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The Elements of a Saving Faith
2/15/2013

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! James 2:17-19 (NKJV)

The Apostle Paul wrote, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).  And yet we can clearly see throughout the New Testament, there were those who believed in Jesus, and they actually believed what He was saying to be true, but they didn’t yet believe enough to surrender their lives to Him, and to make it their absolute allegiance to live for Him. These are the people Jesus spoke about in His parable of sowing the seeds of God’s word (Luke 8:13).

"But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away." Luke 8:13 (NKJV)

We can see the Apostle Paul speaking extensively about this as well. He warned the church in his first letter to Corinth, saying—“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Cor. 15:1-2).

So the word “If” clearly speaks of man’s ultimate responsibility in salvation—man's choice to receive or deny—to believe, or to remain stubbornly in unbelief.

Again we see Paul exhorting those who profess to believe, this time saying, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13:5).

So we can clearly see there is a type of belief that does not lead to salvation, and there is one that is active and true—it produces transformation, works, and godly fruit consistent with an abiding relationship with Jesus (cf. Heb. 10:38-39; Jas. 2:17-19; 1 John 2:19). Genuine saving faith will always involve trust, and commitment, and it will always consist of the following 3 elements:

  1. Knowledge—This is the intellectual component of faith—it is our understanding of the basic biblical facts with regard to salvation.
  2. Assent—Assent goes one step farther than knowledge as it affirms these biblical facts to be true.
  3. Trust—Trust acts upon these facts by personally appropriating Jesus Christ as the only hope for one's Salvation

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these truths today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to James 2:17-19, what can we learn about those who claim to believe in Jesus, and yet there is no fruit (works), or transformation in their lives. 

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you personally appropriated Jesus Christ as your only hope for salvation, and is there evident fruit in your life as a result of this faith?

APPLICATION: Let’s remember, if our faith is genuine, we will utilize our intellect (knowledge), our emotions (assent), and our will (trust) to embrace Jesus as our Savior and Lord (cf. Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 11:1-3), and we will have fruit/works in our life as a result.

LET’S PRAY: Heavenly Father, we appropriate our faith in Jesus as our only hope for salvation.  Lord, we know we don’t need to work for our salvation, but that works should follow as a result of our heart being transformed by You.  Lead us today in sharing Jesus with others who need to know Him.  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