Article - Faith that Saves
It is evident from the Bible that not every type of faith is a saving faith. The demons believe (have a type of faith), yet they are lost and their faith only evokes trembling (James 2:19). Throughout the Bible there have been people who had faith, but it was not the kind of faith that saved them. For example, the Israelites were God’s people during the times of Moses and Joshua, yet because of a lack of real faith they perished (Hebrews 3:7ff). What is a saving type of faith really like?
A saving type of faith is an obedient faith. Faith is an obedient trust in God. The writer of Romans speaks of the “obedience of faith” which saves (Romans 1:5, 16:26). It is not simply enough to say that we believe in Jesus Christ. Belief must be backed up by action (James 2:14-26). Jesus said that it was not everyone who said “Lord, Lord” that was going to go to Heaven but those who do the will of the Father in Heaven (Matthew 7:21). In the Bible, faith and obedience are inseparably wed together.
A saving type of faith has complete trust in God. The woman with the flow of blood trusted the Lord so much that if she could just touch the Lord’s garment she knew she would be well. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well” (Mark 5:34). Another example is the Centurion in Matthew 8. The Centurion son was sick and Jesus was summoned to heal him. Yet, the Centurion feels unworthy that the Lord should come under his roof. He trusts the Lord so completely that if Jesus will just say the word, his son will be healed. Of this faith Christ said, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” (Matthew 8:10). Having a trusting faith means that I believe God so much that whatever He says I am willing to do it. Abraham illustrates this fact perfectly because he was willing to kill his only son of promise if God told him to (Read Genesis 22).
A saving faith is a working faith. To have the kind of faith God approves of, our faith must be active. Imagine this scenario: A man comes to worship this Sunday and has no clothes to wear and hasn’t eaten in a long time. As a Christian, you then turn to this man in desperate need and say, “God bless you and we hope you find something to wear and eat.” Have you had a saving type of faith? According to James 2, you have not. James clearly teaches us that you can not say you are a Christian without doing good Christian work and living like a Christian (James 2:18). If you told someone you were a Christian, how would they know you were unless they could see a picture of your life in the Scriptures?
Dear friend, do you have an obedient faith? Is your trust in God complete even when you can’t see the end from the beginning? Does your faith get out and do anything for Christianity? If you can’t answer yes to these questions your faith needs overhauling. Paul encouraged us to examine ourselves and test ourselves to see if we were in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). If you would like to study more about what it means to be a Christian and having a saving faith, please contact us.
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