The New Testament speaks of four things that are absolutely essential, but by themselves are worse than useless. So what are they? And what do they all need in order to be brought to completion and made effective?
(1)Hearing. "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock..." (Matt. 7:24). His house withstood the rains, floods, and winds because he was firmly secured to the rock-solid foundation. The man who hears but fails to act is not only building on sand but his house will fall with a terrible crash (verses 26-27; cf. James 1:22-25).
(2) Knowing. After washing the disciples' feet and commanding them to serve one another, Jesus said to His apostles, "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them" (John 13:17).. The blessing comes if we put what we know about service into practice - and only then (cf. James 4:17). This applies, of course, to our knowledge of God's word in general. If we know the Bible well, but don't practice it, what has been accomplished?
(3) Believing. Not once, not twice, but three times James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:17, 20, 26). A faith without works is like a body without a spirit - dead! Even the demons believe and tremble. (
(4)Saying. Jesus warns, "Not everyone who say to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven..." (Matt. 7:21; Luke 6:46). This will be one of the criteria He will use on Judgment Day. Knowing this, we can be prepared.
Hearing must lead to action. Knowing must be translated into doing. Faith must be accompanied by works. Confessing Jesus as Lord must go hand-in-hand with doing the Father's will. Unbeatable combinations!