Faith Isn’t Belief, Faith Is Action

¶Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says Yahweh God of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘If you will indeed go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned with fire, and you and your household will live. ‘But if you will not go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, then this city will be given over to the hand of the Chaldeans; and they will burn it with fire, and you yourself will not escape from their hand.’ ” Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am anxious because of the Jews who have gone over to the Chaldeans, lest they give me over into their hand and they deal severely with me.” But Jeremiah said, “They will not give you over. Please listen to the voice of Yahweh in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and you may live.” Jeremiah 38:17-20 LSB


Faith requires belief and action in the face of uncertainty and oftentimes at the expense of our own fear. Faith is not merely believing in something as so many think who believe themselves Christians but take no action toward obeying Jesus. Belief is the knowing of what to do or what is right but faith is taking action upon that belief in the midst of circumstances that are unknown, uncertain, and even costly. Zedekiah wanted to know what the right thing to do was, belief, but he was too afraid to take action on that knowledge, faith, which would have saved his own life and the life of the city. This is what holds most people back from faith, from taking action, the fear they imagine by acting in faith particularly the responses of others who might negatively impact them. Faith is action based upon the certainty of God, His Word and His character, regardless of our circumstances or the perceived or known opinions of others. Without faith it is impossible to please God. The Christian must take action by obeying God’s word no matter the cost if he is to truly live by faith. This means forgiving those who oppose us, giving generously, serving sacrificially, and sharing the love of God in Jesus as described in the word of God with others so that they too move from fear of men to faith in God evidenced by actions that obey God rather than fit into the opinions of people.

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