. “Works” are knowing God and following Him to the good future that He has planned. To do that we have to hear Him well enough to follow.
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