Do you have faith? Many will answer “yes!” I often hear people talk about having faith. Faith in others, faith in themselves, faith in circumstances, and even faith in nothing! So here is the second and more important question, do you have saving faith? What I mean by that is, does your faith become the means in which you take hold of complete forgiveness of your sins and receive eternal life? In-order for the answer to be “yes” in response to this second question, it must be a kind of faith that is placed exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ. That kind of faith is genuine saving faith – not a mere belief in something.
Saving faith does not trust in or rely on one’s own achievements; instead, the object of trust and reliance is the Lord Jesus Christ. Genuine saving faith is the recognition that we have nothing to offer God in-order to be forgiven of our sin and be saved. Faith is God’s appointed means in-order for us to receive salvation. Therefore, faith is coming to God on the grounds of grace – having nothing to offer – and trusting and adhering to Christ as Lord.
It is important to note that faith is not something we already have residing in us. It is not as if one has come to their senses and then decide to employ it. Genuine saving faith is actually a gift from God (cf. Phil. 1:29 and 2 Peter 1:1), and with this gift we cling to His Son. Without faith “toward the Lord Jesus” (Philemon 5) there is no hope of salvation because He is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Or as Peter said it, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Faith is so valuable because of whom it looks to!
What does this mean now for those that are saved? Well, in addition to receiving God’s gracious provision of complete forgiveness and eternal life, saving faith leads us to a life of holiness (cf. Gal. 2:20 and James 2:14-26). Why is the right kind of faith important? It is a matter of one’s eternal future. In my next post, I would like to talk about how a believer can strengthen their faith.