What If?  by Timothy A. Southall
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What if we say faith alone will save us? What if we don't follow the Lord's commands because we believe faith alone will save us? No matter what man says, we must obey God's Word-the Bible. The Bible clearly says faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26). If you love Jesus, you will obey Him (John 14:23-24; John 15:10). Let's look why obedience comes with faith and what if it doesn't.

What if Abel hadn't offered a better sacrifice than Cain? What if he felt faith alone was enough? Would God have found him righteous? Only with his offering through faith was Abel found righteous (Hebrews 11:4).

What if Noah hadn't built the ark exactly the way the Lord told him to? What if Noah thought his faith alone was enough for the Lord to save him? Would God have saved Noah and his family? Only through Noah's obedience through faith by building the ark were Noah and his family saved (Hebrews 11:7).

What if Abraham hadn't offered his son as a sacrifice as the Lord told him to? What if Abraham thought his faith was enough? Only when Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice to the Lord did he pass the test God gave him. Abraham's obedience through faith made him righteous (Hebrews 11:17-19).

What if the Israelites hadn't marched around the walls of Jericho as God told them to? What if they stood looking at the walls with faith. Would the walls have fallen? Only after complete obedience through faith did the walls of Jericho fall (Hebrews 11:30).

Christians are saved by grace, but are created in Jesus to do good works that God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10). The church at Sardis was about to die. Their deeds were found incomplete in the sight of God. They were told to wake up, obey God's Word, and repent. They were warned if they didn't wake up, Jesus would come like a thief in the night and they would not know when. Thus, they would not be ready. If they would overcome their inequities, they would not have their name blotted out of the book of life (Revelation 3:1-5).

What if we don't follow the command of the Lord? Do you want the Lord on Judgment Day to say, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46 NIV).

Through faith, have you truly believed? (See Mark 16:16; John 3:16-18; John 8:24; John 11:25-26; John 20:31; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Peter 1:8-9.) Through faith, have you repented of your sins? (See Luke 13:3-5; Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Peter 3:9.) Through faith, have you confessed Jesus before men? (See Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 1:9.) Through faith, have you been baptized (fully immersed in water)? (See Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38-41; Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:26-27; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Peter 3:18-22; 1 John 5:5-12) Through faith, have you been standing firm? (See Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:19; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 10:36; James 1:12.)

For more study, read Hebrews chapter 11 and James 2:14-26. Then ask yourself, "What if?"

Copyright © 2001 Timothy A. Southall. All rights reserved.