One of the major problems in life is self-deception. Imagine someone working supposedly for God all his or her life only for the Lord to say ‘you never worked for Me. In fact I never knew you; as far as I know you are worker of iniquity.’ Also imagine giving and giving, thinking that abundance will come as a result of these ‘seeds’ when actually nothing is on the way. Imagine thinking you are walking by faith when in truth your faith isn’t working at all. Walking in deception is definitely something to fear.
There are different kinds of faith. So we can get our get our discussion right, let us at this time classify faith on the basis of the ability to save. When faith is looked at on the basis on the ability to save, two types emerge.
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? James 2:14-15
Type-1 faith is the type that can save, and type-2 faith is that which cannot save. When we look at the vitality of these faith types, we can also call them faith-that-is-alive and faith-that-is-dead, respectively.
Faith is a spiritual substance and so can only be seen by the works it produces. Someone may say he has faith, and he may be right in that assertion, but the real question is concerning what type of faith it is. Is it the type that can save or the type that cannot?
What is the type of save that does not save, and how do we know it?
Dead faith is the type of faith that someone professes but which does not have any works to demonstrate that it is there. For example, it is when someone claims to believe in Christ and the power of His blood but still continues to live in sin, and says that ‘my faith is in my heart.’ It is when someone claims to believe in divine healing but only obeys the instructions of doctors, scientists, and other kinds of health advisers but would hardly take to heart instructions from the word of God for practical living. Such a person believes more in what science says than what the word of God says.
The faith that cannot save is the faith that we only know because the person claims he has faith; we just have to take his word for it. He says he has faith but there are no works that others can see and say, ‘indeed this man believes.’
The kind of faith that cannot save is the reason why churches are full but the society is not changed. Dead faith takes people to church in large numbers but not into the kingdom of God. Faith that cannot save is the reason why pastors are committing adultery and lying with the word of God to collect money while still believing they are candidates of heaven.
The kind of faith that cannot save is the one that believes that since no one can lose his salvation after being saved (once-saved-always-saved doctrine), then I can live my life anyway I like; I know I will still be received by the Lord Jesus into His bosom on the last day.
What does Jude have to say about this matter?
Dear friends… now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God's marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 3, 4 NLT
Faith that excuses sin and claiming to believe in grace is the type that cannot save.
The faith that does not save only has words to show that it is there. It says everything that seem Christian but it is limited to those words alone. Yes, confession of the word of God is part of the genuine faith which saves, but it is not all there is.
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don't just say to each other, 'We're safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.' That means nothing… Luke 3:8 NLT
Because of the existence of this faith that cannot save, it is dangerous to judge your faith by the knowledge you have, or the fact that you are ‘believing God’ for something. You have to check how you are living because that is the only way by which the difference between the faiths can be shown. Many think they believe in divine prosperity but they are self-centred, miserly, and are not cheerful givers. They only give when they are promised there is a return of harvest. That is false faith in prosperity. The mark of the faith that saves in this area is regular generosity, not that which is only giving so as to get in return.
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 1 Tim 6:17-19
When Abraham believed in divine abundance, he was willing to let the king of Sodom take things away, and also allowed Lot choose before him. He was not a grabber.
Please it is important that I emphasize that the possessors of this kind of faith (which cannot save) would mostly think that they have real faith, but there are no works of righteousness to go with it. If you have faith but there are no works of righteousness that are commensurate with the faith you think you have, then you are deceived; your faith is the type that cannot save.
What does it mean for faith to save?
Of course, it means to obtain the forgiveness of sins through the working of the blood of Jesus Christ and to deliver from the judgement of God and eternal fire. That is the most important form of salvation. But salvation extends beyond that. To save also means to heal, to deliver from demonic oppression and from curses, to eliminate poverty and bring into prosperity. To save includes to produce blessings of different kinds. All these things require faith, the real kind of faith. The kind of faith that does not save leads to disappointments; expectations are not met.
When there is dead faith in the heart, we claim to believe the deliverance the Lord gave through Jesus but our works do not show it. We claim to believe in the forgiveness of sins but we still continue in sin. We want to continue in sin so that grace may abound. No, that kind of faith does not save.
So we see that any church where they preach grace to the extent that the people therein feel comfortable with sin will be made up mainly of members who do not have saving faith. Their faith cannot save anyone, so they would still be unbelievers even though they are deceived into thinking they are believers. Their sins have not been forgiven, and they are not safe from eternal damnation. It is not because the Lord condemns people for every little error, but it is because the people are not truly of faith in Christ Jesus. The faith they claim to have is unfortunately the type that does not save.
People sometime argue over whether it is true that once you are saved you are always saved. I think we can all agree on one thing instead of splitting hairs on that matter. We can easily agree that a person who claims to have believed but continues in sin was never saved because he or she never had the type of faith that saves.
Please bear in mind that this kind of faith that does not save may get results, which is why there is often confusion. Let us see some of the results it may produce.
1. It fills churches. Churches are often filled with all kinds of people, majority of whom may only possess the faith that does not save. Multitudes followed Jesus but He was not impressed. Many would come to services organized by Ezekiel those days, but the Lord told him not to get carried away.
And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" And He answered and said to them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. Mat 13.10,11
But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak to one another, each to his brother, saying, 'Come now, and hear what the message is which comes forth from the Lord.' And they come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people, and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain. And behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not practice them. Ezek 33:30-33
2. Another closely related result is that some of these people may be effective church workers, who preach and minister the power of God. They may even work miracles.
"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.' Matt 7:22-23
Even though these people did things in the name of the Lord, but they never had saving faith. What a disappointment it would be. These people perfected the outward form of worship and got promoted into offices in church, and that was the confusion of their lives. They took pride in the titles the churches gave to them. They enjoyed being called deacons and pastors, not knowing that those things do not save.
The faith that does not save can produce fantastic religious motions.
…(they) honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote… Isa 29:13
3. Another thing that dead faith does is to produce good ‘christianese’. This term refers to Christian talk. ‘It is well…’ ‘Bless you…’ These are kinds of talk that certainly appear like faith talk. But what did James say?
What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." James 2:14-18
Real faith is not just the talk. The vitality of it is shown in how we live lives that please the Lord, lives that make sacrifices for the sake of truth, deny the flesh, die to self and have a real hope of eternity. Real faith is shown by a life that hates sin and strives after righteousness. Anything less, no matter how good it feels, is a faith that does not save.
NB: Most Bible references are NASB
By Onwe Joseph on 02 Sep, 2017
Thank U Pastor Bankie for being a great blessing to me, more than any other pastor in the Lord. Your sermons,audio and blogs have affected my life for the Lord and to live for Jesus alone & totally to serve Him. Don't be suprised that U teach me even in the dream; is the Lord's Plan. I started following the kingdom word ministry since 2014. Am grateful sir, for the truth undiluted,the power of Christ Jesus that you preach&teach. I am a student @ EBSU but the word of God is my delight. God bless all of you @ KWM Enugu.
By Clement Nvene on 02 Sep, 2017
Thank you sir for rightly dividing the word of God.
By Felix Ikpea on 02 Sep, 2017
Am blessed by this teaching. It helps me to re-evaluate my faith walk with Christ Jesus.
By ode fidelis on 13 Oct, 2017
I am speechless, i am so much appreciate God for bringing you to my life by this word of faith at this time, I was working in deception all this years, but I really thank that I have found the truth, more GRC to u sir
By lucy on 14 Oct, 2017
Sir, I have been following your teachings closely and am thankful to God for you. My question is,what other works of faith can one do while waiting on God for a life partner?God said we should shun fornication but I realised that my refusal to have sex with a men has made me lose many men who claim they want to marry me & people don't seem to understand my stand & chose to laugh at me. pls sir what can I do while waiting?
Thank you for this comment and the question therein. The truth is that you have not lost any man for refusal to have sex with him. Any man who will leaves because you did not sleep with him is either not a Christian at all or a very carnal one. Trust me, you are better off without such men. What can you do meanwhile? Simple; focus on every other thing that makes you a person, marriage or no marriage. Enjoy living, do your everyday work well, succeed in you business or career. Remember Abraham became very rich while waiting for Isaac to come. God bless you