Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dead Faith:

Concealed Sin

Did you know it’s possible to have faith and leave God out?

Many people proclaim faith in God, but their actions say otherwise. They speak of God’s word, but lack the wisdom in living holy. Their lives don’t imitate Christ and in times of distress, they are troubled by God’s silence.

What is dead faith?

Dead faith is a self-knowledge of God’s words lacking the qualities of a Spirit-filled life. Here the individual leans on its interpretation of God’s will unaware of the dangers it brings to one’s eternal resting place. Spiritual intelligence can’t stand up against the evil one. We don’t have the strength required to fight Satan.   

In the Epistle of James, we find the Biblical definition of dead faith. Here James points out that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). He emphasized being a doer of God’s word (James 1:22). Words are meaningless until put into action. Action speaks volume in the kingdom of God.

One way dead faith enters a believer’s life is through concealed sin. Un-confessed sin is damaging to our spiritual growth. Nothing good comes from hiding sin. Even though God knows we sin our responsibility is to confess our transgression.

Salvation isn’t a free pass.

We must be diligent in our walk with Christ or face eternal consequences. A Christian life is an example of God’s living Spirit manifested through selfless service to God, Christ, and others. A real believer’s life is full of good deeds, helping to spread the good news Christ brings to the faithful.

Unbelievers watch the way Christians behave and this makes it imperative for us to back up our words in action. And a Spirit-filled life radiates a loving, forgiving and compassionate response to life’s difficult terms. Spiritual integrity doesn’t use words for its God’s way of attracting others to a life centered in Christ.    

Holding onto inequity is unwise for we won’t find God’s mercy (Proverbs 28:13). And a life absent of God’s mercy is full of unnecessary pain. Most of our struggles can be traced back to a hidden sin. It shouldn’t surprise us that concealed sin causes us trouble.

A secret sin is an act of disobedience. We are commanded to confess our particular sins (Leviticus 5:4-5). It’s easy to overlook the need of owning up to our sins. We can’t afford to let disobedience rob us of our inheritance with God.

Yes, God has forgiven us, and Christ’s death has taken away sin, but we must be an active participant in our salvation. Remember, God will judge us according to the way we live (Ecclesiastes 12:14). And Christ pointed out the need to look at our sins (Matthew 7:3).

When God saved me, I didn’t understand the value of confessing sins. Salvation was a great revelation and in my spiritual infancy, this worked.

Then one day I had trouble living holy. I couldn’t stop myself from disobeying. My constant prayers and humble approach weren’t paying off, but God was listening. The Lord answered and showed me the way to confess sins. It involved confessing to Christ and asking for the guidance in repenting.

The way this works is simple. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is pride. So when I realize my prideful ways I pause and pray to Christ: “I confess to you Christ, my sin of pride. Forgive me for my trespass. What is my repentance?  Your will always not mine. Amen.” This works for any sin and brings me in line with God’s will. Sometimes I have to wait and listen for the answers. But Christ never leaves me guessing on what I need to do in making amends for my wrongs.   

Our willingness to give God our best effort is crucial to our eternal lives. Christ doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but wants us to strive for spiritual progress. And our admission of wrongful behavior opens the door to Christ’s abundant peace. There is no greater Christian freedom than the one God gives.   

A vibrant faith welcomes self-examination (Haggai 1:5). Concealed sin thrives in darkness blocking Christ’s light. It’s painful looking at our sinful nature but to grow in God’s Spirit, we need to know our misconduct. And confessing our findings makes our faith alive.

We have discussed one way of identifying dead faith. Un- forgiveness, selfish prayers, and judging others are indicators of a faith unfavorable with God. Remember the Pharisees had faith but Christ exposed it as dead. Our hope is secured through a living faith anchored in the body of Christ.