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Saving Faith-Part 1

Saving Faith Part 1
Diligently Seeking Jesus

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

I often hear people ask the question when the gospel message is being shared, "What about the people who live out in the middle of the jungle, if they don't hear, then how will they be saved?"

I answer them this way.  God has clearly told us in His Word that everyone knows of God, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (See Rom. 1:19-20).  I then tell them God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (See Heb. 11:6)

Such was the case of a man named Cornelius.  We read the story about this man in the Book of Acts in chapter 10.  This is an important story for everyone who professes to be a Christian, because it clearly lets us know that being a Christian is much more than knowing about Jesus, or even agreeing with the Gospel message - it is about faith - and not just any type of faith, but a saving faith.

We are told within this story about Cornelius being a remarkable man - a devout man who feared God as did his family.  He was faithful in giving his money generously to the poor who were in need, and he prayed to God.  But there was just one small problem - Cornelius was lost in his sin.  But God was faithful to Cornelius because he knew Cornelius desired to know Him.  And so God spoke to Cornelius in a vision.  

Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do. Acts 10:5-6 (NKJV)

We then see Peter sharing the Gospel message with Cornelius and others who were there with him.  They were then told whoever believes in Him will receive remission of their sins.  The Holy Spirit then descended upon all who heard and they believed and were publicly baptized - declaring themselves to be followers of Jesus Christ.

So we learn from this story that even though a person knows of God, believes that God exists, and even prays to Him, they are not saved until they put their faith (Believe) in Him.  It is only by God's grace through faith we are saved, and the faith to believe is a gift from God, not works lest anyone boast (See Eph. 2:8-9).  And as the Holy Spirit descended upon all those hearing the Gospel message, they were given faith to believe and to be saved.  

I believe there are many people who believe they are saved, and yet they really are not - that is, they haven't exercised the faith they were given by God to believe, nor have they made Jesus their personal Lord and Savior.  These people would tell you they believe in God and in Jesus.  They may even go to church and sing songs, but they don't have a relationship with Jesus.  

There are others who may have said a prayer at one point and even asked Jesus into their heart, but they too, have never really known Jesus.  Their lifestyle doesn't change and they still do the same things they did before they made their profession of faith.  There is no fruit in the lives of these people showing they are truly regenerated.  James speaks of these people and says what they possess is a "dead faith."

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:14-20 (NKJV)

Q:    How can we tell if a faith is a saving faith or a dead faith?

In Part 2 we will begin to look at 3-characteristics of Dead Faith.

STUDY QUESTION: What assurance can we get from the story of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10, and by Hebrews 11:6?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: What does it mean to you to believe in Jesus?

APPLICATION: If you believe in Jesus, then abide in His teachings and submit to His will for Your life to follow Him and to imitate His life.

Father, Thank You for allowing Your Son to die upon the Cross of Calvary for me.  Thank You Jesus for being my Lord and my Savior.  Help me to share the Gospel message with others and to continue to seek to live as Jesus did having a servant's heart.  In Jesus precious' name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000