14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
Don't be so foolish as to try to answer James rhetorical question in saying, "Yes."
People are not reconciled to God because they are clever enough to remember a password or fortunate enough to know someone who tells them the password.
Heaven is not encrypted.
Jesus is the only way to be welcomed into God's presence. This is true. The hope, however, is not in the words. This is not "abra cadabra, open sesame." The hope is in Jesus. Do you believe in Him? Do you place your faith and trust in Him? If you would say you do, how does your life reflect that? If your answer is that you said a prayer once or that you walked down an aisle once or nailed a piece of paper with your sins to a cross at church camp once; you are living a life of secret password Jesus. You will not be saved someday because you know the right words. God is not so weak as to be forced into allowing entrance to those who merely have remembered the right words as a irresistable incantation. There are no right words. There is a right heart. And if your hope is merely in words, you don't have one.
Your life of sin and selfishness is not simply overcome by telling the judge you knew it was wrong the whole time. You do not make things right by doing wrong with the intention of later reporting that you knew the right way while you were doing wrong. This is not me saying you are saved by living rightly now. Quite the opposite.
Do not hear me saying that you must live a life that impresses God or me in order to be ushered past Heaven's velvet rope.
It is not your knowledge that gets you in, but God's acceptance of you in Jesus.
So the question really becomes:
Are you in Jesus?
Do not live another day so apathetic and ignorant of God.
If you believe the war is over, stop fighting.
If He is worth praising someday, praise Him today.
Repent of your secret password Jesus confidence.
Do not make faith a mystery or a secret.
Demons know the password.
Do not treat Him and His Name as though they were merely facts and bloodless data.Do not presume that intectual assent equals belief.
Do not assume that merely thinking positively about Jesus is having faith in Him.
God saves sinners by His Son, not students by their words.
Creeds are awesome.
I love doctrine and catechisms and confessions.
But I love the God to whom they point more.
I love His Son.
I believe Him.
My only hope is that He is Who He says He is and has done what He said He did.
In this I hope.
I will work hard to articulate it.
I will struggle for the right words.
Because I want you to know.
Because I want Him to be honored.
Not because the words themselves are magical.