Section 7: Salvation – Part 2
Week 3: Perseverance
Day 3: Perseverance Requires More Than a Profession of Faith
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not mechanically inclined. If you put a tool in my hand, I’m more likely to hurt myself than fix anything. Knowing that, imagine I decide to knock down a few walls and completely remodel our living room and kitchen. What do you think Jeni would say if I told her about my plans and asked her if she believes I can do it? If she’s honest, I’m sure she’d say, “No way!” But suppose she said she did. What would be the test to see if she really believed it? The test would be whether she agreed to let me start knocking down those walls. What we do often says more about what we believe than what we say.
The same is true of our faith in Christ. Genuine faith expresses itself in action. Another way of saying that is: faith, because it connects us to Christ, bears fruit in our lives. In John 15, Jesus compares himself to a vine and us to branches. The branches that remain in him bear fruit. The branches that do not remain in him do not bear fruit and are ultimately cut off. We remain in Christ through faith. That means if we have genuine faith, we will necessarily bear fruit because we are connected to Christ.
That certainly doesn’t mean we have to be perfect before we can say we have faith. Sin still remains in the life of a believer. As John says, “If we claim to be without sin, we are deceived” (1 John 1:8). Nevertheless, if we don’t see any fruit in our lives, that’s a problem. All those who put their faith in Christ will be saved. But, if we’re merely making an empty profession of faith that doesn’t have an impact on our lives, we don’t have any reason to feel secure.
Read John 15:1-17 and James 2:14-26.
Do you think someone can be a genuine believer if their faith does not have any impact on his or her life? Why or Why not?