Salvation Truths (Part 2): What is Faith? What Does It Play In Our Salvation?
The word ‘Faith’ simply means reliance, trust, dependence, or even hope. According to the Bible encyclopedia, the best way to define it is to consider the context or sentences in which it is used.
And following a deep analysis of all definitions and meaning (meanings and definitions that are actually close or much related) attributed to it, the Bible encyclopedia comes with a helpful conclusion;
“It is a reliance as simple as possible upon the word, power, love, of another, and precisely that which on man’s side, adjusts him to the living and merciful presence and action of a trusted God. It is man’s one possible receptive attitude, that in which he brings nothing, so that he may receive all. Faith is our side of union with Christ, and a means of possessing all His benefits, pardon, justification, purification, life, peace, and Glory”.
Have you noted the above definition?
Faith is simply our gate or connection or bridge through which we claim Jesus and all that He has given us. We have talked of Christ’s love, cross, death, resurrection, and Glory which are graciously imparted onto us through faith.
In other words, Christ died for us all and His blood is powerful enough to save the whole world (John 3:16). And yet His death and resurrection are only effective to those with faith or trust in such love! In other words, faith is the trust, reliance, surrender, and dependence upon the already finished work of Jesus (justification precedes faith and then sanctification comes next).
What am saying?
Every spiritual fruit (See Galatians 5:22) proceeds after faith but the very work (re-birth or regeneration or spiritual awakening) that makes such fruit or fruits possible precedes faith. We believe and trust in the already graciously finished work of Jesus’ death and resurrection and justification (made right with God).
And then it’s when we believe and rely on the above truths that we feel remorse for our sins (repentance), conversion (turning away from sin), good works, obedience and sanctification (developing a mind and heart of Jesus and bearing fruits). And this means one or two truths; faith is a free gift as well and is progressive!
Have I distorted the definition already? Let us get helped from the Theological dictionary;
“Faith in Christ, or saving faith is that principle wrought in the heart by the Divine Spirit, whereby we are persuaded that Christ is the Messiah; and possess such a desire and expectation of the blessings he has promised in his Gospel, as engages the mind to fix its dependence on him, and subject itself to him in all the ways of holy obedience, and relying solely on his grace for everlasting life”
Faith And Salvation“Anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved. But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in Him…” (Romans 10:13-14). “I am the resurrection and life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die” (John 11:25). “….whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). And “those who are right with God will live by trusting in Him” (Habakkuk 2:4)
We don’t believe in God first and things become, no, things are already done and faith is about receiving them. Jesus is life (whether we believe it or not) and His life can flow into us through faith.
Faith is priceless-It is the only way to connect into Divine’s redemptive and provisional works. Jesus already died for us all, paid the price for the whole world’s sin and yet only those with faith can tap into this amazing gift. It’s all hidden there till our faith uncovers them.
What is the point?
The point is that the gift of salvation is graciously or freely given to the world (the undeserved) and yet only through faith (the divine persuasion-see Hebrews 11:1) we can receive it or make it effective in and for us. Faith is also a free gift from God and thus none should boast for having faith in the already finished work of Christ.
For God so loved the world that He gave His son, that whoever believes in Him (the son) shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Next time, we will look at Obedience.
God Bless You
The Complete You Ministry