Faith basically means belief
A belief can be good or bad
Faith without works is dead
What can you do to make sure that your faith is acceptable to Yeshua or his father, Yahweh? Let’s look at some examples of what Yeshua (Christ) said to others.
During Yeshua’s (Christ’s) ministry on earth, he commented on those whose faith was good and those whose faith was bad:
Concerning the bad:
The religious leaders had strong faith but it was bad. Why? They had put their faith into man, including themselves, rather than God. Because of this, they became opposers of Yahweh. They blinded themselves into thinking that they were doing good. They were not interested in checking their beliefs against God’s word or taking into consideration the miracles that they had heard about and witnessed. That is why Yeshua’s words stung them when he called their father the Devil at John 8:44. They blindly put faith in themselves and put Christ to death.
When people put their faith into themselves or man they are not pursuing the truth of Yahweh. Their faith is based upon their own thoughts and is of no use for salvation. Notice the thought that Yeshua spoke that they wanted to do the desires of their father, the Devil. They didn’t want truth. They loved themselves more than wanting to seek God’s truth.
44 You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn’t stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
Concerning the good:
Here is an example of a centurion who showed strong faith in Yeshua. He was not a Jew and was assigned over 100 soldiers:
5 When he came into Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking him for help, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant lies in the house paralyzed, grievously tormented.”
7 Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
8 The centurion answered, “Lord, I’m not worthy for you to come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and tell another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and tell my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled and said to those who followed, “Most certainly I tell you, I haven’t found so great a faith, not even in Israel. 11 I tell you that many will come from the east and the west, and will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, 12 but the children of the Kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way. Let it be done for you as you have believed.” His servant was healed in that hour.
How could this centurion have such a tremendous faith? Apparently from the things he heard, he meditated and believed. His belief was so deep that he realized that Christ had to have God given authority. This is evident when the centurion openly acknowledges that he is “under authority” as Christ is. The centurion states that he can send a servant to do something so he doesn’t need to be present to get something done. Similarly, the centurion has faith that Christ doesn’t have to be present to do a miracle and he is right!
Interesting that this non-Jew, this centurion, acknowledged Christ’s authority. He thought deeply about the things he heard and possibly saw. In good faith, he knew this could only come with authority from God. In stark contrast, in bad faith, the religious leaders sought to have Christ killed!
An example of good and bad faith at the same time:
When Christ was being crucified, there were two evildoers on either side of him. One mocked Yeshua. The other truly believed in him.
32 There were also others, two criminals, led with him to be put to death. 33 When they came to the place that is called “The Skull”, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots. 35 The people stood watching. The rulers with them also scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen one!”
36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
38 An inscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
39 One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!”
40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Don’t you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
43 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Surely, both criminals had heard and possibly seen what Christ had done. But their faith was made evident by their actions.
As the religious leaders mocked Christ, so did the one criminal. Their faith was bad.
However, as the centurion exercised faith in Christ, so did the other criminal. The faith of this criminal would have done him no good, if he didn’t speak out. But by speaking out, this criminal showed his submission and faith in Christ as king by calling Yeshua lord and asking Yeshua to remember him as he would begin ruling. He also exclaimed that Yeshua did no wrong! This was a witness to all present! His faith, his beliefs, were made manifest about Yeshua and was rewarded!
People can sometimes put their faith in men, thinking that if others believe a certain way, it must be right. The religious leaders who sought to put Yeshua to death certainly fall into this category. Going along with the crowd, thinking that they must be right, without checking their direction, is called groupthink and is dangerous. In principle, this is what Christ meant when he stated that the road leading to destruction is broad and spacious.
13 “Enter in by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter in by it.
Those who seek the truth of Yahweh are actively seeking and sharing truths, even if it leads to their deaths. This is the true active faith that truly saves!
Faith without works is dead.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? 15 And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you tells them, “Go in peace. Be warmed and filled;” yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. 18 Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
19 You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected. 23 So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness,” Genesis 15:6 and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith. 25 In the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.