Morning Thoughts on James 2:19


Elder Philip N. Conley

James 2:19 "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

This morning, it is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to proclaim the "One God, One Sciptures" belief. Our theology has these two principles at that absolute foundation from which all the rest is built. If one does believe that there is only one God and that the Bible is the Divinely inspired written Word (and words) of God, there is really no reason to continue the conversation.

There is not a common ground for discussion, and they will not heed the arguments presented (short of the grace of God). However, even as important as this is, it is by no means the stopping point.

James declares that one does well to believe in one God. However, if that is all that is necessary for either sonship or discipleship, then we are keeping company with devils. It is of great importance to belief this principle, but it must be applied correctly and for the right reason. Consider the devils that believe. Trembling is connected or associated with their belief. They know of the existence of the Holy Ruler of the universe, but they neither worship Him nor desire Him. Rather, they tremble at His presence. They know that their judgment is coming, but they still continue in their rampant desire for lust and blood. They do not have the unction to abstain from their wicked way, but they still tremble at His voice. This belief in the One, True, and Living God is a correct principle. 

However, this is still not enough. They do  not  believe  this  principle enough to apply it to their existence. There are men today that claim the belief in God, but do not apply it to their lives. They still may say that the Lord used evolutionary methods to create things. And, they further reproach Him (in their minds) by speaking the blasphemous notion that "Christ has done all that He can do, and now it is up to you."

This improper application of the correct principle (belief in God) is heresy and blasphemy. On top of application, the reason must be sound. Some believe in God because they are scared of hell. They think that if they believe in Him strongly enough, they will be kept from the awful place. However, we have not been given the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and of a sound mind. Therefore, if the preacher's mentality is to scare the flock into doing something, as the old country preacher said, "He ain't no preacher!" We do not serve our Lord out of fear, but it is out of love that He bestowed upon us and gave us freely in His Son.       

Therefore, let us move forward in the service of our Lord believing in Him, trusting Him in all things, and keeping our minds on Him for the right reasons. One last thought, the preacher cannot tell sometimes for what reason a person does something. However, our Lord always knows the thoughts and intents of the heart, and we cannot acquaint Him with anything. Therefore, if the reasoning is unsound, He knows, and we need His hand upon us to guide us in truth and the proper way of truth.