The Bible says in James 2:19: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from Sadhu Sundar Singh. He said: “From time immemorial men have quenched their thirst with water without knowing anything about its chemical constituents. In like manner we do not need to be instructed in all the mysteries of doctrine, but we do need to receive the Living Water which Jesus Christ will give us and which alone can satisfy our souls.”
Our topic today is titled It Is Not Easy to Believe (Part 3) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
BELIEF THAT DOES NOT SAVE
But is there not a kind of faith that does not save? Do not the demons exhibit such faith? In James 2:19 we are told that the demons believe and shudder. What is it that demons believe? The first part of the verse answers that question. They believe in one God. They are monotheists. And they shudder because they know that this God will someday judge them. They will not have the option of being judged by some other god who might overlook their sins, since there exists only one true God. James does not say what else they believe. In this verse, the only thing we are told is that they believe in one God. Thus this verse that is often quoted to show that some creatures can believe but not be saved is irrelevant to the issue of salvation, for it says only that demons are monotheists.
Nevertheless, it is true that some people can believe and not be saved. King Agrippa apparently believed the facts that confirmed that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Savior. But he refused to receive Jesus and His salvation.
What makes the difference between those who believe and are not saved and those who believe and are saved? Apparently those who believe and are not saved know the facts of the Gospel and may even give assent to its truthfulness, but they are unwilling to trust the Savior for their personal salvation. Knowledge and assent without being willing to trust cannot in themselves save.