Romans 11:19-21 “‘You will say ‘Branches were broken off so that you could be grafted in.’ Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.”
Semi Short and Sweet: A lack of faith is unbelief. Earning a reward through personal accomplishments does not take faith, it takes personal will and determination to reach a desired goal–no faith is needed. Israel thought that they could please God through doing enough “good things” and their curse was that they did them without actually having faith in God…they were arrogant about what they did. This demonstrated their unbelief because “faith” in God did not, and does not, mean doing enough good things in order to earn a place in His presence or simply doing good things out of principle. Faith is an acceptance of something one cannot see or do, and a belief that what is on the other side will come to pass. Our faith in God is our love for Him demonstrated by allowing Him to live through us. He works…we do not work. We rely on His Spirit to work and do not worry about accumulating good deeds, we believe that because we love Him, that is enough. Whatever He chooses to do through us (good deeds) BECAUSE we love Him, is just Him doing His thing. It is not us. It is Christ. When we stop focusing on Jesus Christ as our point of affection we are in unbelief because we are having affection on other things. When Jesus is our point of worship He then works through us and we give glory back to Him for what is accomplished, we do not need to claim a good work as our own for some future currency before God…we know it was Him who did it anyways!
In other words, if you REALLY love Jesus and REALLY love other people–you have faith and you will then please God. If you just love other people, you cannot please God! (Hebrews 11:6)
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.”