Vain Faith Defined
1 Corinthians 15:1-2: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Vain faith is trusting someone or something other than God to accomplish things that only God can accomplish. Vain faith is first and always the goal of Satan for mortal men. Vain faith is always faith in some sort of lie. Lies always originate with Satan.
John 8:44: Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Adam and Eve demonstrated the first vain faith when they ate the forbidden fruit. They acted on their faith in Satan and his lie. Our actions are always more accurate indicators of what we believe than our words are. Although Adam died physically some 950 years later, he died spiritually the day he ate the fruit. Death means separation. Physical death is the separation of our spirit and soul from our body. Spiritual death means separation of our spirit and soul from God.
Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Genesis 3:1-4: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Vain faith is sin. Vain faith separates us from God and keeps us separated from Him. Vain faith puts another god before God. Vain faith is in idols. (Substitutes for God, God the Holy Spirit or God the Son.)
Exodus 20:3: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Isaiah 59:2: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Vain faith leaves a person unchanged.
Psalms 55:19: God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
Galatians 6:15: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Vain faith is in oneself. It is connected to pride.
Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Vain faith is in other men.
Jeremiah 17:5: Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Vain faith is in secular or political leaders.
Psalms 146:3: Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
Vain faith is in nations or governments.
Isaiah 30:1-2: Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: 2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Vain faith is in religious institutions, even institutions built by God.
Jeremiah 7:4a: Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, . . .
Vain faith is partly in God and partly in someone or something else.
Zephaniah 1:4 -6: I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; 5 And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham; 6 And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.
Vain faith is in traditions.
Colossians 2:8: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Vain faith is faith in ancestors.
1 Peter 1:18: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
Vain faith is in the creation or some portion of it rather than the Creator.
Romans 1:25: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.