16 April 2009

Does "faith" matter?

by Dan Phillips
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1)
Consider a man whose time just hadn't come yet.

It's a pretty amazing story. Guy comes into a Royal Bank of Scotland, goes over to a teller, and tells her that he has a gun in his backpack. Hand over the money.

The tellers are terrified, and they begin to comply. But customer Andrew Stewart wasn't alarmed at all. He walked over to the would-be robber said, "It's April the 1st isn't it mate? It's April Fool's Day." (This happened on March 31, 2008.)

The robber replied, "I've got a gun. I will shoot you." Stewart retorted, "Go on then, shoot me!"

The robber fled. The bag — was empty. Stewart went back to the paper he had been reading.

I would love to have seen Stewart's face when he learned the truth.

Think of it. Why was Stewart so calm and so brave? Well, really, he was calm; but he wasn't brave, exactly, was he? Stewart was calm because of his faith. Stewart believed that it was all just an April Fool's hoax. No bravery required.

He did what he did, because he believed what he believed.

But here's the thing: he was wrong! He was just (what most folks would call) lucky. If there'd been a gun, we wouldn't be chuckling. Nor would Stewart.

Of course, it wasn't luck. There is a "time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2), and the Lord, who kills and makes alive (Deuteronomy 32:39), didn't say it was Stewart's time.

From this incident, I glean two points: one general, one more specific and convicting.

Here's my more general point.

Forget everything you know about this event. You're watching this scene with no words, no sound. You watch what Stewart does. Then I ask you, "Can you tell me what that guy believes and why?"

You'd say, "I can't tell you why, but yeah, I can tell he believes he's in no danger. He believes he knows what he's doing. He believes he's doing the right thing."

Stewart showed us his faith by his works (James 2:18). Works — deeds, decisions, actions, priorities — reveal faith. They reveal faith more truly than lips alone reveal it (James 2:14). The Bible says and shows this a hundred, two hundred different ways (Proverbs 14:2; 1 John 2:29; etc.).

Anyone can say he's a Christian. You can teach a parrot to say he's a Christian. But life as lived reveals reality.

Now, the really convicting point. Ready? Strapped in? Okay.

Say it's not Stewart we're watching without sound. It's you. It's me.

Can you tell what we believe, and why? The things we spend the most time on, feel the most strongly about, invest the most of ourselves in — what do they say about our faith? Our priorities, our goals, our rules of engagement — looking at them, what do we believe?

Do we live boldly, confidently, riskily, like people who believe they have a loving, giving, kind, sovereign Father who has dealt fully and finally with all their sins, forever, in Christ? Think of the roll-call of faith in Hebrews 11, and the amazing feats accomplished by people who really, truly believed in the Word of God. Do we live like people who believe that His word is our law, for our thoughts and choices and affections?

Do we live the lives of people who believe this world is passing, and that only he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17)? Do we live like we believe that seeking His kingdom and righteousness is our priority (Matthew 6:34)? Is His glory our all-consuming passion (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

Do we live like we believe that we are surrounded by lost rebels whose only hope is the Gospel we say we know and believe to be the saving power of God?

Does "faith" matter?

Oh, absolutely. We do what we do, because we believe what we believe. Faith makes all the difference. Not should make, but does make.

But what faith?

And what difference?

Dan Phillips's signature

60 comments:

John said...

Amen.

"Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone."

donsands said...

Very edifying. Thanks.

I ask the Father every morning to give me the Holy Spirit, so that I can live for Him. I believe He is faithful to His promise. And though I have all sorts of circumstances, and situations come my way every day, the Lord, who is the Spirit, is with me every step.

You also made me think of the Hebrew children's faith. "O King, throw us in the fire if you must, cause we ain't gonna bow. And our God is able to deliver us, but even if He doesn't, we aint gonna bow."

Eddie Eddings said...

Great reminder for all of us! (especially me) I love the line, "Anyone can say he's a Christian. You can teach a parrot to say he's a Christian. But life as lived reveals reality." I will have to use that from now on! Thanks!

The Squirrel said...

Yep, what we believe effects what we do. I know that I could do better in the "visible faith" department.

~Squirrel

SandMan said...

"Do we live boldly, confidently, riskily, like people who believe they have a loving, giving, kind, sovereign Father who has dealt fully and finally with all their sins, forever, in Christ?"

What a challenge! Oh that God would grant me a heart of faith like that! Forgive me Jesus when I get caught up in thinking faith in you is a call to an (earthly)life of comfort, ease, and security. May we be a people with radical faith like the saints in Hebrews 11!

Thank you Lord for the men and the tools you have provided to share these insights with your people!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

DJP: "We do what we do, because we believe what we believe."

Free Will or Determinism?

;-)

Just joshin', don't answer. Don't want to derail this thread. This is a great post.

bossmanham said...

Of course, God has already decided who He's going to give faith to, correct? Didn't that happen in eternity past?

Johnny Dialectic said...

"Do we live boldly, confidently, riskily, like people who believe they have a loving, giving, kind, sovereign Father who has dealt fully and finally with all their sins, forever, in Christ?"

No, esp. if we spend most of our time emphasizing our sinfulness over Christ's victory, our "old man" over the "new creation." We plant our flags in Ro. 3:23 and never move on to claim all the territory of Phil. 4:13.

The Blainemonster said...

Excellent, thank you. Great admonishment and encouragement!

DJP said...

Bossmanham Of course, God has already decided who He's going to give faith to, correct? Didn't that happen in eternity past?

That is what the Bible teaches, yes (Ephesians 2:8-10, etc.); though many still want to claim credit for that pivotal piece of salvation.

The Bible also stresses the necessity of our exercising faith (Mark 11:22; Hebrews 11:1, 6, etc.).

But these are pretty much Bible 101 issues.

bossmanham said...

DJP,

Just wondering if it was actually faith that mattered, or if it was the arbitrary decree of God that actually mattered.

I really did enjoy your post though, brother.

God bless :)

DJP said...

"Arbitrary" gratuitously insults God. I'd avoid it.

If He doesn't ultimately and preeminently "matter," then He isn't actuall God in any Biblical sense, is He?

Ian Matthews said...

"If He doesn't ultimately and preeminently "matter," then He isn't actually God in any Biblical sense, is He?"

He would be if, in His sovereignty, he decides to delegate a matter to free choice. If the freedom to choice an action was only down to the sovereign will and license of an omnipotent God.

Eric said...

bossmanham,

It's sad that you see the need to insert snide and faulty Arminian criticisms in an attempt to derail a lovely and Biblical call for Christians to live out their faith. I feel for you as you shake your puny fist at God for His "arbitrary decree[s]".

DJP said...

Ian, you're alluding to the silly dodge some take, suggesting that God agrees not to be God for awhile so man can be God before He takes His Godhood back? Yeah, it's amazing what some do to escape the genuinely sovereign God of the Bible.

So, I'm wondering... can we talk about the actual post, and what it's actually about?

Greg said...

DJP,

Thank you for this post.

What would you say to our "free grace" folks who believe that "salvation" in James is not talking about saved from hell but but saved from physical death.

Bob Wilkin says: "The word save occurs five times in James (1.21; 2:14; 4:12; 5:15, 20). In none of the four uses outside of our passage is eternal salvation in view. In his epistle James uses the word save to refer to deliverance from the death-dealing consequences of sin (cf. 1:15,21). A believer whose faith is not accompanied by works will not be saved from the consequences of his sinful behavior. He or she will experience difficulties which God sends. The purpose of these difficulties is to turn the believer back to the
Lord."

I personally believe this is departing from the plain understanding of the passage, as well as abandoning the historical interpretation.

Just curious on your thoughts and the thoughts of those who want to pipe in.

Stefan said...

Yes, Dan, I've already been under heavy conviction by the Holy Spirit for a number of weeks over this very point. (So stop bothering me about it—just kidding.)

It started, oh, just about the time I began rereading the New Testament from Matthew 1:1 a month ago.

Then out of the blue, two weeks ago, I was called upon to pray for a lady on a bus in the midst of spiritual distress. It showed me the vast gulf between how I should live in obedience to Christ (which by God's grace, I actually did for a whole five minutes that night), and how I do live.

Then, Phil's post a few days ago on that excerpt from Huckleberry Finn (not even from Scripture!) is what finally brought it all home for me.

Aric said...

Great post.

Can you tell what we believe, and why? The things we spend the most time on, feel the most strongly about, invest the most of ourselves in — what do they say about our faith? Our priorities, our goals, our rules of engagement — looking at them, what do we believe?Sadly, I would have to admit someone may be hard pressed to know what I believe, at times. This is especially true when, out of busyness or laziness, I fall into routines and habits that are hard to break (lack of prayer, lack of reading and study, lack of outreach, etc.).

Thanks for the reminder and conviction.

DJP said...

Aric and others - Blogger is now eating paragraph-breaks if your paragraph ends with a < i >.

So just put your period outside the tag, and it should be fine.

Stefan said...

Re my last comment:

I had to pray with that lady, not merely for her. That was the challenging, being-obedient-to-Christ part of it.

Of course, I've often prayed for people.

lawrence said...

"We do what we do, because we believe what we believe."

Indeed. Beautiful in its simplicity.

philness said...

I ponder if Stewart knew it was March 31 and seized an opportunity to distract the flow of thought and raise doubt in the would be robber.
Nonetheless Stewart did act on a belief as we all do.

If we agree that the belief we have was given to us freely by God then we should conclude that this belief will not go away. Ever. If I had something to do with acquiring my belief I would have something to worry about as far as loosing it.

I think of Phil 2:12-13 with emphasis to v13. for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

The same faith that was freely given us in salvation will freely sustain us.

RealityCheck said...

First, great post!

Second, I also "glean two points: one general, one more specific and convicting."

Specifically, I look at myself and see that I have (the Lord has) a lot of work to do in me.

In general, I couldn't help but be struck with the fact that the story I read right before reading this post was off of Drudge about how the "White House asked university to cover (Christian) symbol". What does it say about a country, founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but has a President (who claims to be a Christian) who goes out of his way to make it clear that "we are no longer a Christian nation" and who's actions (works) are anything but Christian?

Yes, I couldn't help but be personally convicted by this post but I also couldn't help but to keep thinking about Obama as I read it.

"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38

I agree, "We do what we do, because we believe what we believe" and what our President "does" suggest he believes something far different then what he claims to believe.

Sorry to take this into a different direction (especially a political one) but I couldn't think of a better example of someone living out what they "really" have faith in.

David McCrory said...

If we only had the faith of a mustard seed, we could move mountains (or stop criminals?)

Good post.

stratagem said...

Here's a related question I pondered after the Easter Sunday sermon: If I had the chance to travel back to the resurrection and see with my own eyes whether Jesus rose from the dead or not, would I do it? Or, would I be too afraid that I'd find out it didn't happen as it is recorded in scripture? I felt pretty faithless for even thinking of that (and I feel pretty dumb right now for sharing it), but it was a challenging thought nonetheless. A thought that made me consider just what other things I'm scared to do because of my doubts.

stratagem said...

What does it say about a country, founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but has a President (who claims to be a Christian) who goes out of his way to make it clear that "we are no longer a Christian nation" and who's actions (works) are anything but Christian?I guess it says that he's right: We no longer are a Christian nation. Whether we ever really were or not, is a lot harder question to answer.

Stefan said...

Dan wrote:

So just put your period outside the tag, and it should be fine.

Well, that's just too simple! You didn't like my two-< br >-solution?

An eagle-eyed proofreader might spot the difference between an italicized period and a non-italicized period. What kind of sloppy witness to our faith would that be?

DJP said...

LOL

Well, in the Blackaby view, I guess it is possible that God means to use an italicized period in some eternal way.

theologyofbobby said...

This post is fine as long as it's not framed within the framework of TULIP[ism] or the Federal framework. But if it is, then there is only really a discussion going on here about "my good works" and not Christ's. There is only really a discussion here on "proving my election" and not the "election of Christ" in the incarnation. I just find it interesting that there is really no discussion at all about Christ in this post whatsoever; this unfortunately is what happens when we follow the emphases that have been provided by the logic of the TULIP . . . we end up reifying scripture by categories that flatten the dynamism found therein by framing discussion on justification and sanctification through a lens that focuses on 'me'; and then finally and reflexively is able to get to Christ (but only after 'my' election has indeed been proven).

Certainly good works are called for in the Christian's life, but they are intended for a different purpose (for my 'neighbor')than that provided by TULIP.

Bobby Grow

DJP said...

LOL

Now all we need is Russ to come by and remind us all that he's a "Reformed" Charismatic and we're all benighted fools, and Kent Brandenburg to say it would all be much clearer if we just stuck to the KJV, and I think we could wrap up for the day.

Lee Shelton IV said...

Excellent post, Dan. Thanks.

I do, however, have one complaint: red text. It makes it VERY hard to distinguish between words that are hyperlinked and words that are merely emphasized. Whenever I read Pyro post, I find myself hovering over every red word for fear of missing a link.

Is Pyro available in a non-red letter edition? :)

Bobby Grow said...

Or you could do your homework, and quit dodging the simple implications of the broader informing framework that gives shape to posts like this.

Trying to caricature is indeed a nice tactic, and works for those given to tendencies of avoidance; but if this post was intended for anybody but the choir, then caricature would be avoided.

Or maybe it's just that you don't want to talk about the TULIP right now . . . that's cool (I don't really like the TULIP either).

Bobby Grow

DJP said...

Bobby, I think you're illustrating that the silliness of a comment is often in direct proportion to how deadly-over-seriously the commenter takes himself.

And btw, if you also inserted your name in the middle of your comment, it would make a triad!

DJP said...

This meta has me dizzy. Font-color, TULIP, sovereign grace... I'll bet there's something about the Rapture in there too.

Equally, that is.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

re Lee's comment -

me too.

Maybe you could highlight in a different color when it's not linked?

If I promise not to nit-pick about the non-italicized period?


But seriously, great challenge. What with three sets of eyes watching me 24/7 it's a well-needed reminder that my actions better back up my words.

Well done, Dan.

Andrew Faris said...

DJP,

No arguments or questions this time: great stuff. Perfect illustration of an important point.

Thanks brother. I need to go spend some time repenting now...

Andrew

DJP said...

Save room for me. Seriously. The thought challenged me before I shared it. In preaching, I've often said that I preach with bloody hands in the sense that the Word is two-edged (Hebrews 4:12), and cuts the preacher before it cuts his hearers.

Bobby Grow said...

Bobby GrowBut I didn't order any red herring, it's kind of stinky (there is that anecdotal enough).

Bobby GrowP.S. I don't like triads, instead I prefer inclusios.

DJP said...

LOL. Now that's funny.

And tag! you've been bitten by the new Blogger tag-bug.

Matt said...

Well done, brother Dan.

I love how those who refuse to understand Calvinism never change their tune.

TOPIC - Justification - "those horrible Calvinists don't care anything for sanctified living"

TOPIC - Sanctification - "all you horrible Calvinists do is focus on justification. You don't care anything about sanctified living. You should be more irenic and humble. You know, like me!"

As a former (very strong) Arminian, I can testify to just how blinding Arminian thought can be.

Matt said...

And great call to holy living, brother Dan!

DJP said...

Clearly, we Calvinists don't know about font-color. I think that's just a fact.

Rachael Starke said...

HG -

Word to the mothers. :)

Especially, if I may be so bold, mothers like me who come from long lines of fulltime ministry families and have Bible degrees and husbands with Bible degrees ...

"preaching with bloody hands"

Ouch. That's good.

Matt said...

Clearly, we Calvinists don't know about font-color. I think that's just a fact.Which is odd, because Calvinists have a phobia for all those red letters. At least, that's what Tony Campolo said...

Bobby Grow said...

Matt,

You do realize that there is many streams represented by 'Reformed', and even 'Calvinism', right?

Calvinism/Arminianism (or Classical Theism) represent one stream.

But there are others: Other Reformed TraditionIt is presumptuous to think that just because someone rejects the TULIP means that they also reject the Doctrine's of Grace. I follow a 'Reformed' ordo salutis, but not, obviously the logico/causal system provided by scholastic Calvinism.

Just to clarify.

Sorry, DJP, I won't comment anymore on this thread.

Peace out!

The Bobby Grow

Alex said...

Good post. I enjoyed reading it. It was also helpful.

Thanks

Respectabiggle said...

Also, Stewart recognized the lack of faith in the robber. If the robber had a gun, he wouldn't be afraid to whip it out. The robber was living his life knowing he had no backup, and that shows.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

DJP: "This meta has me dizzy. Font-color, TULIP, sovereign grace... I'll bet there's something about the Rapture in there too.

Equally, that is."
And don't forget about the dreaded topic of "Watch-blogging"! That's gotta be related to the idea of "Does 'faith' matter?", don't ya think?

P.S. Just visited "Apprising Ministries" and "Slice of Laodicea". Are those blogs considered awful "watchblogs" because they do what they do because they believe what they believe?

bossmanham said...

Eric,

I wasn't trying to derail the call for Christians to live out their faith. I was just surprised at how much like an Arminian Dan sounded today and it piqued my interest. As I said, I found the post very edifying. Just because I disagree on some points doesn't mean I don't appreciate fellow Christians. :)

God bless :)

The Squirrel said...

odd, because Calvinists have a phobia for all those red letters.

My phobia of red ink comes from my capitalism, not my Calvinism...

~Squirrel

Aaron said...

Yep, what we believe effects what we do. I know that I could do better in the "visible faith" department.Me too, brother, me too.

Barbara said...

Oh fer crying out loud, can we just once dispense with the "I am of Paul, I am of Cephas" argumentation and just appreciate a good post that exhorts the children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ to grow in holiness?

Sorry if I'm out of line - this insistence on creating label debates and tossing out straw men particularly when it has nothing ot do with the subject matter just chaps me....

Stefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stefan said...

Certainly, it's a thin tightrope to walk, between legalism on the one hand and antinomianism on the other.

And even as justified believers, if we try to do good works out of a fleshly desire to please God and stay in His good books (and enjoy the esteem of our brothers and sisters in Christ), then we've got a big problem. I mean, that's half of what the Gospel was about, and why John the Baptist and Jesus Christ tore into the Pharisees!

Recognition of which problem caused me (speaking for myself) to take the opposite approach, and take a quite passive approach to sanctification, out of fear (and realization) that trying too hard could just degenerate into dead legalism.

But then you risk falling into a life no different from a non-believer or a backslider, and waiting for God to do all the work. (I was bearing some fruit, but walking in obedience—I mean real, true, take-up-your-cross-and-follow-me obedience—to Christ, every hour of every day? Hardly.)

For me, on the one hand, I think I've been zealous for having right doctrine (legalistic), yet at the same time lax in the practice of true obedience (antinomian). Not that I've been graceless towards others or wallowing in rank backsliddenness at all...but that's the deceptiveness of it, isn't it? When we're not as much of a goody two-shoes as this guy over here, nor as blatantly disobedient as that lady over there.... Well, no matter where we stand on that continuum, we're deep into Luke 18:11-12 territory, aren't we?

The only answer seems to be to go back to the Cross in prayer and repentance for both our "good" works and our bad works—every day—and earnestly beseech the Holy Spirit to cultivate in us a heart of true obedience, out of love for our King, out of love for the finished work He has already done on the Cross by laying down His life for us, in order that we may glorify Him.

Is there really any other way?

Herding Grasshoppers said...

@ Squirrel -

Stay outta my checkbook!

@ philness

I ponder if Stewart knew it was March 31 and seized an opportunity to distract the flow of thought and raise doubt in the would be robber.

Interesting thought. In college I worked as a checker at a downtown drugstore. I was told if I saw someone in my line that looked suspicious to make bland comments to "him" and others in line that would draw attention to him... like asking him if he's with someone standing near him.

I think the theory was that getting more people to look at him would make him less confident and/or break his concentration.

I doubt I'd try that on someone who claimed to have a gun, though!

~Mark said...

Good post, makes ya stop and think about why one believes what they believe.

Phil said...

I enjoyed reading that, along with JD's comment...Stratagem, your (first?) comment reminded me of some stuff in Lloyd-Jones' book 'Spiritual Depression'. I think he was talking about how an introspective mindset leads us to be asking 'what if...how would I respond?' questions that tend to bring into bondage and a sense of condemnation... We start acting as judge, jury and prosecution, with test-cases, when the whole point of the cross and advocacy of the Spirit is not to make the new covenant ministry into a reminder of sins (Heb10) but to bring consciousness of sins taken away and remembered no more, by one offering and eternally relevant application. A ministry of life and righteousness, not death and condemnation. Thus, we quit living as continual prodigals with a slavish mindset and start living as reconciled sons, with the privileges and fruits. That's what reveals our Father's heart to us, and enables our transformation, I think.

Rick Frueh said...

Faith never changes truth. Many people have been shot by what they truly believed was an unloaded gun. Many people have faith in a lie, which does not change the truth that the lie is a lie.

Most of these lies that are recipients of people's faith will result in eternally damnable consequences.

trogdor said...

Greg,

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen anyone respond to your question (I admit that watching folks hack away at straw piles wearing "tulip" t-shirts was an amusing distraction). I'll take a quick shot at it while I still have a little bit of a lunch break left.

As to the initial question on James, the interpretation he's offering is just nonsensical with 1:21 and 5:20 (save your souls = save from physical harm? huh?), would be extremely odd and forced for 2:14 and 4:12, and is only really conceivable for 5:15.

Besides, if that view was true (which it isn't), at best it amounts to a worthless truism. Doing harmful things brings harmful consequences. Well, duh. Is this really in dispute? Was it ever? Are we to believe that James wrote his book to challenge the heresy that faith in Christ makes one physically invulnerable and impervious to harm? Was there a cult teaching that, say, you could now commit adultery without fear of pregnancy, disease, relational harm or reprisal? The plain reading is that he was writing against empty, effectless 'faith' which leaves its professor as sinful as ever. Which possible perversion of the gospel is it, oh, about ninety-nine billion times more likely that he was writing about?

Then you have the rest of the NT at your disposal. You could ask, for example, whether Jesus meant what he said in Matthew 7:15-27. Maybe ask if Matthew 25:31-46 is talking about final salvation, or if Jesus was just making really, really veiled statements about the harmful consequences of sin here and now. For other examples from Jesus, I'd suggest getting MacArthur's The Gospel According to Jesus (which I'd recommend strongly anyway), although you'll not want to let him know that's where you're getting your examples, due to the convulsions the mention of MacArthur sends easy-believism folk into.

Next, you could turn to the various epistles. See if they think Paul was serious in Romans 6, or Ephesians 4, or perhaps ask why the favorite OOC text-proof source for easy-believers suggests we'll be judged by our works in Romans 2.

Perhaps take a trip to Hebrews 3:16-19, and ask how it is possible that, if faith does not necessarily produce obedience, the author can talk about how they "rebelled" and "provoked [God]" and "sinned" and "were disobedient", then summarize these things simply as "unbelief". Or maybe compare 3:19 to 4:6, and ask why they were not allowed to enter the rest - was it unbelief or disobedience? 'Coz it sure seems like he uses the terms interchangeably, almost as if one necessarily produces the other. Hmmmm.

I suppose you could also ask about Jude 3-4, wondering how the 'just believe it and it doesn't matter how you live!!1!' position isn't turning the grace of God into a license for immorality. But that's not very irenic, I guess.

That's what I got for now. Let me know if you need more when I have time later.

Jim Pemberton said...

Great post. I would add that it's not a call to do something we have to do, but rather something we can't help but to do.

I know people who are very tall. They have to duck when they walk through doors lest they bump their head. I know people of relatively normal size who can't help but to not bump their head when they walk through the door.

For the tall people, they would like to not have to duck. For the short people, they just walk through normally without worry.

When you phrase righteousness as something we do rather than what we want to do, this speaks to those vestiges of sin that have not been mortified. Rather, the positive is to invoke righteousness as that which the faithful desire by faith.

As it is, I don't want to sin and when I do, I want to mortify it because I detest my own sin. This is the attitude of the faithful and even those who walk in the flesh can tell the difference in whether I'm doing what I want to do or not.

As an example, there's one kind of man who cusses worse than a drunken sailor: a drunken Marine. And such I was. Now, I neither get drunk nor cuss. It's language I don't even like to hear anymore. However, because of my past I can handle hearing someone who cusses because he has no compulsion to do otherwise. Many of the men in the plant here cuss on a regular basis. I don't. But I carry myself with such a spiritual freedom from this dishonoring behavior that they are compelled without my asking to clean up their language when I enter the room. I don't preach to them and I don't condemn them. They know they can come to me if they have any spiritual need or theological question and I will deal graciously with them. And some do come to me. But I don't sweat the way I act. It's natural for me to bear the Spirit of God visibly by faith and I suggest it's natural for my fellow Christians to do the same. If you desire righteousness, you shall have the desire of your heart.

So, this faith goes beyond the type of faith in the example of the bank robber. There, Stewart's faith equated to what he believed to be true in that he was unaware of the uncertainty of the information that it was March 30 rather than April 1 (although one can rob a bank just as easily on April 1). Rather, our faith is certain in that we have the Holy Spirit and the authority of Christ no matter what our situation otherwise and he has made himself known to us.