As a former Bible teacher, you have to demonstrate what you believe before any student will take you seriously. You can be prepared and know exactly what you are going to teach, but if you are not walking the walk as a Christian, your words will fall upon deaf ears. It doesn’t take long to spot a hypocrite so unless you demonstrate what you believe your audience will continue to shrink.
And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you [from inward questionings and fears], not by the removing of outward body filth [bathing], but by [providing you with] the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and peace) before God [because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 3:21.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from John 8:10-11. One day Jesus approaches a town where and man and woman are caught in the act of adultery. As members of the community begin to pick up stones to fulfill Leviticus 20:10, Jesus starts writing in the sand. Although no one is sure what was written, some scholars have suggested Jesus began to write down secret sins of those with stones. After a call for inner reflection, Jesus keeps writing until everyone in the crowd had left and gone home.
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. 7 [Prompted] by faith Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God] he passed judgment and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness ([c]that relation of being right into which God puts the person who has faith), Hebrews 11:6-7.
Jesus could had said a number of things before leaving town. Yet, Jesus turns to this adulterous woman and declares, “go now and leave your life of sin.” The apostle Paul devotes Romans 8:1-13 to demonstrating what you believe. After sharing his own personal failures and struggles in Romans 7, Paul reveals how to leave your life of sin. Demonstrating what you believe is based upon leaving your former desires for sin and replace this with a craving for the Holy Spirit. When your life begins to reflect the acts of the Spirit and not the flesh, Galatians 5:16-25, you’re on your way toward demonstrating faith.
by Jay Mankus