Derek Prince - How To Live Out Your Faith
This is an excerpt from: Complete Salvation And How To Receive It - Part 2
When you have repented, when you are believing, when you are confessing, there's one more thing you have to do. You have to act out your faith. James 2:26 says: Faith without works is dead. Faith that is not expressed in appropriate actions is a dead faith. I want to suggest to you three appropriate actions that express our faith. Number one, be baptized. That's your first opportunity to identify yourself openly with Jesus as your savior. And Mark 16:16, Jesus said: 'Go and preach the gospel in the whole world to every creature, and he who believes and is baptized shall be saved.'
I don't believe you are entitled to claim salvation until you're baptized. You remember I made a distinction between the new birth and salvation? You can be born again but you haven't entered into salvation. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved. And if you study the book of Acts, no one in the book of Acts ever claimed salvation without being baptized. They attached urgent importance to it. Philip led the eunuch to the Lord on the road to Gaza and there was a pool of water by the road. The eunuch said, not Philip, so you see, Philip had already made clear to him the necessity of baptism. It doesn't say that. The eunuch said, 'What hinders me from being baptized?' He went down into the water and baptized him. You remember in Philippi, Paul and Silas were in jail, there was an earthquake, everybody was set free, the jailer got saved. What happened? He and all his household were baptized the same hour of the night. They didn't wait for the morning.
I've heard so many pastors say we have a baptismal service in three weeks, put your name down. That is not New Testament. It is believe and be baptized. I have seen some of the most exciting meetings of my spiritual career when people have believed and been baptized. There was one we held years ago. I mean, all sorts of people got baptized. The funny thing was there was a group of Baptists that came just to watch and it was taking place, as I remember, in a swimming pool. There was such a presence of God that people were just going down under the power of God on the edge of the pool. Those dear Baptists said we wish we could have had it this way. You see, just making baptism a kind of ceremony in the church calendar is like making salvation something that happens if you come to church on Easter. You understand? It's detaching it from its real significance.
So the first thing you should do when you've believed is be baptized. Find somebody, anybody. I was teaching on this in university of Youth With a Mission just a few weeks ago. I was very careful not to be controversial. I simply said what I've been saying tonight. Believe and be baptized. I didn't talk about anything of the method of that. People started to come up to me after, and say, 'I want to be baptized.' I hadn't said a thing. So one of the professors there said this is your problem, you take them. They marched off to the swimming pool and got baptized the same hour of the night, you see? That was exciting. I think when the gospel isn't exciting we've lost something. When we don't have action I think there's not much faith. What's the first thing you do?
Be baptized. What's the second thing? I mean, you can do them in the opposite order. Give thanks. The purest expression of faith is saying thank you to God. If you really believe what I've been teaching you, you'll have to go out of here this evening thanking God. I mean, otherwise you're either an unbeliever or you're the most ungrateful person in the city here tonight. The truth is you're not ungrateful but you are slow to believe. Some of Jesus' miracles were achieved only by giving thanks. The feeding of the 5,000, all Jesus did was say thank you. And five loaves and two fishes became enough for a crowd of perhaps 10,000 people. There is almost limitless power in giving thanks.
Jonah was, you know, three days and three nights in the belly of the fish. He didn't come out when he prayed, he did a lot of praying. But in Jonah 2:9, when he started to give thanks the fish couldn't hold him any longer. So if you're in the belly of the fish tonight, start to give thanks. Then to conclude this on the actions, I turn people to Romans 8:14: As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God. So God doesn't have one single program for every believer. You take the first step, be baptized, and after that the Holy Spirit will show you God's plan for your life. Don't pattern yourself on some other believer because God has an individual plan for every believer.
Now, I want to say something in closing which is important because if you only heard what I've been saying up to now you might go out of here and you might be saying to yourself, 'There's something wrong with me because he made it sound, so easy and it isn't easy for me.' There's nobody here like that this evening but if there were, I want to help you. My comment on that is it's simple but not easy. You see the difference? I'm going to give you three reasons why it is not easy. You have three enemies that will do everything in their power to make it difficult.
Number one, you have an enemy within and the Bible calls it the carnal mind, the unrenewed mind. And in Romans 8:7-8, Paul says: The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can be. So in our minds we have within us an enemy of God that's going to resist the things that God wants us to do. We have to bring that mind into subjection to the will of God. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 we must take our thoughts captive. Interestingly, the word for captive is not a civil prisoner but a prisoner of war. In other words, your thoughts are at war with God and you have to take them prisoners of war and bring them into subjection to God.
Most Christians, the main battles that they fight are in their minds. Is that right? Don't be surprised, it's part of the total deal. And then we have an enemy without who resists us. What's his name? Satan, that's right. Peter says in 1 Peter 5:6-7: Your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may destroy And then it says: resist him, steadfast in the faith. That's a continuing present tense. There's another tense which just means do it once and that's it. Doing it once with the devil is not sufficient. You have to keep on resisting him. He'll keep on pressuring you, you have to keep on resisting him.
James says submit to God first, then resist the devil, and what will happen? He will what? Flee from you, that's right. But he's pretty stubborn. He's got to be convinced you really mean it. He'll try four or five different approaches and tactics before he gives up. And then finally, we live in a hostile environment which is called the world. Jesus said to His disciples, 'Don't be surprised that the world hates you because it hated me before it hated you.' And in John 15:19 he uses the phrase 'the world' five times. He says: 'Do not be surprised that the world hates you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own but because you are not of the world, that I've chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.'
Five times in one verse. We need to understand just briefly in closing what is the world. The world is people and systems that are not subject to the righteous government of God in the person of Jesus Christ. So, anybody who is not willing to submit to God's righteous kingdom and government in the person of Jesus is in the category of the world. And the world and the church are two completely distinct groups. The greatest problem for the church is when the world gets into the church. That's where our problems begin. So let me just close by pointing out to you three forces we have to meet with. They're old theology. The world, the flesh and the devil. That's why it's simple but not easy.