“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” (NLT)
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” (NLT)
Abraham was a man who had true faith in God. True faith includes belief, conviction, dependence in the right object or person, and follow through with action consistent with the conviction.
James said, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17, NIV)
Intellectual belief alone is not true faith. Faith in Christ and in what he has done on the cross includes conviction and dependence in him alone, which ultimately produces works through the believer.
Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24, NIV)
As the crucified life begins to work in the heart of the believer, the life of Christ begins to take control, enabling the believer to live for the will of God rather than his own will. The self-life dies, and the Christ life begins to flourish in the heart of the believer.
Regarding the Word of God, Jeremiah said: “But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9, NIV)
The Word became such a power in his life that he had to proclaim it. Jesus Christ wants us to be vessels for the continuance of his ministry in this world. He wants to live his life through us as Christians.
The works of the Spirit in the life of the believer are a natural outcome of Christ living in the heart of the believer. The Spirit will reveal and produce the works that God has already planned for the believer to do as he submits himself to the will of God. The works are a natural outgrowth of faith placed in the person of Jesus Christ.
What will a seed of corn or wheat produce if it is planted in the right kind of soil? Look at the application we find from the words of Jesus, “All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” (Mark 4:28, NIV)
Faith placed in the person of Jesus Christ will produce works, just as the seed of corn planted in the ground will through the process of growth produce first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. So true faith placed in Christ, not self, will produce works.
Today, ask yourself:
- Am I fully persuaded that God can do what he has promised?
- Do I believe he will reward me if I diligently seek him?
- Am I willing to die to self, so Jesus Christ can live his life through me?