Can There Be Faith Without Committment?
Recently I read an article in the publication of a Christian college. The author was a man I respect so I scanned his writing with interest and anticipation of good. However, I came upon a statement which deeply disappointed and saddened my heart. The thrust of the statement was that it is wrong to tie together faith in Christ with commitment to Christ. Of course, that leads to the necessary conclusion that it is quite possible for a person to believe on Christ unto salvation and yet not be committed in heart and life to Christ or to His kingdom.
Perhaps I should not have been surprised to read such a statement, for this has become the prevalent thought among many evangelicals in our day; but, I had hoped for a more accurate presentation of biblical truth from this man and this college. What is wrong with the idea that faith in Christ does not necessarily involve a commitment to Christ? Supremely, the problem with this statement is that it is contrary to the Scriptures and contrary in a life-and-death way.
The Apostle Paul testified of his faith in Christ in this fashion, "...for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Tim. 1:12). For Paul, believing on Christ was very much a matter of committing something to Him, namely his soul and life and everything comprising his earthly existence.
This was precisely what Christ required of those who believed on Him: "Then He said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.'" (Luke 9:23,24).
There is indeed a faith which sees truth in Jesus Christ and yet refuses to commit the whole of life to Him, it is the faith of demons spoken of in James 2:19.
The faith which unites the soul of a person to Christ in a saving way is that which is so convinced in heart and mind that Christ is all that the Bible declares Him to be that it gladly surrenders soul, body, and the entirety of life to Christ to be ruled by His Word and to be used in His service. What would be the practical worth of a sick man's professed faith in his physician if he refused to commit himself to the regimen of treatment prescribed by the doctor for the cure of a terminal disease? Obviously, that man's professed faith would be empty and meaningless--of no practical benefit whatsoever.
It is very true that salvation comes entirely from Christ and only to those who believe on Him. However, believing on Christ is much more than an intellectual or academic exercise. It is an exercise of the heart and of the will resulting in the commitment of life to so live as Christ the Lord commands in His Word. Dear Ones, please do not be deceived by those who would recommend to you a faith without commitment. Such faith is dead and false, useful only to impart a false sense of security. And, though I regret having to say it, those religious guides who teach such a faith are false shepherds who cannot be trusted to provide safe counsel for the soul.