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Saving Faith - What it is/What it is not

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  • Saving Faith - What it is/What it is not

    Did you know that when one hears of Christ, the gospel of salvation, that hearing produces different kinds of faith?

    Saving faith - what it is and what it is not.

    Scripture shows us that upon hearing the gospel; the message of salvation, faith may be apparent in the hearer. Faith through hearing comes in different ways/reasons/types, and the faith produced is not necessarily saving faith. I would like to concentrate on four types of faith that can come from hearing of Christ.

    1. The first type can be called historical faith. Upon hearing of Christ, historical faith believes the Bible is the Word of God, and all that is written is factual. This factual truth of Scripture is the same one might believe about facts written in other books. The facts don’t necessarily motivate or excite you because you do not understand how it all applies to you…it remains facts. Historical faith is natural and of the flesh, and is the kind of faith possessed by the devils/demons (Jam 2:19). King Agrippa (Acts 26) is a good example of one who possessed historical faith. Agrippa believed (had faith) the prophets (what was written about the Christ to come), but his faith did not enable him to see Christ. Apart from re-birth all faith remains historical faith.

    2. The second type of faith is temporary or emotional faith. There is an immediate response to hearing of Christ, but it does not last because it is pushed out by our love for this world, and all the world has to offer. This type faith is motivated through our emotions. Our emotions can be stirred to this type of faith through any number of things; i.e. an emotionally driven sermon, emotionally moving music, or circumstances (whether good or bad). This type faith is fleeting emotions, not based upon the Word or truth, but by some experience or feeling. When we base faith on emotion or an experience it will only last until another emotion or experience changes the way we feel because our emotions shake and change us. It is a commitment to Christ that sustains us, not emotions or experiences.

    3. The third type is miraculous or works faith. This type faith sees what others are able to do through faith, and seeing they want it too. This type of faith may come after having tried everything else, so now give Jesus a try. Thy faith is based on works. An example of one who possessed this type of faith is Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8). After seeing the power of the Holy Spirit working through the apostles, Simon thought he could purchase the power. Doing good works is not what moves us, we are moved by the power of God. Our abilities to do amazing good works for others or ourselves is not saving faith. We seek first the kingdom of God through self-denial, repentance, seeking His righteousness, His glory…He is our all.

    4. Finally we have saving faith. Saving faith is through Jesus, by Jesus, in Jesus, of Jesus. True faith is not only knowledge and conviction that all is true, but assurance that I have been made right with God. It is not an intellectual consent to truth, but acting upon that truth…all of Christ, none of self. My sins are forgiven, I have been made right with God, I have Him forever and I KNOW it because it has been revealed to me through the Bible and the power of the Holy Spirit. I strive for obedience, not to be saved, but because I AM saved. Self-examination is vital in saving faith - do you realize that Jesus Christ is in you! Saving faith examines self, life, heart, conscience to be sure that I trust Him alone for salvation, and to be sure I live in obedience to His Word. Do I LIVE saving faith? Is my faith based on experience, emotion, biblical facts, or good works? If it is, it is NOT saving faith! Salvation is of the Lord!

    Many Blessings,
    RW

  • #2
    Why does it matter, or why is it important to know that faith can be apparent upon hearing the gospel, but it is not necessarily saving faith? Could this have something to do with all the warnings to examine ourselves to see whether we have believed (have faith) in vain, or whether we have made shipwreck of faith etc.?

    Blessings,
    RW

    Comment


    • #3
      Mark 1:15
      "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdome of GOD is at hand; repent and belive in the gospel."

      A sure sign of being saved is, that you repented and were reconciled with GOD and you are still repenting to this day and repenting in the days to come.

      II Corinthians 13:5
      "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that CHRIST JESUS is in you- unless, of course, you fail the test?"
      9For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
      And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
      Psalm 69:9

      4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
      James 4:4

      19 You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder
      James 2:19

      "5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

      Comment


      • #4
        How can one have saving faith and not be emotional?
        Matt 9:13
        13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
        NASU

        Comment


        • #5
          What I think he meant was, well here is an example...

          A youth group goes to a conference and gets all emotionally fired up then they come back from their conference and then their "fire" dies out. They were not actually put on fire by the Holy Spirit but though just some "preacher" that knows how to make people feel good about themselves.

          So they were emotionally participating in their "revival" when in reality they were just bringing themselves more death through their not knowing the Word of GOD and not seeking to be like HIM but just to act as the world and pretend that they are saved but in reality they are as wicked and fleshly as the world.

          However when one is turley saved then I would say that one would have all the types of faith...
          Historical because we blelive that this all took place. 2000 years ago CHRIST died for us.
          Emotional because when you feel the presence of GOD you cannot help but cry or jump around for the LORD.
          Miraculouswe belive and the miacles happen
          Saving we belive in CHRIST JESUS and through HIM we are justified
          "He who endures till the end, he will be saved." Matthew 24:13
          9For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
          And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
          Psalm 69:9

          4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
          James 4:4

          19 You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder
          James 2:19

          "5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
            How can one have saving faith and not be emotional?

            A really good book to read is The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DeadToSelf View Post
              What I think he meant was, well here is an example...

              A youth group goes to a conference and gets all emotionally fired up then they come back from their conference and then their "fire" dies out. They were not actually put on fire by the Holy Spirit but though just some "preacher" that knows how to make people feel good about themselves.

              So they were emotionally participating in their "revival" when in reality they were just bringing themselves more death through their not knowing the Word of GOD and not seeking to be like HIM but just to act as the world and pretend that they are saved but in reality they are as wicked and fleshly as the world.

              However when one is turley saved then I would say that one would have all the types of faith...
              Historical because we blelive that this all took place. 2000 years ago CHRIST died for us.
              Emotional because when you feel the presence of GOD you cannot help but cry or jump around for the LORD.
              Miraculouswe belive and the miacles happen
              Saving we belive in CHRIST JESUS and through HIM we are justified
              "He who endures till the end, he will be saved." Matthew 24:13
              Greetings DTS,

              This is exactly what I meant. Thank you, couldn't have said it better myself. The point I want to make with this topic is that it is possible for one to demonstrate a faith upon hearing, and this faith not be unto salvation. Therefore it appears that salvation has been lost when the one professing a faith that is not saving faith turns away from the truth they heard.

              Again, and again I have seen the many warning passages of Scripture, reminding us to examine ourselves to make sure of our salvation used to prove it is possible to have saving faith and fall away, or lose our salvation. In truth the only faith that one can and does fall away from is a faith that was produced not from the Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit but rather from human will and emotion.

              I also agree that true saving faith will indeed be historical, emotional, and miraculous.

              Thank you for the replies, they have been very helpful and encouraging.

              Many Blessings,
              RW

              Comment


              • #8
                Great thread, Roger! If more people would understand this, then I think we would have fewer silly claims that people are Christians purely because they either subscribe to 1. or experienced 2. or 3. at some stage but are nowhere spiritually now - James deals with the danger of believing in 1. and the parable of the sower deals with 2. and 4. - the gospel narratives show that the vast majority of Christ's "followers" while he ministered for those three years were 3. "believers" - yet they turned away when they were confronte with hard doctrine (eg John 6) or persecution or the radical terms of discipleship. Also, we would have fewer spurious confessions of faith and our churches would have a higher percentage of real believers (even if numerically theu might be smaller) - the LORD is far more interested in quality, not quantity!

                Many blessings.

                Nigel

                Comment


                • #9
                  Which conversion experience did King Saul have?
                  Matt 9:13
                  13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                  NASU

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
                    Which conversion experience did King Saul have?
                    Conversion experience of King Saul????

                    Blessings,
                    RW

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                      Conversion experience of King Saul????

                      Blessings,
                      RW
                      Yea. Which of the four did he have?
                      Matt 9:13
                      13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                      NASU

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
                        Yea. Which of the four did he have?
                        Can you point me to this conversion experience of King Saul, because I don't find this in Scripture???

                        Blessings,
                        RW

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                          Can you point me to this conversion experience of King Saul, because I don't find this in Scripture???

                          Blessings,
                          RW

                          1 Sam 10:9-13

                          9 Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day. 10 When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. 11 And it came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, "What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?" 12 And a man there answered and said, "Now, who is their father?" Therefore it became a proverb: "Is Saul also among the prophets?" 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
                          NASB
                          Matt 9:13
                          13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                          NASU

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
                            1 Sam 10:9-13

                            9 Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day. 10 When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. 11 And it came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, "What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?" 12 And a man there answered and said, "Now, who is their father?" Therefore it became a proverb: "Is Saul also among the prophets?" 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
                            NASB
                            I don't view this passage as a conversion experience. I view this passage as the providence of God carrying out His will through whatever means He desires. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6)...where do you find King Saul ever possessing faith? In the following verse does Saul worship the LORD out of faith, or to save face?

                            1Sa 15:31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

                            Blessings,
                            RW

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                              I don't view this passage as a conversion experience. I view this passage as the providence of God carrying out His will through whatever means He desires. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6)...where do you find King Saul ever possessing faith? In the following verse does Saul worship the LORD out of faith, or to save face?

                              1Sa 15:31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

                              Blessings,
                              RW
                              Well, Saul's heart was changed and he prophesied and the Spirit of God came on him. Sure seems like salvation to me. Without referring to the NT writing in Hebrews 11, where do you find Samson's salvation experience? We only see the faith through his actions. Ditto for Saul. And Lot, where was his experience recorded? Yet, the NT says he was righteous.

                              I think it's safe to say this was a salvation experience for Saul because he 1. His heart was changed. 2. The Holy Spirit came on him. 3. From the abundance of his heart, he prophesied about God.
                              Matt 9:13
                              13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                              NASU

                              Comment

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