Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all.
The object of our faith is not the mere content of the message, but the One whom the message is about.
Lydia responded to the gospel by trusting in Jesus Christ. Acts 16:14 says, “The Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul,” and then in verse 15 Lydia was baptized, which in Acts always follows faith in Christ. Faith must not be defined as a correctly worded prayer or a walk to the front of a building at the end of a sermon. Faith involves understanding and believing certain facts about Jesus (specifically, His sinless life, death as a wrath-bearing substitute for sinners, and resurrection) and trusting in Him for salvation
Faith brings a man empty to God, that he may be filled with the blessings of God.
Saving faith may thus be defined as a voluntary turning from all hope and grounds based on self merit, and assuming an attitude of expectancy toward God, trusting Him to do a perfect saving work based only on the merit of Christ.
We must always insist that there is nothing we can do of ourselves to merit salvation. Salvation is “by grace…through faith” (Eph. 2:8). But when we accept His gift of salvation by faith we must know what this gift includes. We must know that it includes following Jesus as Lord. Otherwise people will think they have been tricked into accepting a way without being told what that way is. It is the grace of God that enables us to follow this way. It is all of grace. But it is a way in which sin is left behind and a righteous life is taken on. And when people accept that salvation that Christ offers, they must know that this is what they are accepting. Otherwise they would not be putting their faith in the Jesus of the Bible.
Genuine faith must go beyond the mere intellectual assent concerning biblical doctrines. People must let the implications of these doctrines radically affect their hearts so that they respond positively to God with the obedience and works of faith.
Just because we have ridden in a car doesn’t mean that we are qualified to drive a car. In a sense, we have been passengers in the car of our parents’ faith… But just because we have seen their faith in action doesn’t automatically mean that we have the same faith. You see, salvation is a matter of your heart, not your parents’ hearts. You must have faith. You must believe. Don’t miss those important words in Romans 10:9: “believe in your heart.”
We are too apt to rest in a bare profession of faith, and to think that this will save us; it is a cheap and easy religion to say, “We believe in the articles of the Christian faith;” but it is a great delusion to imagine that this is enough to bring us to heaven.
It’s not that faith itself is saving. It’s that faith is the way you acknowledge Christ as your substitute… Faith leans on Christ and trusts that when Christ died on the cross, He was dying in your place, for you.
For the gospel does not expressly demand works of our own by which we become righteous and are saved; indeed it condemns such works. Rather the gospel demands faith in Christ: that He has overcome for us sin, death, and hell, and thus gives us righteousness, life, and salvation not through our works, but through His own works, death, and suffering, in order that we may avail ourselves of His death and victory as though we has done it ourselves.
What does it mean to believe in Christ? It means more than accepting and affirming the truth of who He is – God in human flesh – and believing what He says. Real faith results in obedience… True faith is never seen as passive – it is always obedient.
Salvation by faith does not eliminate good works per se. It does away with works that are the result of human effort alone (Ephesians 2:8). It abolishes any attempt to merit God’s favor by our works (Ephesians 2:9). But it does not deter God’s foreordained purpose that our walk of faith should be characterized by good works (Ephesians 2:10).
Forsaking oneself for Christ’s sake is not an optional step of discipleship subsequent to conversion; it is the sine qua non of saving faith.
The modern definition of faith eliminates repentance, erases the moral elements of believing, obviates the work of God in the sinner’s heart, and makes an ongoing trust in the Lord optional. Far from championing the truth that human works have no place in salvation, modern easy-believism has made faith itself a wholly human work, a fragile, temporary attribute that may or may not endure.
Faith is man’s response to God’s elective purpose. God’s choice of men is election; men’s choice of God is faith. In election God gives His promises, and by faith men receive them.
[Saving faith is] not just believing that Jesus lived and died. Faith that saves is the confident, continuous confession of total dependence on, and trust in Jesus Christ to meet the requirements on your behalf to give you entrance into God’s Eternal Kingdom. It’s the surrender of your life in complete trust to Him to do what you cannot do.
Belief in Jesus Christ is total identity with Him. There is no such thing as partial belief or partial salvation. A person who does not totally commit himself to Christ disbelieves in Him, no matter how many positive things he may have to say about Him.
Faith is the confident, continuous confession of total dependence on and trust in Jesus Christ for the necessary requirements to enter God’s Kingdom. It involves more than mere intellectual assent to the truth of the gospel; saving faith includes trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender to His lordship.
Assent to certain propositions about God is not all of faith in God, but it is necessary to faith in God; and Christian faith, in particular, though it is more than assent to a creed, is impossible without assent to a creed.
We do not believe in belief any more than we have faith in faith. We believe the gospel, and we have faith in Christ. Our beliefs have substance and our faith has an object.
The question has been discussed: which is prior, faith or repentance? It is an unnecessary question and the insistence that one is prior to the other is futile. There is no priority. The faith that is unto salvation is a penitent faith and the repentance that is unto life is a believing repentance… It is impossible to disentangle faith and repentance. Saving faith is permeated with repentance and repentance is permeated with faith
While our strongest faith is unable to save us, the weakest faith in Christ grasps a mighty Savior in whom we may rest our souls.
Saving faith is the cry of a new creature in Christ. And the newness of the new creature is that it has a new taste. What was once distasteful or bland is now craved. Christ Himself has become a Treasure Chest of holy joy. The tree of faith grows only in the heart that craves the supreme gift that Christ died to give: not health, not wealth, not prestige, but God!
Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have, and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.
In one sense saving faith is the easiest thing in the world – as easy as being clay in the potter’s hands. But in another sense it is the hardest thing in the world, because human clay hates being shaped and formed by Christ so that He gets all the glory for what we become.
Faith must be free in order to be genuine. Authentic belief requires authentic choice. Human dignity necessitates personal discovery – the opportunity to search for truth apart from threats, to settle on faith apart from force, and to come to conclusions apart from coercion.
A faith of devils, a mere intellectual faith, a man may have without love, but not that faith which saves. Love cannot usurp the office of faith. It cannot justify. It does not join the soul to Christ. It cannot bring peace to the conscience. But where there is real justifying faith in Christ, there will always be heart-love to Christ. He that is really forgiven is the man who will really love (Luke 7:47). If a man has no love to Christ, you may be sure he has no faith.
Christ will never be found the Savior of those who know nothing of following His example. Saving faith and real converting grace will always produce some conformity to the image of Jesus (Col. 3:10).
The only proof of genuine faith, then, is fruitful faith – faith that perseveres and leads to a long-term bearing of fruit, a faith that leads to good works.
Ascribing to and endorsing orthodox doctrines should never be confused with genuine faith. Demons can confess monotheism (Jas. 2:19), and yet their hearts are far from the one true God. Indeed, they hate Him and all of His ways. Consider the reactions of the demons when they encountered Jesus during His earthly ministry. They acknowledged that He was “the holy one of God” (Mk. 1:24), and in that sense, “they believed” in Him and knew more about Him at that stage in His ministry than most anyone, even Jesus own disciples. But they certainly didn’t love Jesus, and they didn’t believe in Him to the extent that they entrusted their lives to Him. This leads me to conclude that there is a kind of faith, and intellectual understanding, that is “bare” and “empty.” It subscribes to mental propositions but doesn’t embrace and love Jesus, and in the final analysis it proves to be no faith at all.
We are not saved “by” our faith, but “through” our faith (Eph. 2:8). Faith is only as valid as the object in which I chose to invest it. I can have great faith in the stars or a powerful man or in my personal beliefs, but if the given object is unable to achieve my salvation, the faith is useless. Faith is the connecting chain, the human response that links me to the saving work of Christ.
Faith is belief. Faith is trusting God for the forgiveness that He has offered us in Christ. Faith is believing this message that we can be saved from His judgment though the means He has provided. Faith is rejecting our own goodness and trusting in God’s goodness for salvation.
Throughout the ages the church has understood that the most significant manifestation of true faith is love. Faith without love is not faith, only speculation or knowledge or mere intellectual assent. The fruit of authentic faith is always love.
There is, however, a crucial difference between a profession of faith and the possession of faith… It is not the mere claim to faith that makes us Christians. We must have what we claim to have to be truly in Christ. esus somberly warned about those who say, “Lord, Lord,” who are not His (Matthew 7:21). He made it clear that people can honor Him with their lips while their hearts are far from Him.
If you have been truly born again you have a new and holy nature, and you are no longer moved towards sinful objects as you were before. The things that you once loved you now hate, and therefore you will not run after them. You can hardly understand it but so it is, that your thoughts and tastes are radically changed. You long for that very holiness which once it was irksome to hear of; and you loathe those vain pursuits which were once your delights. The man who puts his trust in the Lord sees the pleasures of sin in a new light. For he sees the evil which follows them by noting the agonies which they brought upon our Lord when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Without faith a man says to himself, “This sin is a very pleasant thing, why should I not enjoy it? Surely I may eat this fruit, which looks so charming and is so much to be desired.” The flesh sees honey in the drink, but faith at once perceives that there is poison in the cup. Faith spies the snake in the grass and gives warning of it. Faith remembers death, judgment, the great reward, the just punishment and that dread word, eternity.
Do you believe? “I believe,” says one, and he begins to repeat what they call the “Apostles’ Creed.” Hold your tongue, sir! That matters not; the devil believes that, perhaps more intelligently than you do; he believes and trembles. That kind of believing saves no man. You may believe the most orthodox creed in Christendom, and perish. Do you trust – for that is the cream of the word “believe” – do you trust in Jesus? Do you lean your whole weight on Him? Have you that faith which the Puritans used to call “recumbency” or “leaning”? This is the faith that saves – faith that falls back into the arms of Jesus, a faith that drops from its own hanging-place into those mighty arms.
True salvation is not to be found through the mere reception of any creed, however true or scriptural. Mere “head notion” is not the road to heaven. “You must be born again,” means a great deal more than that you must believe certain dogmas. The study of the Bible cannot save you! You must press beyond this; you must come to the living, personal Christ, or else your acceptance of the soundest creed cannot avail for the salvation of your soul. Salvation lies in Jesus only!
Saving faith is an immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, resting upon Him alone, for justification, sanctification, and eternal life by virtue of God’s grace.
It is not faith in Christ that saves you (though faith is the instrument) – it is Christ’s blood and merits.
Genuine faith that saves the soul has for its main element – trust – absolute rest of the whole soul – on the Lord Jesus Christ to save me, whether He died in particular or in special to save me or not, and relying, as I am, wholly and alone on Him, I am saved.
The difference between heart belief and head belief is the difference between salvation and damnation.
7 Signs of True Saving Faith: Faith in Christ’s sufficient work on the cross. Signs and evidence of true biblical repentance. Deliberate turn from a life enslaved to sin to embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior. Desire/joy to follow God’s Word-(obeying God’s law from the heart). Bearing fruit (attitude [fruit of the Spirit] and action [good works])-Continual working out our salvation. Desire to live for God’s glory. Christlike desires and emotions.
True faith goes beyond a simple acknowledgement of God’s existence to a life-changing reliance on who God is, as revealed in the Bible.
What then should we say when we are trying to lead someone to Christ? I think a better picture is simply what the New Testament uses as its normative word – πίστις/πιστεύω. The noun form (πίστις) can be translated “faith,” “belief,” or “trust.” The verb can be translated “I believe,” “I have faith,” “I trust.” In some contexts the object of belief is emphasized (namely, Christ); in other contexts, the kind of belief is emphasized (namely, a genuine trust, an embracing). Thus, πίστις has this twofold force of content and conviction. To be saved, one must have the right object of faith (content); and one must truly put his trust entirely in that object (conviction).
Our faith itself, though it be the bond of our union with Christ through which we receive all His blessings, is not our saviour. We have but one Saviour; and that one Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord. Nothing that we are and nothing that we can do enters in the slightest measure into the ground of our acceptance with God. Jesus did it all.