“Someone once asked Dr. Billy Graham, “If Christianity is valid, why is there so much evil in the world?” To this the famous preacher replied, “With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world? Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is to make a difference in our lives.”
Much like soap had to be applied so does faith…..
It is not a communal thing. It is a heart-felt, mind-changing, definite and personal decision to accept Christ as Savior. For Christians, that means they accept the man Jesus as the one and only way to God. Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Then, just five verses later, Hebrews 11: 6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe HE is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
OK, to make a point, let’s say the decision is made. We have faith.
You have to act upon faith to get results.
Why? Is it to show others what we have? Not especially. You see, some have explained it this way: Faith is the key that unlocks the door, but, the key must be taken to the door and inserted or turned.
Let’s consider a story that most believers have heard or read about and can be found in the Bible. In this story there was a person who needed healing from Jesus. John chapter 5 tells of a man who was waiting by the pool Bethesda. He had an infirmity for well over thirty years that would not allow him to get in the water and be healed. The Bible does not record any great effort on his part to activate his faith and get in that pool, although, I suppose one could debate the fact that he must have made an effort of some kind to have even been beside the pool.
I think I could have thought of a way to get in the water had I wanted to get there bad enough to be waiting at the edge. Granted; I may be judging harshly, but for that reason I see him as a whiner. Perhaps he had become lethargic and complacent, because Jesus came along and asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”
Notice verse 7: He does what I would call , “beats around the bush.” He did not answer with a resounding, ” YES!” or with, “Oh, I CERTAINLY DO!” He said , …no one would put him in the pool. Well, boo hoo!
Remember faith is a personal thing. WE MUST APPLY OUR OWN FAITH. In verse 8 Jesus told him to, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” You see he had to personally decide right there, and right then, to act on his faith.
He had to rise….
He had to take up his bed…..
He had to walk….
What if he refused? What if he had argued it was the Sabath? Would he have experienced change in his circumstances? In James 2:26 it says faith without works is dead. Or as Dr. Billy Graham said, faith has to be personally applied. And it was. The whiner became a winner! And did you notice? He didn’t even get wet!
” For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (NKJV)