We Are Saved By Grace Through Faith
A person can do nothing to save himself.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).Grace is the unmerited favor of God towards man, but it does not give us a license to sin, nor does it make us automatically saved. Although we cannot earn the gift of salvation, once we receive it, our lives will change and we will begin to do good works as a result. If we do not manifest righteous and godly attributes, then we are not letting God's saving grace work in us.
There are 3 key components to saving faith: knowledge, assent, and appropriation.
- Knowledge is necessary in order to have faith in something. Knowledge is simply a mental understanding. Saving faith does not require that we understand everything about God, but it does require that we understand we need salvation and that Jesus is our only Savior.
- Assent is mental acceptance. Knowledge is not enough, for a person can understand a certain proposition, yet disbelieve.
- Appropriation is practical application of what you believe. Saving faith in Jesus requires an appropriation of His Word. We apply God's Word through obedience to the Gospel.
FAITH AND OBEDIENCE
We cannot separate faith from obedience - (Acts 6:7;And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. Romans 1:5; By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 2:6-10;Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 10:16; But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 16:26). But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (Hebrews 11:6-8)Obedience to God’s word is absolutely necessary to salvation - ( Matthew 7:21-24;Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: John 14:15;If ye love me, keep my commandments. 23;Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Romans 6:17;But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 15:18;For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Hebrews 5:9;And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; I Peter 1:21-23;Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 4:17;For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? I John 2:3-5;And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 5:1-3).Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (II Thessalonians 1:7-10)
Faith is alive only through response and action - (James 2:14-19).What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 20-26)It is possible to have an initial degree of faith in Jesus Christ and still not be saved if there is not complete acceptance, commitment, and obedience - (John 2:23-25;Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. 12:42-43; Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Acts 8:18-21;And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. James 2:19).Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)
Faith is the means of appropriating God’s grace. It is the means by which people yield to God, obey His Word, and allow Him to perform His saving work in them. Saving faith, then, is (1) acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the sole means of salvation and (2) obedience to the gospel (application or appropriation of that gospel).
Faith is alive only through response and action. One theologian said this:
Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.
IS BELIEVING ENOUGH?
The very first step of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. We need to believe that Jesus is our only hope and that He can wash away our sins. If all we do is JUST BELIEVE then we are at the very same level as the devil for HE ALSO BELIEVES!
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder (James 2:19). Therefore, we must take a step further and CONFESS OUR SINS!