Three aspects of faith – obedient, moral lifestyle
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)
The third aspect of faith is our conduct or everyday living out of our trust in God and acceptance of the body of truth recorded in the Bible. We might say “living out our faith”.
There is a belief today that says you can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and then it’s all finished, you can live any way you want and still be assured of heaven. It has been termed the “easy believism” of Christianity. Numbers of churches promote this doctrine and are sincerely attempting to win souls to Christ by this teaching. They invest time and money into programs, services, outreaches and other venues to bring the gospel to the unsaved. They do this seriously and with great conviction that they are fulfilling the Great Commission, however they are not making true believers, only decisions. Years ago in Harrisburg, PA one such Christian went door to door seeking to present the gospel to people. Upon knocking on one door a man answered and asked what this young man desired. The young man went on to ask, “Do you believe in God? Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe the Bible is God’s word? Do you believe Jesus died for you on the cross and rose again from the dead? To all these questions the man replied, “Yes, I do”. The young man proceeded to tell him, “Praise God, you are a Christian!” The man looked him in the eye and said, “The h___ I am!” and slammed the door shut.
Beyond being a trust or belief and the body of truth as contained in the Bible, faith is a moral lifestyle and every day actions and speech. It is a new way of life that aligns with what God says in His word. Through Isaiah, God said, “Learn to do well.” In a world that knows little any more about Godliness and moral living, we need to be instructed in proper living. The Bible speaks of our lives in all areas and we need to learn what He says about living according to His word – body of faith.
Our belief and trust in God are directly connected to our life – “seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God . . . For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James says a faith that does not produce a Godly life will not do in the time of death.
Paul tells us that our Christian life and the things we do are only pertinent as we live within the bounds of His love – “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” Paul also tells us that it involves our total life that we live – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” Jude says we are to build our life upon the body of truth contained in God’s word – “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,”
Faith: it is trusting and believing God and His word; it is the body of truth contained in God’s word and it is our life and actions as dictated by God’s word.