Q&A: You believe that there is one God - James 2:19

You believe that there is one God - James 2:19

Question

You believe that there is one God - James 2:19

Answer

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder.

At some level of consciousness those that declare themselves to be atheists know that God exists (Rom 1:18-32). This is not a saving faith, but they know at some level that he exists (see last paragraph).

This unsaving knowledge of God nags them, as if there is a God, then there must be ultimate and final Justice.

How many arguments do we hear against the existence of pink and purple poka-dotted rattle snake gator crocodile elephant ant like lizard frogs with zebra strips? I would bet that you haven't heard even one (unless someone read this and made one up). Why? Because these beings do not nag at people's consciousness. Humans do not spend countless years (even lifetimes) writing a myriad of books and developing numerous websites to try to disprove that which does not exist. However, atheists and others feel compelled to "continually" argue against God's existence because their consciousness is always naggingly aware at some level that he exists. At some level they know they are guilty of sin. At some level they know there is an ultimate Judge. But none-the-less they play the fool (Psa 14:1; 53:1).

As matter a fact, their "continuous" rebellion against the existence of God is actually evidence that they know he exists. Van Til has an interesting illustration to interject here:

A non-Christian is like a child sitting on her father's lap, slapping his face. She could not slap him unless he supported her. Similarly, the non-Christian cannot carry out his rebellion against God unless God makes that rebellion possible. Contradicting God assumes an intelligible universe and therefore a theistic one.

Professed atheists (cf. Psa. 14:1; 53:1) beware, even demons know God exists (cf. Matt. 8:28-29; Mark 1:24; 5:7; Luke 4:34; 8:28). Though the ever-changing evidences of science attack God's creation (Gen. 1; Heb. 11:3) - saying it is a mere accident, a big bang, etc. - the orders and wonders of the universe continue to speak of 'the' Creator (Rom. 1:20).

The observations of our persons - consisting of a complete body and soul - and its order and wonder - also speak of 'the' Creator (Psa. 139:4). The average adult body is made up of:

  • 100 trillion cells, 206 bones, 
600 muscles, and 22 internal organs.

  • A Circulatory System (heart, blood, vessels)

  • 
A Respiratory System (nose, trachea, lungs)

  • An 
Immune System (many types of protein, cells, organs, tissues)

  • A 
Skeletal System (bones)

  • An 
Excretory System (lungs, large intestine, kidneys)

  • An 
Urinary System (bladder, kidneys)

  • A 
Muscular System (muscles)

  • Endocrine System (glands)

  • A 
Digestive System (mouth, esophogus, stomach, intestines)

  • A 
Nervous System (brain, spinal cord, nerves)

  • A Reproductive System (male and female reproductive organs)


No doctor of modern science has mastered these!!! 
Every square inch of the human body has about 19 million skin cells and every hour about 1 billion cells in the human body must be replaced.
 The circulatory system of arteries, veins, and capillaries is about 60,000 miles long and the heart beats more than 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime.
 There are about 9,000 taste buds on the surface of the tongue, in the throat, and on the roof of the mouth.


Are we suppose 'think' this all came about "by chance"? What fools some are. "Even the demons believe" that God exists and "shudder."

But more to the point of James' argument, those who name the name of Christ beware, even demons know that God exists (Matt. 7:21-23). Demons, fallen angels, witnessed creation (Job 38:4-7; cf. Gen. 1:31), have knowledge of the creation of man by the Trinity (Gen. 1:26-28), yet do not submit to him! They probably understand theology better then most, but are not saved! It is not enough to merely say "we believe." If we have real belief it will bring forth living fruit which glorifies God.

Saving faith has three main elements: (1) knowledge, (2) assent, and (3) trust. Knowledge is the content which faith believes to be true, specifically the Gospel. Assent is agreement that what is known (the Gospel) is true. Trust (a graced gift, Eph. 2:8-10) is actively relying on the content of what is known to be true (the Gospel). So to believe "in" God requires personal trust. Saving faith includes cognitive knowledge, but continues beyond it to personal trust and submission. Saving faith manifests itself in the works of God; something demons cannot and don't even have a desired to do, which they don't. See HC 21.

Related Links:

Since demons believe in God (Jas 2:19), why aren't they saved?

For more notes please see:

Outline of the Book of James

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).