But, I Believe…

Posted by: on Sep 2, 2012 | No Comments

Are you really a Christian?

But I Believe

Most reading this will answer, “yes.”

James Carroll Sanford (Pastor Jake) wrote a powerful message that may cause you to give serious thought to your response. By the time you are finished reading, you may find yourself retreating to the throne of God for prayer and repentance (Hebrews 4:16 and 1 John 1:9).

Pastor Jake provides a way for you to make corrections in your life. I did. This way, you can answer the way you know that you should. I can.

You can too…


But I Believe
by James Carroll Sanford

You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works (obedience) is useless

James 2:19-20 [NASU]

Today multitudes are under the impression that they will go to heaven when they die because they “believe” in Jesus Christ. The modern established churches have led millions into this false assumption because of their utter failure to explain that believing is synonymous with obedience. To “believe” is NOT a simple acknowledgment of truth!! A person who believes has become one with that which he believes—that is who he is. One who is obedient to the word of God truly believes and has become one with Christ. The word of God becomes imbued in his soul as dye is to cloth; he is the image of God.

It seems that every professing Christian knows that it is by grace that a person is saved through faith; salvation is a FREE GIFT, not of WORKS lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2:8-9). That has been thoroughly taught. Yet FEW know what it means when they hear that the “devils” also believe and tremble; even though this explains the HUGE difference between a faith that the grace of God works through and a faith that is in vain. God’s grace is not granted to those who hear but do not obey; therefore, his hearing is in vain.

Who is to blame for the vast multitude of church going people today who know nothing about self-denial, humble obedience, purity of heart, and newness of life? Why is it commonplace among professing Christians to be lukewarm, complacent about sin and apathy toward duty to God?

People who have attended church for many years are destitute of righteousness and true holiness, void of the Holy Spirit in their daily lives, and have no desire whatsoever to see others transformed into the image of Christ.

The Gospel is clear enough on the necessity of daily self-denial, purity of heart, and righteousness of life.

The message Jesus declared clearly states that “NARROW is the way that leads to life and FEW there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14)! He warned of the reality of false teachers who would come in “sheep’s clothing,” but inwardly be as “ravenous wolves,” proclaiming a false message of grace.

By Divine revelation, He told us that millions would appear at the Great Judgment claiming to have known and worked for Him, while they remained in bondage to their sin (Matt. 7:15-23).

CLEARLY the majority is said to be on the “wide road that leads to destruction.” And the “narrow gate” is so difficult to find that Jesus Himself told us we must MAKE EVERY EFFORT to the point of agony to enter through it (Luke. 13:24). He said this in answer to the question, “Lord, is their FEW who are saved?”

“STRIVE to enter through the
narrow gate, for MANY I say to you will seek to enter and not be able.”

WHY isn’t this message being shouted from the rooftops, far and wide across our land? WHY is it that people can attend church most of their adult lives and be wholly ignorant that Jesus has made these demands in order to inherit eternal life? WHY aren’t the people being warned of the impending danger of complacency, of false profession, religious hypocrisy and lack of obedience to the truth? WHO decided that it’s not necessary to OBEY the Commands of Jesus to inherit eternal life?

Jesus declares,

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it

Luke 9:23-24 [NASU]

Will you stand at the great Judgment and quote false doctrines to the Lord of Glory? Or claim that your pastor assured you of eternal life because you repeated a prayer and joined his “church?”

Ringing in your ears throughout eternity will be HIS WORDS:

If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple

Luke 14:26-27 [NASU]

In that great day, the deceived will cry our, “But I BELIEVED! Wasn’t that enough? The preacher said, ‘Whosoever believes will be saved!’ I believed and I confessed! WASN’T THAT ENOUGH?”

But you never ENDURED. Jesus told you that “He who endures to the end will be saved!” But your pastor told you that “everyone who believes, will endure” slightly twisting the words of our Lord and thereby setting you up for a WRONG IMPRESSION that exempted obedience to His more “difficult” commands.

Therefore you have “believed” in vain, to no effect, without success!

Self-denial, humble OBEDIENCE, godly behavior and self-control did not accompany your profession of faith. You believed the false teachers who told you that in Christ you are “pronounced” righteous while you remain in bondage to your sin. Heart purity and true holiness were never an issue because of grace. Deceived you continued to rot in your sins while you “believed” them to be forgiven in Him.

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness

Romans 6:16 [NASU]

NO ONE can remain a slave to sin and at the same time be a Son of God.

Jesus said,

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

John 8:34 [NAS]

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:36 [NASU]

Free from the corruption, bondage, and slavery to sin.

The Apostle Paul writes,

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come

2 Corinthians 5:17 [NASU]

The evidence of a new birth from above is a renewed heart into the image and likeness of Christ. You cannot become a new creation in Christ and not also possess a humble and obedient heart dead to self-life and purified of sin. Jesus said you must lose your life to find it, NOT find it in this world and then imagine you can take a “leap of faith” and “use” it for Him. You have to die before you can truly live; because with self in control, you are destined for destruction.

He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him

John 12:25-26 [NASU]

Coming to Christ is not repeating a prayer, joining a “church” and being dipped in water. Many who are in the pulpits today are still in bondage to sin and will die supposing they are saved because they have been erroneously taught and follow after traditions and doctrines of men. If you follow them, you also will die in your sin.

Faith that saves the soul of man comes by way of revelation of the word of God (Matt. 16:15-18 & Rom. 10:17). Faith that saves the soul is faith that will cleanse the heart from the corrupting influence of sin. A faith that will strive to enter by the narrow gate is a faith that saves; a faith that will make every effort to grow and be rooted and grounded in love is a faith that God’s grace works through; Faith that will WORK OUT salvation with fear and trembling is a faith in God: one who possesses a God given faith will be found pure and blameless at His coming.

Nothing short of this faith will enter the kingdom according to the Holy Scriptures. According to the modern preachers this is “works” and not necessary. But it is “by grace THROUGH FAITH” that a soul is saved—not by grace alone. Grace always works through FAITH.

Now the question is, WHO are the people going to believe? Will they believe the one who tells them the truth or the one who “tickles” their ear with false doctrine? MOST will continue down the road to destruction believing they are “saved” and never take a second look at the commands of Jesus. Will you be one of them? Don’t go to your grave clinging to an “assumption,” come to Christ and find deliverance from your sin.

And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it

Matthew 10:38-39 [NASU]

The way is not easy to the flesh, but you will find peace and rest for your soul. Selah.

James C Sanford


Want to go Deeper?

HeadphonesOur six-segment audio teaching Get Rid of Your Sin Before Your Sin Gets Rid of You is available for on-line listening… free of charge.

For immediate access, click here and enjoy!


Electronic BooksYou can also download a free copy of our eBook Spiritual Fruits or Religious Nuts?.

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