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Rediscover the Bible for Life
“An Ineffective Faith”
By Dennis Lee
An old axiom says, “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.”
This says we must accept the consequences of our decisions. The expression is commonly used as a response those who’ve been complaining about problems they’ve brought on themselves.
Isaiah said, “For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.” (Isaiah 28:20)
Israel continued to walk according to their own understanding, never thinking judgment would come. They were trusting in their lies and things never written in God’s word.
The bed they found themselves lying in, and the faith they believed, was ineffective. Their misunderstanding of God’s word brought them neither comfort nor relief, nor did it bring the hope for the Day of Judgment.
What are some of the signs of ineffective faith or religion?
First it’s a faith that doesn’t secure a pardon for sins. The most pressing problem facing humanity today is sin, and what is needed most is forgiveness. But a faith that doesn’t secure that forgiveness is ineffective.
In many religions the people’s faith doesn’t secure forgiveness of sin. Instead works are required where someone must follow the law or a particular set of rules or standards.
This is what sets Christianity apart from other religions and faiths. Christianity says faith in Jesus Christ forgives a person’s sins: past, present, and future. The Bible says if we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9.
The Bible also says that our salvation is by grace through faith, and not by works lest we boast in our own goodness, Ephesians 2:8-9.
Some religions say that while Jesus’ blood atones for sin, it doesn’t atone for all of them, because some sins are too great and we have to atone for them ourselves. This is an ineffective faith. It also makes what Jesus Christ did upon the cross without meaning and ineffective.
The Bible says, “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29)
Another sign of an ineffective faith or religion is that it doesn’t provide real peace. If we’re constantly worried whether we’re right with God, and if our sins are forgiven, then there is no real peace.
If you can’t say with 100 percent surety that your sins are forgiven and you’ll be in heaven when you die, then your faith is ineffective.
Christians have that surety. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
If we’re counting on a religion to get you to heaven, then we’re believing a lie, and the bed we’re lying in is too short and thus ineffective.
Stop relying on a religion to do what only Jesus Christ can. No religion can do what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can, and that is a surety that we’ve been forgiven, and an eternity in heaven waits.
Dennis Lee is the senior pastor of Living Waters Fellowship in Mesquite, Nevada.
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