Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Earlier, we discussed the rather shocking statement that James made in this letter; that statement was that even devils believe, and tremble. Now we are going to explore that some more to illustrate the fact that belief, even if based on truth, may not be saving belief.
Devils believe there is one true God; they even believe in the correct God. In Acts 16, beginning in verse 16, we can see the story of the demon-possessed woman following Paul and his fellow evangelists, likely Silas, Timothy, and Luke. What is key here is the fact that the demon recognized that the God in question was “the most high God.”
Demons even recognized the deity and sonship of Jesus Christ when they encountered him at different times. In the story of the Garasene demoniac in Mark 5:1-10 and Luke 8:26-33, we can clearly see that this demon understood that Jesus was the Son of God.
Not only do demons know God is God, and that Jesus was his son; they also have a clear understanding of Bible doctrines. They even know how scripture says the story will end for them. The demons Jesus cast into the herd of pigs in Matthew Chapter 8 asked Jesus if he had come to “torment us before the time.” They understood, obviously, the Biblical teaching concerning the eventual disposition of Satan and his demon angels.
We can see that devils believe in God, they understand who Jesus Christ is, and even understand Scripture as well as many Christians; we also know that Satan and his demons are certainly not saved(nor can they be, but that is another devotional all together.) What then, can we learn here?
This is merely a reinforcement of the same thing we have learned from James in the last several devotionals. An intellectual knowledge of who God is and even in the correct and only God is not enough. A mental assent to the reality and identity of Jesus Christ is not enough. Even a thorough and complete knowledge of the Word of God and Bible doctrine is not enough.
True faith, that being faith that saves, will always produce a change of heart and a change of character. There will be evidence on display of the transformation that has taken place within us if a transformation actually occurred.