A bit on “Faith in Action”

by Norman Grubb


            Now I want to pass on then to another point or two.  How then do we exercise faith?  How do we exercise the faith which does produce a reality?  How do we exercise it? 

 Faith Is Action. 

            Now I just say this first of all—faith has an element of human action.  Faith is action.  That’s why I like James.  James says, “Faith which hasn’t action is a dead faith.”  Faith has an element of human action in it.  Of course we people of the Spirit know actually that human action has the Divine inspiration behind it, but I’m not touching on that side for the moment.  We know that it’s really the Holy Ghost giving us faith through the Word of God, and so on, but for all intents and purposes we say faith is human action. 

            Now I want to try and show you what I mean by a faith which experiences as against a faith which theorizes.  Now, of course, faith, natural and spiritual, is the same thing, only applied in different realms.  Now you take me.  I stand here behind this desk.  Now I see a bench down there, and I say to you, “I believe that bench will hold me.”  Now that may be genuine faith on my part.  I may really believe, and I do believe, that that bench will hold me if I sit on it.  You may stand there and say, “Oh, no, you don’t know.  That bench won’t hold you.  It’s got a broken leg under there.  It won’t hold you.”  Well, we can argue to Doomsday, and neither of us can be proved right.  I merely say, “I believe it will hold me.”  You say, “I don’t believe it will.”  Well, that’s the end of it.  Because there is no experience in that faith. 

            Now supposing I say, “I’m going to sit on it.”  Now then, the faith takes hold of me.  I proved it.  Here’s the bench holding me.  I know it, and he knows it.  The world knows it.  That’s faith in action.  It’s a particular action which has produced an experience in me and there it is.  I know it.  It isn’t just theory.  I don’t say the other wasn’t faith when I said, “I believe it will hold me.”  But it isn’t a faith which produces anything.  I’m not so sure there isn’t some differentiation in the Bible between faith and belief there.  I’m not so sure that belief isn’t saying it, and faith doing it.  The devils believed, but they never acted on their faith, and they got their punishment for it.  They couldn’t act, of course.  They believe and tremble.  That has nothing to do with it. 

            So I think there’s some difference in believing which may be on the theoretical side and faith which is on the action side.  Therefore, let us see that faith always means taking action on a statement.  “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17). 

            Now that means that, on the basis of something that is given to me as fact, some spiritual fact—such as identification with Christ in His death and resurrection—some spiritual fact, I don’t merely say I believe but I take action and that action will be that which produces the experience within me.