Summary: What is the faith that saves?
Today I want to start a series on entitled “Christianity 101”. This series of sermons will deal with some of the very basic teaching of the Bible. We are going to answer some of the basic questions of Christianity over the next 10 weeks. We are going to answer questions such as:
Who is Jesus?
Who is the Holy Spirit?
Who is God?
What is the Gospel?
What is the Lord’s Supper?
What does it mean to walk with Jesus?
What is baptism?
What is confession?
What is repentance?
What is faith?
What MUST I do to be saved?
Today we are going to answer the question, “What is faith?” As we answer this question we will see how faith fits in with God’s plan of salvation.
What must I do to be saved? That has been a question that has been asked since Jesus walked the earth. Is salvation something that we earn? Is it something we can buy? Is it something that we can even know if we have it?
The question of “What must I do to be saved” is one of the most important things that we can answer for a person. This is a question that we must have a correct biblical answer because it will affect the eternal destiny of other people.
If you look to the church for the answer to that question, you will receive many answers to that question ranging from, “nothing” to a correct biblical answer. It is so important that as people of God, we give people answers from God’s Word, not the answers of other people.
Why doesn’t the church have the same answer to the question of receiving salvation? Sometimes it is because we pull passages out of context; sometimes we do not look at all of the other passages on a subject. Other times we go to the scriptures with our minds made up and then we try to explain away passages that do not fit our way of thinking.
How does faith fit into God’s way of saving man? Is faith all we need? Can we just “claim” to have faith and be in good standing with God?
In The Christian Churches we teach the 5-finger plan of salvation. We believe that the bible teaches that in order for one to be saved, one must hear the word of God. Then they must act on that hearing by placing there faith in Jesus, that new placed faith will cause us to confess Jesus with our mouth. That will lead us to repent of our sins. Then we will submit ourselves to be immersed into Jesus.
Today as we look at the basics of faith, it is my prayer that we will see how faith fits into God’s way of saving man. It is my prayer that when we talk about faith, we will know what it is and what it is not. I hope that after the next four weeks you will see why we teach God’s plan of salvation the way that we do.
Today we will answer the questions:
1. What is faith?
2. What is the basis for our faith?
3. What are the results of faith
I. WHAT IS FAITH?
A. What is faith? This is an important question because how we answer it will determine what we will do and will not do for Jesus.
1. If we misunderstand what faith is, then we will misunderstand what God expects from us.
2. For many people, when we think of the word faith, they will think of the word believe. When we think of believing something, many people think that in order to believe in something, all you have to do is acknowledge it.
3. In other words, if I intellectually know something is true, then I believe it. When we think of the word “faith”, we think that “faith” is a deeper than just believing.
4. In the bible, the words “faith” and “believe” come from the same root word and mean basically the same thing. Is there more to having faith than acknowledging that something is true?
5. Many times people will go to Hebrews 11:1 for a definition of faith, but in reality Hebrews 11:1 which says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” is really the RESULTS of faith. We will look at that later.
B. A working definition of faith is this:
Faith is whole-souled trust in God’s Word because of the sufficiency of the evidence, which leads to doing what God says.
1. People think that God wants us to take a blind leap of faith to follow Him. That could be the furthest thing from the truth. When Thomas doubted Jesus’ return, Jesus allowed him and the others to examine Him.