“Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.” (Hebrews 10:26 NLT)
Knowledge can be a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to being a follower of Christ. As in the verse above, knowledge of Jesus – about the details of His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and current reign with His Father in heaven – does not equal salvation. To know facts isn’t the same as responding by faith.
A person can read the Bible and even memorize large portions of it, as did the teachers of the Jewish laws, but that knowledge in and of itself will not qualify us to be children of God. Without faith, or, in other words, faithlessness can never please God. So, knowledge without faith is valueless in terms of it’s ability to put us in a right relationship with God.
The plot thickens, because there are those who believe that because they attend church and listen to sermons, they may even read and study the Bible, that those activities will make them right with God. Their lifestyle doesn’t change, in the sense that they continue to live in habitual, deliberate sin, but they wrongly assume God will overlook their sin because of their knowledge of His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
There’s only one sacrifice sufficient to cleanse us of our sin, or, in the words of the verse above, “that will cover these sins,” and that’s the blood of Jesus offered on Calvary’s Cross. If we’re not trusting in Christ’s sacrifice “there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.”
That’s the danger of faithlessness when it comes to the essential tenets of the Christian Faith. If our “faith” is misplaced, it’s of no value to us, in the sense that it will not make us right with God. In other words, if what we believe about Jesus doesn’t match what the Bible teaches, it will not lead us to saving faith.
For example, if we believe that because our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or anyone else with whom we have a close relationship is following Jesus, then we must be okay because “we believe the same things they do.” Believing isn’t enough. James 2:19 explains that even the demons believe and tremble, but they’re certainly not exhibiting saving faith.
Faithlessness, as I’m using it in this post, is misplaced or absent faith. Belief and faith are two sides of the same coin. I can believe in Jesus – who He is, what He’s done, what He died to accomplish – but if that belief doesn’t activate living, abiding faith which leads to repentance and a change of direction in my life, I’m not saved, I’m deceived.
And please don’t misunderstand. After receiving Christ as Savior and Lord, while God views us through the lens of the sinlessness and righteousness of His Son, we aren’t, in and of ourselves, perfect. We will still sin. We’ll struggle to overcome sin patterns in our lives and will never become perfect in this life. Yes, of course, we’re accounted as sinless and perfect because of the blood of Jesus, but we’ll wrestle with our sin-nature until we receive our new, perfect bodies when we die.
However, we should expect to see a change in the way we think and live, based on the Spirit’s activity in our lives. The longer we walk with and serve our Savior, the more desire we should have to allow His will to become our will, so much so, that as our love for Jesus increases, so should our disdain for our sin.
Food for thought.
Blessings, Ed 😊