From my friend and brother in Christ, Paul:
12See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
16Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” ~ Hebrews 3:12-19
We have been studying in the Book of Hebrews on Sunday morning…
If I were to ask you, “What is the opposite of believing in God?” you would probably answer, “Not believing in God” or “unbelief”. So, if I believe in God I am doing my Christian duty because we are saved by faith. That’s not how it is described in Hebrews. Hebrews says the opposite of believing is disobedience. Because we believe we obey. When we don’t believe, we don’t obey. God was angry with those in the wilderness because they disobeyed so God swore they would never enter his rest (Hebrews 3:18). The application in Hebrews 3:19 is “that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief”.
What value does belief have without action, without obedience? Do you really believe if you do not obey? The Hebrew writer doesn’t think so. True belief must result in obedience.
So we say, “I believe because I obey. I don’t do anything wrong. That’s how I obey, by doing nothing.” There are definitely some things we should not do, but doesn’t the Bible have a whole host of things we should do? No wonder James said:
14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. ~James 2:14-19