Here is an article I wrote for a local newspaper
James1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
That is a good verse to think upon. I enjoy what Adam Clarke said about the ones in which this verse pertains: They were downright Antinomians, who put a sort of stupid, inactive faith in the place of all moral righteousness. Not to be too brash, but stupid may very well be a good description of one who thinks that just by listening to the Word or going to church they are justified before God. According to Websters 1828 Dictionary (yes, I know Im probably the most outdated 21yr old you will meet) the word stupid means Very dull; insensible; senseless; wanting in understanding; heavy; sluggish. This, I deeply fear, is the prognosis of many. Oh, how so many hear the Word and think that is the same as having faith in the Word. There is a difference and I hope we will be able to see that soon.
Faith births action. If you have faith in something, your actions will show it. I have ran into multitudes of people in this area that will claim to have faith, yet the only way you would know it is if you were to hold a gun to their head. Then you might hear them utter something about God. If you have faith in something, not just a mere intellectual agreement, you would be willing to trust and devote your entire life to it. I can agree with a lot of facts but that does not mean I have faith in it. Faith goes beyond agreement into a deep conviction of truth, which results in action. Very few in this world have true, pure faith. No matter what the object of faith is, you will find very few who give their entire life for it. That is not even faith! Its just a mere agreement and at best the person might spend a little time developing a habit around it.
Faith involves relationship. To say I have faith in something and that something has no relationship or part of my life would be to deceive myself. Admittedly, what Im referring to is faith in Jesus Christ, but much of this is just general information of what true faith is. Now I could say, I have full faith in a car to get me from point A to B. If that car is not mine or I will never have any association with the car, wouldnt the statement just be a pointless? I could agree a car could get me to where I want to go, which would just be an agreement. If I had faith in the car I would have to have a relationship with the car. To have faith that the car I am in will take me to my destination, I would have to be in the car and have all of me in it. Thats simple enough right? So is the same with those in Jesus, you have to be in Him. And thats all of you, not just on Sundays. Let us not forget what happened to Ananias and Sapphira when they kept back part of the price and lied to the Holy Ghost- they dropped dead.
The Christian faith is not blind faith. We dont believe a certain thing just because someone has told us. Our faith is built because we know in whom we have believed. Not just heard about it, but we know. How do we know? Well lets look at this example and maybe I can illustrate the point. Image a boy standing at a hot stove. The mother tells the boy, Dont touch that! Its hot! The boy agrees because he would have no reason to disagree. After the mother walks off, the boy reaches his finger to the stovetop and touches it. Ouch! Its hot! The boy now doesnt only agree that it is hot because someone told them, but now knows from experience. You couldnt dissuade the boy if you wanted to from having faith that it is hot, he knows. The Christian knows because he/she has experience God it what is commonly called being born-again. This is when the penitent sinner cries out to God to be cleansed and has faith in what Jesus did on the cross.
Have faith in Jesus Christ, dont merely agree with him!