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Saving Faith – Part 2

Making Jesus Lord of Your Life

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19 (NKJV)

We are doing a devotional series titled, Saving Faith. In part 1 we looked at the life of a Roman Centurion named, Cornelius.  This man was a devout and faithful man who believed in God very much – he prayed, gave money to the poor, and even fasted, but he didn’t have a relationship with Jesus.  God was faithful because Cornelius diligently sought Him, and after hearing the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit descended upon Cornelius and those who were with him and they put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

If we suppress the truth, and choose to deny there is a God, we are without excuse because we have all been given evidence of God’s existence by His creation.  The Holy Spirit will come upon everyone and they will be given the faith to believe the Gospel message (Eph 2:8-9).  But each person must still exercise the faith given unto them and turn from their sin and freely choose to make Jesus their Lord.  True saving faith is accompanied by a changed life – we become a new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Unfortunately, there are many who identify themselves as being Christian, but they simply have an intellectual ascent of Jesus Christ – that is to say, they believe in Him – that He exists, and that He is the Son of God - but, they have absolutely no commitment to Him – to follow Him and to make Him the Lord of their life.  They will accept Him as Savior, but never truly allow Him to change them.  Their life will remain as it is, and they will not reflect a Christ-like life, nor will they even have a desire to be transformed into His image, but instead they will strive to be conformed to this world.  Simply put, they have a “dead faith.”

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

I believe we can learn from the Scriptures as to whether a faith is a true saving faith, or a dead faith.  Let’s begin by looking at three characteristics of a dead faith.

1. A dead faith is marked by an empty confession (James 2:14).

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? James 2:14 (NKJV)

Hear me in this, I am not saying we must now work to attain, or to keep our salvation, or that our commitment to Christ through a prayer of salvation is not enough.  What I am saying is that our life should reflect a change in how we live – there should be good fruit (works) coming from our life as a byproduct of who we are in Christ.

The truth is, there are many who have been led in prayer to ask Jesus into their heart, but who have never chosen to make Him their Lord – they have never exercised true saving faith and committed their life to Him – they believe nothing more is required and go about living their lives as before.  This is not what Scripture teaches.  We are told in 1 Corinthians, we are no longer our own – we now belong to God and we are to glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are God’s (See 1 Cor. 6:19-20).

And look what John says about a saving faith and the way a person lives if they truly know Jesus.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 2:1-6 (NKJV)

So the first characteristic of a dead faith is when a person confesses to know Jesus as Lord, but their lifestyle shows the fruit of a heart that has not been transformed – this is an empty confession.

I want to encourage you to continually examine yourself to make sure Jesus is at the center of your life.  Make your heart's desire to seek Him daily — to follow Him and to yield your will to His perfect will (See Rom. 12:1-2).

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 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures with regard to how a true saving faith affects the life of the believer?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: What kind of fruit are you producing in your walk as a Christian?  Can people clearly see Christ living in you when they look into your life?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Examine yourself continually to see what kind of fruit you are producing.  If it is not fruit from God, then repent of those actions, confess them for what they are, and seek the Lord for the strength, wisdom, and guidance to live in a way pleasing to Him.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:  Father, thank You for Your saving faith. Thank You for giving me the ability to believe in You.  Father, I ask for Your Holy Spirit to continue to show me the areas in my life where I need to repent and submit to Your Lordship. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


May the Lord bless your day abundantly, 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