reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is
in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many
miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
They said, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but they never submitted to His lordship. Jesus says, ‘If your desire is to enter the kingdom of heaven, don’t just
call Me ‘Lord.’ You have to do the will of My Father.’ Now these people who prophesied, who cast out demons and who performed miracles, do they
not have some kind of faith? Could it be that they could prophesy in the name of Jesus without faith? Could it be that they could do miracles in the
name of Jesus without faith? I think that they did have faith, or at least some sort of faith. Could it be that they could cast out demons without
faith? The disciples tried once to cast out a demon but they couldn’t. They asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it. Jesus said, ‘Because your faith
is too small’ (Matthew 17:20). This answer shows that faith is needed in order to cast out demons. But according to Jesus’ words, none of these
people will find entrance into the kingdom of God.
This is the point that the apostle James addresses in his letter (James 2:19). He says, ‘You say you have faith. You do well. But the devil also has
faith. You say you believe in God. The devil believes also that there is one God, maybe more than you do because he trembles.’ If the devil has
faith, why is he not saved? Because he does not do the will of God. That is why James says, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
without works is dead also (James 2:26). There is a kind of faith that does not save you. It is a faith that does not bear good works. It is a faith
that does not express itself in good works of obedience to the will of the Father.
I like to quote Paul to talk about salvation by faith. For example, he writes in Ephesians 2:8, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and
that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. We are saved by faith. What a precious truth! But that is not all that Paul said. Immediately after
that declaration, Paul goes on to say, ‘You were created to do good works. God prepared them in advance, that you should walk in them.’ Here is
the element of obedience to the will of God. We walk on the path that God has already prepared for us, i.e., we do the good that God wants us to do.
Here Paul and James say the same thing: good works attest the reality of salvation in our lives. If there is no good works, our faith is dead and we
are not saved.