By Don Fortner
A false faith can do many things and produce many things, which make it hard to detect. A false faith can experience deep conviction for sin like Judas. It can tremble at the Word of God like Felix. It can repent like Esau. It can obtain high office in the church like Judas, Diotrephes and Demas. A false faith can speak well of Christ: ‘Never a man spake like this man.’ It can experience deep religious emotions like the stony-ground hearers. It can diligently perform religious works like the Pharisees. A false faith can even preach the gospel, perform miracles, cast out demons and persevere to the end (Mat_7:22-23). But, as I read the Word of God, I see that there are three things that a false faith can never do.
1. A false faith can never produce a heart broken over sin (Psalms 51). It can offer sacrifices to try to appease God for sin. It can do good works to try to make up for sin. It can even confess sin. But, ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ Such brokenness and humility, because of inbred sin, a false faith cannot produce.
2. A false faith cannot rest in Christ alone as the way, the truth and the life (1Co_1:30-31). True faith relies upon Christ alone for salvation. When I say that Christ alone is my Savior, I mean that he is all my redemption and cleansing, all my justification and sanctification, all my righteousness and holiness, all my pardon and forgiveness, all my glory and desire, all my hope and reward. But a false faith must mix in human merit with the merits of Christ, free will with free grace and man’s works with the work of Christ.
3. A false faith cannot and will not submit to the lordship of Christ (Mat_6:24). We cannot perfectly submit to Christ because of our sin. We would if we could, but our sinful nature prohibits us. But all who have a true faith in the Son of God submit to Christ totally. We bow to his sovereign lordship whole-heartedly. Christ alone is our rightful Lord. He has a rightful claim upon all that we are and all that we possess. Where there is no submission in the heart, there is no faith in the heart.
Taken from Daily Grace by Don Fortner
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
(Ephesians 4:11-15 KJV)
When we were first converted, we were babes in Christ – babes in understanding, having to be fed with milk; babes in strength, having to be protected, watched over and pacified; babes in fruit, having the buds of the fruit of the spirit but not the full flower. As children we are in danger from false teachers, cunning men and strange doctrines. As our tree ministers feed us the word of God, we grow up in all things in Christ. We become strong in faith, love, patience, knowledge and all grace. The danger of our being deceived or led away from Christ is lessened. The word of truth is the instrumental means of such growth (1Jn_2:12-13).
Eph_4:16. Because of Christ, who is our Head, the whole church (called the whole body) in its various parts and members is joined and firmly knit together (1Co_12:12-13; 1Co_12:27). The bond (or cement) which holds us together is the grace of faith and love supplied by Christ to every part. When each part or member is working properly, the body grows to full maturity and builds itself up in love. (Mahan, Henry – Commentary on John and Romans through Jude (22 books)