Intellectual assent does NOT equate to salvation.
James 2:18-20 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
LESSON - The issue being addressed in this passage of scripture is whether or not a person can truly be a Christian without exhibiting any outward signs of faith. The answer is NO!! The author even addresses the difference between intellectual assent and transformational conversion. He uses the illustration of demons present at the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. They witnessed firsthand the Gospel, Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead and intellectually believed the facts they witnessed. This fact, however, does not mean that they are redeemed for the Bible records “the devils also believe, and tremble”. There are many people who understand and actually believe the Gospel but have never experienced a relationship with Jesus Christ first hand because they lack repentance. The difference between head knowledge and heart transformation is the difference between Heaven and Hell. Make sure you understand the difference, and help others understand that as well.