[Just for You]

If You Believe in God

It is amazing how many people will declare they believe in God . . . and at the same time purposely live in sin.

It is not my goal to be unkind but to be honest; I wonder, what kind of faith is that?

Does the Bible anywhere commend those who say, "I believe," but live as though they do not?

No. The wording of the Scripture is strong against such dishonesty. It is useless to believe in God if we do not live that way--worse than useless, it is devilish.

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:19, 20).
We tend to hide sin behind wordy blindfolds, to try to talk righteously and at the same time hang on to unrighteousness.

What does it mean to believe in God?

For one thing, it is not the same as believing in a friend or in one of the laws of nature. This is God. To believe in Him is to believe we are under Him, responsible to Him, accountable to Him.

Such a belief directly affects our behavior, and makes us subject to obeying what God has said.

Genuine belief in God frees us to be honest with ourselves. There is no point trying to pull the wool over Someone who knows our thoughts.

We are sinners. Believing in God, we can honestly admit that.

Our sin is against a holy God, and we desperately need to be reconciled to Him. Believing in God, we can find the One to reconcile us--Jesus Christ, God's Son, sent to earth to die for our sins.

Believing in God means believing His Word--what it says about us as well as what it says about God. It means obeying God. It means living out what we know is God's will for us.

Do you believe in God?

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
If You Do Not Believe There Is a Devil

Belief in God stirs us to seek Him, obey Him, love Him, and honor Him simply because of who He is--GOD.

Likewise, belief that there is a very real devil will also affect our behavior, but in quite the opposite way because of who the devil is.

It is unfortunate that people have largely come to think of the devil as some mythical invention of man's mind--a red, grinning, cloven-footed beast holding a pitchfork, but nevertheless about as unreal as a cartoon character.

The devil is no such funny imagination.

The Bible tells us he is a fallen angel, a depraved but cunning spirit intent on taking men and women to everlasting hell.

The devil wants to destroy you. He wants to cover your eyes to the reality of sin, to your need of a Saviour, and to his tactics. He wants to make you feel comfortable, content, and wise without God. Belief that there is a devil will stir us to resisting his influence in our lives, to refusing the temptations he places before us, and to seeking God with our whole heart.

Failure to recognize the devil for who he is goes right along with other spiritual blindness. The devil loves to have people disbelieve in the spiritual realm. The less people believe there is a devil, the less they will believe there is a God. The less they believe in spiritual realities--angels, God, heaven, and hell--the more they will set their eyes on tangible, earthly things.

Men and women who can joke about the devil do not mind indulging in sin. They do not mind being lukewarm or cold toward God. They do not mind getting wrapped up in earthly pursuits, earthly pleasures, earthly accumulation.

The Apostle Paul wrote, "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).

Churchgoers are not exempt from disbelief in a devil. There are, in fact, many ministers who do not admit to a devil.

Now the point of all this is not to get us to go preaching and teaching about the devil. It is simply to reckon with the reality that there is a devil.

Such a recognition will put us on guard against sin and will help us to understand how desperately we need God.

Jesus described the devil as the father of lies (John 8:44).

Peter called him our adversary, a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8).

John wrote of "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9).

And Paul warned that "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" to deceive Christians (2 Corinthians 11:14).

We thank God that those who have Jesus living in their hearts do not need to fear the devil.

John wrote, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

If you would believe in God

CONFESS your sinful condition.
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19).

"Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously" (Hosea 14:2).

BELIEVE that in Jesus you can find forgiveness and pardon.

Say, "I flee unto thee to hide me" (Psalm 143:9). "I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord" (Psalm 32:5).

Furthermore, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
RECEIVE Jesus Christ as the Lord and Master of your life.
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3).

"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Romans 6:13).


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