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What word would you use to describe your faith? As you try to come up with just the right word, I would be willing to bet “demonic” is not one you’re considering. After all, demons are evil spirits; fallen angels who joined Satan in his rebellion against God. How much faith could they have?
However, don’t sell the demons short when it comes to faith. Demons actually believe more than you might think. James writes, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” James 2:19 (NIV2011)
If you take time to read about Jesus’ encounters with demons, you will find they have pretty amazing faith:
- They believe in the existence of God; they are neither atheists nor agnostics.
- They believe in the deity of Christ.
- They believe in the existence of a place of punishment.
- They recognize Jesus Christ as the Judge.
- They submit to the power of His Word.
Not only do they have the intellectual knowledge, but there is emotion with their belief. They actually shudder at what they believe.
Don’t misunderstand. James is not complimenting the demons for their faith. Rather, he is pointing out that often there is no difference between demon faith and what many Christians claim as their faith.
Why is having the same kind of faith as the demons so dangerous? It is dangerous because it is not a saving faith experience to just believe and tremble. In spite of their believing some right things and trembling, demons are not going to heaven. As it relates to us, Warren Wiersbe writes, “A person can be enlightened in his mind and even stirred in his heart and be lost forever.”
Anyone can profess faith. However, true saving faith leads to action. Where there is saving faith, you will always find good deeds. Any profession of faith that is not confirmed by action is incomplete.
While a person is saved through faith; no one’s faith is real unless it moves that person to action. The person with genuine saving faith is not the one who just professes it, but rather reveals it in the way they live.
We can do better than the demons.