When it comes to the genuineness of faith, the heart is always the issue.
God has revealed many things to us to help get us where He’d like us to be, allowing for our own free will idiocy at the same time.
God has always been interested in people’s hearts. He wants to know what’s going on in there, and He finds this out by watching words and actions (Matthew 12:34; Ephesians 6:6; Romans 6:17).
Deuteronomy 8:2 says “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”
He obviously got His answer! In order to stay in the Land and keep things going well the people were to live by the Law. If they did what God desired them to do they would be blessed in their Land.
We know the rest of the story. Listen to God’s cry, feel His pain in this statement, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29)
This is the pain of a father who loves His kids, who desperately wants them to just listen so they won’t have so many problems and so that He can love them the way He’s always dreamed of loving them.
The issue is the heart. If the heart is right with God good actions happen.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 38:26,27)
There is a partial fulfillment of this today, all believers get a new heart. Paul says “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.” Love is the fulfilling of the Law.
So cool how it all fits together.