Summary: What faith is it through which we are saved
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of youselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
All the blessings which God has bestowed upon mankind flow from His grace or favor; His free, undeserved
favor. We can not lay claim to the least of His mercies. There is nothing we are, or have, or do, which can deserve the least of the gifts we receive from the hand of God. Whatever righteousness may be found in us is a gift from God. The greatest gift we can receive from God is salvation. A gift that was given to us “while we were yet sinners.” By grace we are saved through faith. Grace is the source, faith the condition, of salvation.
In order that we do not fall short of the grace of God we need to know:
I. What faith is it through which we are saved.
II. What is the salvation which is through faith.
The faith by which we are saved is not the belief God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him and that He is to be sought by glorifying Him as God, by giving Him thanks for all things, and by a careful practice of moral virtue, of justice, mercy, and truth, toward our fellowman.
Secondly, it is not the faith of demons. Satan and his demonic force believe there is not only a wise and
powerful God, gracious to reward, and just to punish; but also, that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, the
Saviour of the world. We find demons confessing, "I know who You are, the Holy One of God" (Luke 4:34). The
great enemy of God and man believes, and trembles in believing, that God was made manifest in the flesh; that He will "tread all enemies under his feet;" and that "all Scripture was given by inspiration of God."
Thirdly, it is not the faith the Apostles had while Christ was yet upon earth; though they believed on Him and left all to follow Him. Although they had the power to work miracles, to "heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease;" even "power and authority over all devils;" and, were sent by their Master to "preach the kingdom of God."
What faith is it then through which we are saved? It may be answered, first, in general, it is a faith in Christ and God through Christ. It is the faith that is sufficiently, absolutely distinguished from the faith of the Apostles while Christ was on earth and from the beliefs of demons. It is the faith that is not merely a speculative, rational thing, a cold, lifeless assent, a train of ideas in the head. It is a disposition of the heart. It is written in the Scripture, "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness;" and, "If thou shalt confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, You shall be saved."
This is the difference of the faith which the Apostles themselves had while our Lord was on earth, that it
acknowledges the necessity and merit of His death, and the power of His resurrection. It acknowledges His death as the only sufficient means of redeeming man from death eternal, and His resurrection as the restoration of us all to life and immortality; inasmuch as He "was delivered for our sins, and rose again for our justification."
Christian faith is then, not only an assent to the whole gospel of Christ, but also a full reliance on the blood of Christ; a trust in the merits of His life, death, and resurrection; a dependance upon Him as our atonement and our life, as given for us, and living in us; and, in consequence hereof, a relation-ship with Him, and cleaving to Him, as our "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," or, in one word, our salvation.
II. What salvation it is, which is through this faith, is the Second thing to be considered.
First, whatsoever else is implied it is a present salvation. It is something attainable on earth, by those who are partakers of this faith. The Apostle told the believers at Ephesus, and the believers of all ages, not, you shall be (though that also is true), but, "You are saved through faith."
We are saved from the consequences of sin. This is the salvation which is through faith. This is that great
salvation foretold by the angel, before God brought His First-begotten into the world: "You shall call His name
Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins." And neither here, nor in other parts of the Bible is there any limitation or restriction. All His people, or, as it is elsewhere expressed, "all that believe in Him," He will save from all their sins; from original and actual, past and present sin, "of the flesh and of the spirit." Through faith that is in Him, all mankind are saved both from the guilt and from the power of sin. We are delivered from the guilt of all past sin, for all the world is guilty before God, insomuch that should He "be extreme to mark what is done amiss, there is none that could escape the guilt of sin for "by the law is" only "the knowledge of sin," but no deliverance from it, so that, "by" fulfilling "the deeds of the law, no flesh can be justified in his sight." Now, "the righteousness of God, which is by faith in Jesus Christ, is manifested to all that believe." Now we "are justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ." God has sent Him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of the sins that are past. Now has Christ taken away "the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. He has "blotted out the judgment that was against us, taking it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. "There is therefore no condemnation now to them which" believe "in Christ Jesus."