Skip to content

Vain Faith – Friday Q&A

A couple weeks ago, I posed a questions about what "vain faith" was, and i wanted to come back to it and bring some resolution.

I wanted to circle back and touch it one more time. I was not happy with where it all landed last time, and have a bit more light on it now. It was one of those - Oh - that makes sense moments for me, and i just thought i would share it with you.

Here is the main verse I was puzzling over:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

What I had missed was this verse a bit farther down the page.:

 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:13-14

Now in my study, I have found many who want to make the first reference one of working hard so your faith is not ignored in the grand scheme of things, but when i read this second part, i see that the "unless you believed in vain" in verse 2 is a foreshadowing of his argument in vs 14 where he comes right out and says: If Christ is not raised from the dead then your faith is vain.

Vain faith is faith that is placed in something that is worthless. Vain faith is misplaced faith or misplaced trust.

Faith in Christ is a gift of God - every man is dealt a measure of faith by God, as we are told in Romans 12:3

So how could faith that God has given in the first place, when it is place in Christ, the most secure foundations, ever be vain?

It could not.

If your life shows no fruit after a period of time, the question is not whether you have vain faith, but rather, do you have faith in Christ at all.

So - there you go.

What do you think?

Ben NelsonSee you again soon. I should be back to the pen (well - keys) next week. Thanks to you all for coming by and checking out my parade of favorites this week.




0 thoughts on “Vain Faith – Friday Q&A

  1. bennetta faire

    I recently heard a message on the same "vain faith" passage, and was relieved to receive the same clarification you posted here. However, I grow uneasy with questions about the evidence of fruit in people's lives--in my nearly 61 years, I've known a LOT of long-term professing Christians IN The Church who show little or no evidence of fruit. I've come to believe there are plenty of reasons for this which can't neatly be wrapped in your question, "do you have faith in Christ at all". It's a touchy point, and I'm glad it's not up to me to judge. God bless you.

    1. Ben Nelson

      Amen - I hope to help people apply for their passports for heaven, but happily, i am not the one at customs desk actually checking their creds and allowing admittance.

          1. bennetta faire

            That, I'll agree with--you had me fretting for a second. I've gained a great deal of compassion for folks who are sincere Believers, but don't have much fruit in their shopping baskets--they generally need the Lord's healing, and gentle encouragement from the rest of us.

            By the way, I had expected you to have more of an accent--when I was at Pascack church. I'm probably showing my ignorance--I thought you'd sound more Jersey.

  2. livinginobscurity

    right faith in the right Person, in right relationship and alignment with that Person = right behavior and actions which produces fruit. If I don't see fruit evident, I do not rush to judgment. I ask the Holy Spirit to show me the fruit. If he reveals the fruit it is often in things I do not recognize as fruit. If no fruit is revealed, I ask what my response should be? Usually it is intercession for that person. God is much better at pointing out a healthy bush that lacks real fruit than I am.
    However, in a counseling situation then I lovingly confront and challenge them to seek why there is not real fruit. I have found some people have real blocks to producing fruit because of wounds, un- forgiveness, and generational junk.Once those foots are dealt with, often the person begins producing fruit in keeping with their salvation.

    1. Ben Nelson

      Gayle, that is so good - rather than being judgmental about lack of fruit - kind of a - how can you call yourself a Christian, you see it as a place where there is a need for ministry, and help them get past their brokenness - awesome. That is so much the heart of the Lord.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: