More Than Believing

Written by Sherri Bergmann

Just as the seasons change, transforming gradually from one state to another, so can one who believes in Christ. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

A good example of a remarkable transformation in a person is revealed in the book of Acts. Saul’s rock-hard heart towards Christians changed when he went from a relentless hound after Christians to imprison, torture and kill them—to becoming Paul after Jesus revealed himself to him, which in turn prompted him to boldly and willingly be imprisoned, tortured, and die for Christ.

Imagine the confusion that must have caused those who knew him before his conversion. Imagine how his life helped to prove that Christ was who He said He was. The world has never been the same since. Paul bonded with other Christians who risked their lives to spread the good news that Christ rose from the dead, is alive, and lives inside of us to help those who turn to Him. When Christianity started, people witnessed amazing changes in those who accepted Him as Lord and Savior, just as we see today.

According to Guinness World Records (and other multiple sources), the Bible is the best-selling book of all time, with around five to seven billion copies sold to date.1 Bibles are also given away free and smuggled into countries that forbid the Bible by people who risk their lives to tell of His existence with us now, and for eternity. It’s also the most translated book in human history.

But it was more than believing, and took more than faith, for the early Christians to change the world. What they did is what we can do today to impact those around us.

More than believing. James 2:19 says, “ You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”

Faith is not enough. Many say, “I have faith,” and think that believing and having faith are enough to be a strong Christian. James went on to say, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

Action activates. The book of Acts is aptly named. Many became Christians, and lives were changed because of what the Christians did. They took action. They took time out of their lives to tell others about Christ. They acted out what Christ said to do: help the hungry and the thirsty, treat a stranger as a friend, give clothes to the needy, look after those who are sick and in prison, love and pray for your enemies, love and pray for others, be merciful, and a peacemaker.

We can do the same today. One act at a time. Christ said we were created to do good works. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16-16

Love in action. God is love. Love is an action. When we show love to others, we more than reflect Christ – we share Him so that others can experience Him. Because we have witnessed our own transformation on the inside in our mind and hearts, our acts of love for God and others shows outwardly and they see the change from our old self to our new. If they didn’t know us before, they see what is possible and want that positive difference. When they hear about what Christ can do, they desire His difference in their lives.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15

Witness in action. Because we have been transformed, we can help be a witness to others wherever we go. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

If we don’t act, then “…for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26.

To illustrate the point, James said that Abraham was justified by works because even though he didn’t want to sacrifice his beloved son, in his faith and love for God, he obeyed God’s instruction when he offered Isaac on the altar, and God stopped him.

James asked, “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

Unlimited if limited. If we are limited in our physical ability to go out and help, such as being bed-bound due to an illness or accident, we can pray. Jesus said if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move a mountain. You can still reflect Christ, his light and love in attitude. Prayer is an action. Faith is an action. You and God together can make big things happen.

Paul’s stance over two thousand years ago still echoes today. The action we take to bring Christ to others can have the same lasting impact. That is how we present Christ. We do our part. We draw closer to Him, we help others to do the same. He does the rest – He continuously transforms us from glory to glory. It takes more than believing to fully live for Christ.


Posted in
Posted in

No Comments