“Do you believe on the Son of God?” John 9:35
It is not enough to say that we believe in God, or even in Jesus Christ. It is true, isn't it, that the devils believe and they tremble! (James 2:19) We must go further than that. And eternity demands that we consider this seriously, more seriously than we would any other subject. Listen to how Octavius Winslow (19th C) writes of our faith:
Oh, look well to your faith! There must be, in true faith, not only an assent, but also a consent. In believing to the saving of the soul, we not only assent to the truth of the word, but we also consent to take Christ as He is there set forth- the sinner’s reconciliation with God. A mere intellectual illumination, or a historical belief of the facts of the Bible, will never place the soul beyond the reach of hell, nor within the region of heaven. There is a “form of knowledge,” as well as a “form of godliness;” and both existing apart from vital religion in the soul constitute a “vain religion.” Again we press upon you the important inquiry, Have you the “faith of God’s elect”?
He drives the point home by applying the truth to each of us personally:
Is it a faith that has stained the glory of self-merit, and laid the pride of intellect in the dust? Is it rooted in Christ? Has it transformed you, in some degree, into the opposite of what you once were? Are any of the “precious fruits” of the Spirit put forth in your life? Is Jesus precious to your soul? And to walk in all circumstances humbly with God- is it the earnest desire of your heart? If there is no sorrow for sin, no going out of yourself to Jesus, no fruits of holiness, in some degree, appearing, then is yours but a “dead faith,”- dead, because it is a part and parcel of a nature “dead in trespasses and in sins,”- dead, because it is not the fruit of the quickening Spirit- dead, because it is inoperative, even as the lifeless root transmits no vitality and moisture to the tree- dead, because it never can bring you to eternal life.These questions force us each to ask how is it with my soul? So, how would you answer that question?