“And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15)
Faith without sacrifice only serves to deceive. Sacrifice is what identifies, shows and proves the existence of faith. Without sacrifice, faith is blind.
The same is true in regards to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. What visible evidence do you have of the baptism with the Holy Spirit? I know for a fact that the Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. But, to separate a person to do the Work of God, there must be signs that he was baptised with the Spirit. And how can this be proven? Only when there is visible evidence that the person’s life was transformed.
The same applies to faith. Through James, the Holy Spirit speaks of the difference between blind faith and sacrificial faith, when he says:
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works (sacrifice of obedience), is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works (obedience).You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man (opposed to reason), that faith without works (obedience) is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works (obedience) when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works (obedience), and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14-26).
This verse is noteworthy:
“Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?” (James 2:21)
This means that Abraham’s faith was accompanied by the sacrifice of his son Isaac. I remember when Esther and I agreed to sacrifice our children. Instead of investing in their academic studies, so that they could serve themselves and the world, we chose to invest in educating them about sacrificial faith, so that they could serve the Almighty God. This may certainly seem foolishness to those who are perishing. But it’s not for us, who live in the faith of Abraham! None of them went to college, even though they could have studied in the best universities in the world.
Esther and I practice this sacrificial faith we learnt from Abraham. No one told us to do this, except the Voice of the Spirit of Faith.
Therefore, biblical faith has to do with sacrificial faith, which requires faith itself. Faith without works—this is, without sacrifice—is dead, just like a body without a spirit is dead. And, as proof of this, we see many who believe in Jesus living in financial hardship, a broken family, and worse, spiritual demise.
None of Jesus’ miracles were done by faith, without an act of sacrifice. The man, who was born blind, in John 9, is an example of this. Jesus could have healed him immediately. He didn’t do it because the blind man didn’t ask, meaning that he didn’t manifest enough faith to catch His attention. To awaken his faith, the Lord had to make mud, “dirty” his eyes and send him to the pool of Siloam. If he had not obeyed, he would have shown a lack of faith and would not have been healed. His obedience, accompanied by sacrifice, healed him.
The essence of faith demands sacrifice. God Himself is an example of this when He offered His Son Jesus as a sacrifice.
Sacrifice is not about quantity, but quality. The perfect sacrifice involves the soul of each individual person. Everyone can walk onto the Altar and sacrifice. When you only have a penny and this is your all, then it represents your soul to God. This is the perfect sacrifice the Altar requires.
When there is not a perfect sacrifice, the Altar does not accept it, and for this reason, there is no answer.