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What is Saving Faith? (Part 1)

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. We are continuing our study of the Biblical doctrine of conversion. Beloved, listen carefully! It is important that you understand, at least the general workings, of this doctrine. Why? Because when you share the Biblical message of salvation with someone you will help walk them through the initial part of their conversion. This doctrine of conversion is part of the roadmap you need to follow to bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ, then help them grow in Christ. Remember last time we learned God’s willing response to man’s willful choice to sin is salvation, which is God’s gift of grace (or His desire that all should come to repentance) that results in spiritual life. Conversion means turning from sin (which is repentance) to Christ (which is faith). In its simplest form, one might say God’s plan of salvation involves only 3 agents to help a person come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Do you know what those 3 are? The Bible, John recorded Jesus prayer in the garden where He prayed, “sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth.” The 2nd agent God uses is the Holy Spirit, John records Jesus words and 15:26 when He says, “when the Helper/Holy Spirit comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who precedes from the Father, He will bear witness about me.” And the most amazing agent of all is YOU! Let’s look at 3 more parts of this doctrine of conversion that will also help us to understand how important we are as God’s ambassadors, and why it is so “life and death” important that we who call ourselves Christians continually grow by letting The Holy Spirit conform us to the image of Christ every day of our lives. Here again Wayne Grudem provides a clear and concise outline of what true saving faith includes:

  1. Revelation. Romans 10:14 says in part, “how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard.” Before people can be saved they must have some revelation or information about Christ. But, knowledge of mere facts, even though they are truth, is not enough by itself to bring a person to the point of salvation. Read Rom. 1:18-3:31 where Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, contrasts God’s righteous does with man’s unrighteousness; and how God’s wrath is justified because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So knowledge alone will never get anyone to heaven. In addition to revelation true saving faith must include…
  2. Ratification, which means agreeing with the facts, and that those facts are truth. Read Jn. 3: 1,2. In his statement here Nicodemus verifies that information and approval by themselves, do not result in salvation. Nicodemus is viewing this whole thing from a purely physical, intellectual viewpoint. Has anybody ever told someone how to be saved and their response to you is, “I hear you and I believe you, I’m just not ready!” So why isn’t knowledge, even if it is accepted that the knowledge you are sharing is truth, enough to bring a person to the point where they are ready to be saved? Because in addition to knowledge and approval there must be a…
  3. RESOLUTION. Listen to the way Wayne Grudem defines this resolution or decision of dependency; “in addition to knowledge of the facts of the gospel and approval of those facts, in order to be saved, I must decide to depend on Jesus to save me. In doing this I moved from being an interested observer of the facts of salvation and the teachings of the Bible to being someone who enters into a new relationship with Jesus Christ as a living person. We may therefore define saving faith as trust in Jesus Christ as a living Person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God.”

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

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