If you own a secondhand coat, you weren’t the original owner but received it from someone who was. A secondhand faith doesn’t connect directly with God but imitates someone else’s faith. Some Jewish exorcists who were not true believers in Jesus tried to cast out a demon using His name. They said, "I command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” The evil spirit answered, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-16). The demon knew their faith wasn’t genuine but was an imitation.
These exorcists saw Paul casting out demons so they copied the words he used. Many people today don’t have genuine saving faith but will say the same words their Christian parents used. Their faith isn’t connected directly with God. They attend church because they were brought up going to church, but they don’t live like they believe in Jesus. They’ve deceived themselves into thinking they are Christians because of their secondhand faith.
Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, and others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets” (Matt. 16:14). Someone living at that time was teaching Jesus was Elijah—and even had followers who believed the same thing. These people got their secondhand faith from a false teacher.
Then Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus said, “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven.” (Matt. 16:17). Peter got his firsthand faith from God's direct revelation to him.
Many people will stand before Jesus on Judgment Day and will be shocked to discover that their faith was secondhand (See Matthew 7:17-23). To find out how to have firsthand faith click here.
NEW BIBLE STUDY: “Why did Jesus talk about Himself in third person?” (Matt. 13:41 “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom…”)
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
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