James is the half brother of Jesus and writes a letter in the New Testament to Christians to help them live out their faith. In one section, he shows how doing good works is directly connected to our beliefs. In fact, if you don’t participate in good works, then your faith is dead. His argument contains one line that is a little shocking. “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” (James 2:19)
The demons who are condemned to live in hell with Satan understand and know there is a God. It makes sense. How else would they have gotten into this current location? Why else would they be working against us and the good in our lives? Sure, demons believe there is a God, BUT they do nothing positive with that information. It doesn’t transform their lives or current situation.
This line is a challenge to everyone who calls themselves a believer. Are we any better than the demons? You may say, “I know there is a God,” with a sense of confidence, BUT that is different than living for him. To be a follower of Jesus is more than saying I believed he lived, and one day I hope to be in heaven with him. That is a demonic theology that leads to hell and not to heaven. The kind of faith that God desires of us transforms our thoughts, attitudes, and actions toward God and others. Anything less is not an imitation of Christ but of evil.