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The New Covenant makes clear that everything a Jesus Follower does must be in faith, by faith, and through faith. "Saving faith" is given freely at God's initiative and timing through a non-Follower hearing, and believing in the "Good News" about Jesus, The King (Romans 10:8-17), plus obeying all He commands (John 10:34-35). Each, individual, ordinary Jesus Follower, not the paid professionals who serve us, is Jesus' Plan 'A' to herald/spread about, NOT preach, His Message. Jesus has no Plan 'B' (Matthew 28:18-20). “Saving faith” also WILL produce 'fruit' (good works & new disciples). That fruit is solely the work of Holy Spirit living Jesus' life out through obedient, submitted, "Walking Dead Wo(men)" (Matthew 16:24-25, John 12:24, & Galatians 2:20). Saving faith produces God's work out through us by means of His implanted obedience and action in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). Faith is a Biblical hope (surety not a wish) that every, and only, Jesus Followers are guaranteed (Hebrews 13:1). Our non-use of saving faith, and its replacement by dependence on ourselves every time we get down off the altar (Romans 12:1-2), displeases God mightily (Hebrews 13:6). Saving faith is not about us, eh! Hallelujah!
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 6:47 Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth on me HATH EVERLASTING LIFE. John 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent me, that all that seeth the Son, and beleiveth on Him, may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. Salvation is a free gift from God when we believe the gospel of our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 6:23 The bad news, we are all sinners, the good news Jesus came to save sinners and give them eternal Life when He paid our sin debt in full and gave us His righteousness through the new birth. Ephesians 1:13-14 Born of God. We have eternal life now because we have believed. Not by what we do. Romans 11:6 and 4:5. Romans 4:6-8. He has imputed His perfect righteousness to us, and will no longer impute sin to our account. Amazing grace, Jesus paid it all and we paid 0. It is free. All we have to do is believe it to receive the free gift. Once we believe it we have eternal life. Salvation is not a reward for good behavior, but a free gift from God when we believe the gospel of our salvation by grace.
Faith in Jesus as Savior, in response to the beckoning of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lets each individual know that the free gift of salvation is available to those who respond in faith, believing that Jesus did, indeed, remove all sin at the Cross, and that includes the sin of everyone who receives Jesus as Savior.
Saving faith IS exemplified and manifested when a sinful human hears the WORD OF GOD/Gospel of Jesus Christ, the “seed” of that WORD mixes with the human spirit of that individual, and there is created a “conception” of faith. That “conception of faith” begins to grow and produce a response in the mind and actions of that person which will include REPENTENCE & growing all the way to a place of NEW BIRTH. That “embryo” of continues on in to a NEW BIRTH of “water” and “Spirit.” (Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ & being filled with the Holy Spirit, births that person into the “kingdom of God/heaven” and makes them a NEW CREATION in Christ Jesus that continues on to walk after the Spirit according the WORD of God.) Saving faith involves NOT trusting in human reasoning or in the ability of man. It involves the recognition of man’s inability to be to be righteous, holy, pure, or free of sin without a “Savior.” Saving faith trusts in the saving grace of God which was manifested in Jesus Christ through His Life, Death, Burial, and Resurrection. That grace and faith leads to OBEYING the gospel (Jesus’ death, burial, & resurrection) by repenting, being baptized in Jesus name, & receiving the NEW LIFE of the Holy Spirit. EXACTLY like the early Church in Acts 2, 8, 10, & 19. If the “conception of faith” does not move forward to “birth”, it is “dead faith” becomes a still birth. That faith MUST grow to BIRTH and then grow to MATURITY. Everything we do MUST be in FAITH, by FAITH, and through FAITH. Faith is given freely by God through the preaching of the word (Rom.10:17) FAITH IS A MUST! (HEBREWS 11:6) Faith WILL produce action & fruit/work, BUT that action is the WORK OF CHRIST being manifest in a submitted/obedient human. Saving faith produces GOD’s work in us and therefore obedience & action in us.
Our good deeds are a grateful response to what God has done. They are not a prerequisite to earning His grace. But we must show good deeds or our faith is dead. Even the devil and demons believe in Jesus Christ and they shudder. One can't just say they believe and expect to be saved. You need to feel it with your heart, the love for Jesus, and this naturally produces changes in your behavior. Just as if you loved a person on Earth, you would not treat that person negatively but positively. So, a "saving faith" has got to be alive in our actions and deeds but these deeds having nothing to do with our salvation. We can not earn our way into Heaven, no matter how good we think we are. If we do not have the love and faith with good fruits we are doomed. We need to be outward as well as inward with our love and faith in Jesus.
Good question, Don Pollock! I learned in my "Evangelism Explosion" class at Dallas Seminary that the devil believes in God. Did you know that? The Bible says, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well, the devils also believe and tremble" (James 2:19). So believing in God is not what the Bible means by saving faith. The demons in the Gadarene demoniac said, "What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of god? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Matthew 8:29) Even the demons believe in the deity of Christ! But they evidently weren't saved! These 2 examples are intellectual faith. Neither is saving faith just a temporal faith. That is a mistaken idea, trusting the Lord for your finances, to take care of your family, or for safety when you travel. These 3 are of a temporary nature. Once attained, you don't need to trust the Lord anymore. https://www.woodsidebaptist.org/5-faith.html But true saving faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. I use Acts 16:31 a lot, where Paul and Silas cried out, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..."
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