I think it was Miracle on 49th St that said “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing”, meaning that if you just believe, then you will see. Of course they were talking about Santa Clause. But I’ve heard this statement taken to also refer to the reality of Christ. People will say you just have to take that leap of faith and believe, then you will begin to see Him.
Others will say (and I’ve said this myself) that believing is not enough, you need to know Him. You not only need to believe that Jesus lived in the flesh but that He is God’s only son, died on the cross, was buried in the tomb and resurrected. You need to also know Christ personally, not just believe these facts.
However, James points out that this is still not enough. James 2:19 says “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” And in Acts 19:15, it’s written “But the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?'”
So according to these two scriptures, even demons “believe in” and “know” Christ. So if simply “believing in” and “knowing” Christ is not enough, then what is? What is it that separates a Christian’s faith from the knowledge of the demons of Hell?
According to James, that could be works. Now Paul points out in Philippians 3 that works and deeds do nothing to earn salvation so nobody can boast; that salvation comes through faith alone. Yet we just pointed out that even demons have faith. So this is why James points out how works reveals true faith. James 2:18 says “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” Paul also states in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Of course we need to believe in Christ, and we also need to know Him (not just know OF Him), but we need to SERVE Him as well, and that is through the “good works, which God prepared beforehand”.
My prayer is that each of you takes time to see how you can go about serving Him more. What is it you can “lay down” so that you may serve Him?