“Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God.'” (Mark 3:11)
It is striking to read here that the demons shouted that Jesus was the Son of God. Many people take comfort in their religious condition because they have confessed a belief in Jesus as God’s Son. Perhaps their faith should be shaken, since the demons made the same confession in Jesus’ day!
This only serves to reinforce what James 2:19 teaches: “You believe that God is one, you do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” James may well have been thinking of episodes like Mark 3:11 when he wrote this verse. Demons have the same “belief” that many people seek refuge in: they “believe” the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. But the demons are not saved — and neither are many of the people who claim that kind of belief in Jesus.
What these scriptures convey is that mere intellectual “belief” or assent, is not the same as saving faith. Merely believing facts about God is not the same as really trusting Him personally, and committing one’s life to Him.
This verse should be the catalyst for a sober assessment from everyone who claims to “believe” in God. Just what does “believing” involve for you? Do you personally trust Jesus as your Lord & Savior? Do you demonstrate evidence of genuine repentance, and of a changed life that is producing the fruit of saving faith?
As this passage makes clear, just “believing” the fact that Jesus is the Son of God is not enough to save. Every demon does that!