From a study of Charles F. Stanley
Week # 3
SUBJECT: Three Types of Faith
(III) Saving Faith
Key Passage: James 2:18-19
Supporting Scriptures: Matthew 6:30; 8:5-10; 16:5-10; Luke 22:31-32; 24:45-47; John 16:30-31; 20:25-27; Acts 2:36-38; Romans 1:28-32; Philippians 2:10-11; Mark 4:35-41
Faith begin with believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a living person, for the forgiveness of sin and trusting Him because He provides eternal life with God. It isn't enough to simply believe in the actions of Jesus Christ or the abilities of God. True saving faith is more than that; it is a personal relationship with the Savior. (Mark 4:35-41)
This is defined as trusting in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the One who provides us with the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of everlasting life. This type of faith involves having a personal relationship with the Lord, renouncing sin, and turning our lives over to Him.
The primary reason the Father wants us to have great faith is because we respond to Him in proportion to how much we trust Him. If we have strong faith, He can entrust us with assignments that will have a greater impact for His kingdom.
Saving faith must come first.
However, we cannot even begin the journeys God has in mind for us if we do not have saving faith. There is a terrible gap between intellectual belief and true trust in God, and that chasm can only be bridged by an intimate relationship with Jesus. When you receive Him as your personal Savior, from that moment, the Holy Spirit will direct and empower you. Also, an individual does not exhibit saving faith if he or she refuses to repent. If a person truly believes that Jesus is his or her Savior, he or she will want to turn away from anything that is inconsistent with who Christ is and how a believer should live. Repentance and faith go hand in hand, and both acknowledges God as sovereign over all things and that He has the right to govern our conduct.
Having a saving faith is a key because it determines our eternal destiny. Many people are deceived. They think because they go to church, are baptized, and tithe regularly, they are saved. They know Jesus intellectually, but they don't have a relationship with Him.
One of the greatest things God has given us can't be bought with money.
We use this gift from Him continually, and the more we exercise it, the better we do with it. What is this great, precious, and powerful fruit of the Spirit? It is faith—and God provides it to every person who is rightly related to Him through Jesus Christ. There is so much to learn about trusting our heavenly Father. We are not born knowing how to rely upon Him or understanding the importance of depending on His wisdom and strength. Therefore, we must discover how to do so as we mature spiritually.
A. A person who has saving faith both knows the truth of Scripture and practices it (Rom. 1:32).
B. Even demons and the devil have intellectual faith. We must both believe and bear fruit (James 2:18-20).
C. Jesus is addressed as "Lord" 185 times in the gospels. This is important to note because it shows that the disciples recognized His lordship. This truth is the foundation of our faith, the bedrock upon which everything else is built.
D. Those who believe must also express repentance for sin if we truly acknowledge Jesus as our Savior (Luke 24:45-48; Acts 2:36-38). Repentance and faith go hand in hand.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into your life and seals you as a child of God. This is an amazing one-time experience; however, you are meant to grow in your walk with God. As you do, you get to know Him in a personal way, discover His purpose for your life, learn to listen to and obey Him, experience His presence, power, and wisdom, and understand what it means to live the Christian life.
Jesus spent a great deal of His time on earth instructing His disciples and helping them understand what true faith is. For example:
A. When His disciples were concerned about bread, Jesus reminded them how He fed thousands with only a handful of fish and loaves (Matt. 16:7-11).
B. When the disciples could not drive out demons because their faith was little, Jesus explained how faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains (Matt. 17:14-21).
Jesus knew what opposition they would be up against and what they would need to minister to new believers. This is why teaching them about faith was His priority. He knew that for them to be effective as witnesses and servants, they had to have absolute faith in His promises and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Faith is not a feeling; it is a confident conviction that God will do what He has promised.
A. It was His desire that all believers would be saved and also that they would grow in faith and walk in Him daily (Col. 2:6).
B. Just as Jesus grew in wisdom, so should we (Luke 2:51-52). You should be able to ask God for more than you did a year ago or even to ask for things you might never have believed possible in the past. Those who are not walking in the Spirit and trusting God are not advancing in their faith or being used by God for His glory.
A saving faith in Jesus Christ means that we accept Him as the Son of God, the only sacrifice that could atone for our sins.
As a result, we desire to repent and to surrender every aspect of our lives to Him. He will then transform us and conform us to His image. As we walk with God, the more He will bless each of us with perfect assurance regarding our salvation and our relationship with Him.
The Bible speaks of people who are saved by faith, but it also mentions others who have "faith," yet are not saved. What then is required in order for a person to "believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:39)?
Saving faith requires 3 things. First there is conviction. One must be convinced in his heart that God exists - Hebrews 11:6. Yet, this conviction alone is not enough to save, since James 2:19 says that demons believe there is one God, but they are not saved. So, something more must be required in order for one to have saving faith. Second, saving faith also requires trust in God. One must depend on God as the source of salvation. Daniel was saved from the lions, because he believed in God (Daniel 6:23). He did not just accept in his heart that God exists. He trusted God to deliver him from the lions. Third, one does not really trust God unless he has the last element of faith, and that is obedience. Now, many people will tell you that you are saved by faith without obedience. But the truth is that faith that does not obey is faith that does not save. James 2:14-26 shows that faith without obedience cannot justify, because it is dead and barren. Hebrews chapter 11 is the role-call of Old Testament people of faith. But, when you study their lives you will see that every individual was rewarded by God only after his faith led him to obey God - never before that!
It is said that years ago a man was about to push a wheelbarrow across a tightrope over Niagara Falls. He asked the crowd how many believed he could make it. Many held up their hands. Then he asked them how many had faith enough to ride in the wheelbarrow! No, you do not need to cross Niagara Falls in a wheelbarrow to please God, but you do need the kind of faith that leads you to act in obedience to His revealed teachings.
1. Do you recall a faith failure in your life?
2. What or who was standing in the way of you having a perfect faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
3. What did you do to restore that faith?
4. How can you help someone else who is suffering in their faith and lead them to a place of renewed faith?
1. What is saving faith to you?
2. What are some of the signs of genuine saving faith?
3. How can I have assurance of my salvation?
4. If you doubt your salvation, does that mean you are not truly saved?
5. What if I don't feel saved?
6. How can I detect a false conversion?
7. What does it mean to test the spirits?
Father God, we come to You in faith asking for knowledge of how the faith system work, and how we can walk closer to You in faith. Thank You Lord, for the faith You have given us. We ask for You to encourage our faith, and help our unbelief. Help our faith today to stay strong, so we can experience a godly faithful relationship with You, in Jesus' name. Forgive us for the weakness of our faith now. Thank You that our faith has sealed us as a child of God. Today we will walk by faith, and not by sight. We will keep the Word of God in our hearts and mind, so that our faith will stay strong and continue to grow, because we do go from faith to faith. Help us not to walk according to our sight or our feeling. Bless us to walk in conviction, trust in You, and in obedient. When doubt come help us to rise up in faith by putting on the whole armor of God. In Jesus' name, amen.
Quiz: Saving Faith Quiz: Week # 3
1. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
2. Faith comes by hearing the word of God.
3. The unjust shall live by faith.
4. A faithful person will abound with blessings.
5. God's people should live by faith.
6. All things should be asked in unwavering faith.
7. Faith expresses itself by love.
8. By God's gift of grace, we are saved through faith.
9. Faith is the helmet in our armour of God.
10. Faith should be placed in the wisdom of men.
11. Christians should fight the good fight of faith wherever they are sent.