Saving Faith Defined
Romans 3:11: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Luke 19:10: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Being lost is what qualifies an individual to be sought and saved by Jesus. Saving faith is ALWAYS preceded by lostness. If one were not lost saving faith would be unnecessary. Salvation that does not replace lostness is not salvation. One who does not know that he is lost will not seek to be saved. One who has not been saved from lostness has not been saved at all. One who believes he has always been saved is deceiving himself. He believes that he does not need Jesus therefore he will not seek Jesus and he will not respond to Jesus* seeking of him. Saving faith responds to Jesus* seeking.
Here is one who knew he was lost:
Luke 18:13-14: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Saving faith is in Jesus and His saving power and work. Period.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Saving faith receives Jesus. Faith that does not receive Jesus is not saving faith. Saving faith recognizes that Jesus alone has the power to make one a child of God. Saving faith knows that when he receives Jesus, Jesus will keep the promise in John 1:12 and apply that power to him.
John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Saving faith receives Jesus into the heart.
Ephesians 3:17a: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; . . .
Saving faith receives the Jesus who alone can purify a deceitful and wicked heart.
Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Acts 15:8-9: And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Matthew 5:8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Saving faith receives Jesus expecting to be made a new creature by the power of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Saving faith commits one*s heart and life to Jesus.
Matthew 16:25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Jesus reverses the direction of one*s life who has saving faith from going his own way to going God*s way.
Isaiah 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Salvation is the free gift of God. If it were not free it would not be a gift, it would be earned. Every cause of it and every step toward it are parts of the gift. Saving faith is not something that we produce. It is part of the gift. Every good work after salvation is also part of the gift.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Hebrews 12:1-2: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus is the author and finisher of saving faith. Saving faith is gifted to our hearts when our hearts are given to Him.
Roman 10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
The deceitful and wicked hearts spoken of in Jeremiah 17:9 cannot contain saving faith. The pure hearts spoken of in Matthew 5:8 can and do.
Saving faith knows that we are helpless to purify our own wicked and deceitful hearts.
Jeremiah 13:23: Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
Saving faith believes that God knows what is needed, that He wants to do what is needed and that He will do what is needed.
Saving faith fits Jesus better than a kid-glove. It forms perfect contact with everything that He is, wants, says and does. Saving faith and Jesus are perfectly united. It also meshes perfectly with the Bible.
Saving faith believes the simple promise in Romans 10:13 and calls upon Jesus for salvation.
Romans 10:13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.