You Believe? Big Deal.
If there is one notable being that believes in one God more than any man or woman it would be Satan. He is the adversary of the Lord God and his demons are minions of his destructive power. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, the demons were cast out of untold thousands of people. On a number of occasions, it was by the hand of Jesus the demons were sent to the abyss. They knew who Jesus was. He was not just a good man who did good things for people. They feared this One greatly because they knew He had the power to cast them out and punish them. The demons knew without any shadow of doubt Jesus was the Christ the Son of the Living God. Their knowledge was first-hand. Before the world was created they knew who He was.
The demons knowledge Jesus was God’s Son filled them with great terror. Every demon feared the Son of God. They were terrified when they heard His voice. His presence was doom for them. Not only did they know and believe He was the Lord they shuddered with the horror of what would come from His hand. And it did. No demon could resist the power of Jesus and they did the bidding of the Lord every time. Casting out demons was one of the proofs Jesus was the Son of God showing His power over the world of Satan. The work of Satan continues today in deceiving people that salvation in belief alone will save them.
It is a common theme in most churches salvation will happen when a person accepts Christ as their personal Savior. “Just believe and you will be saved” is the clarion call of the greatest deception Satan has brought upon man. Untold millions are listening to preachers who tell them the same lie Satan has been telling from the beginning. Believing in God alone does not save a person. Having a faith that believes there is only one God will not save. If a person can be saved by faith alone and accepting Christ as their personal Savior, then every demon cast to the pit of destruction will also be saved. And they tremble!
James is clear in the teaching that salvation does not come by belief alone. Contrasting the demons with modern faith shows the lie Satan has perpetrated on the religious belief of millions. Those who profess salvation by faith alone would deny the logic of this passage but it stands in stark contrast to what they teach. If salvation is belief only, nothing else can save. It did not save the demons and it will not save anyone today. The context of James establishes the necessity of salvation by faith and works. Demons believe and tremble but that will not save them. Obedience to the will of God is the only thing that can save. Now that is a great story.
Our quote today reflects the false doctrine of the religious world: “As the soul needs the word alone for life and justification, so it is justified by faith alone, and not by any works.” (Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty, 1520). If Martin Luther is correct – demons will be saved.