Do you have faith? Many will answer “yes!” I often hear people talk about having faith. Faith in others, faith in themselves, faith in circumstances, and even faith in nothing! So here is the second and more important question, do you have saving faith? What I mean by that is, does your faith become the means in which you take hold of complete forgiveness of your sins and receive eternal life? In-order for the answer to be “yes” in response to this second question, it must be a kind of faith that is placed exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ. That kind of faith is genuine saving faith – not a mere belief in something.
Saving faith does not trust in or rely on one’s own achievements; instead, the object of trust and reliance is the Lord Jesus Christ. Genuine saving faith is the recognition that we have nothing to offer God in-order to be forgiven of our sin and be saved. Faith is God’s appointed means in-order for us to receive salvation. Therefore, faith is coming to God on the grounds of grace – having nothing to offer – and trusting and adhering to Christ as Lord.
It is important to note that faith is not something we already have residing in us. It is not as if one has come to their senses and then decide to employ it. Genuine saving faith is actually a gift from God (cf. and ), and with this gift we cling to His Son. Without faith “toward the Lord Jesus” () there is no hope of salvation because He is “the way, the truth and the life” (). Or as Peter said it, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (). Faith is so valuable because of whom it looks to!
What does this mean now for those that are saved? Well, in addition to receiving God’s gracious provision of complete forgiveness and eternal life, saving faith leads us to a life of holiness (cf. and ). Why is the right kind of faith important? It is a matter of one’s eternal future. In my next post, I would like to talk about how a believer can strengthen their faith.
29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,
1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints,
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.