Summary: If there is one word that could accurately describe the average American’s understanding of the Christian Faith, it would have to be either IGNORANCE or CONFUSION. This messages seeks to clear up that confusion.
TEXT: EPHESIANS 2:8-10
TITLE: UNDERSTANDING REAL SAVING FAITH
If there is one word that could accurately describe the average American’s understanding of the Christian Faith, it would have to be either IGNORANCE or CONFUSION. The Church is as ignorant and confused as the world around them. Relativism and Pluralism has engulfed the land and left us in a state of confusion.
There is confusion in the areas of:
1. Becoming a Christian
The views on how one really becomes a Christian ranges from, being good, being baptized, being a member of a particular Church, to just being willing to call yourself a Christian. Confusion abounds and true converts are becoming more rare.
2. Believing as a Christian
It is alarming to see the increasing numbers of people who call themselves a Christian which do not believe in Absolute Truth. To believe in the Authority of the Word of God and the fact that there are Fundamentals of the Faith one must believe and hold to, to be able to truly be a Christian, is seen as folly and fool hearted.
3. Behaving as a Christian
We not only live in a day where a man can call himself a Christian and Believe anything he chooses, but we also live in a day where you can call yourself a Christian and Behave any way you want to as well. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power if it…” [2Timothy 3:5] describes us perfectly. We say we are Christians, but do not believe in Repentance and the Life Changing power of the Gospel.
4. Benefiting from being a Christian
Again many are so confused that they see no Benefit in being a Christian, either in this life or the life hereafter. Jesus is someone of little relevance to their lives or eternity.
Most of our confusion stems from the fact that we are confused on what the Bible means when it says that:
“ For by grace are ye saved through faith…” [Ephesians 2:8] What does the Bible mean when it says that we are saved through faith? What does Saving Faith really look like? Let’s let the Bible help us to understand what it means by “Saving Faith.” Let me give you a Biblical explanation of Saving Faith by using five words that fully explain Saving Faith to us. Let each examine their Faith to see if it is really Saving Faith.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” [Ephesians 2:8]
Does this Scripture say that Salvation is a gift of God or is Saving Faith the Gift of God? It has to be both. If Salvation is a gift of God then everything pertaining to it must also be a gift. Therefore, if anyone is truly saved it all originated with God. “Salvation is of the Lord.” [Jonah 2:9]
Let me explain. John 16: 7-11 tells us that a sinner’s first encounter with the Lord is when the Holy Spirit, in a sovereign act, begins to awaken the spiritually dead and blind sinner to the fact that they are a condemned sinner and that Jesus and His shed blood on Calvary is the only thing that can keep you out of H-E-L-L.
I recall my salvation; one day I had no thoughts of my soul, my salvation, my eternity, or the Lord Jesus. Then like a sudden and mysterious wind, the Holy Spirit began to move upon me in conviction. It was He that CONVINCED me that I was a H-E-L-L bound sinner and Jesus was my only hope. The Holy Spirit made a believer out of me and if you have every been truly saved you too have to say that your Faith in Jesus ORINGINATED from the Lord Himself.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness…” [Romans 10:10]
An ORGAN is a part of a body that has a specific function. I use the term here to speak metaphorically of the spiritual heart of a man that Romans 10:10 speaks of. All of us know what it is to just give a mental assent to a belief, without being sincere about it. Many come to the wedding altar and say “I DO”, but in their heart of hearts they really do not mean it, they are not sincere about the commitment that they gave mental assent and lip service to.
We find Jesus encountering such people in John 2:23-25. We are told that; “…many believed in His Name, when they saw the miracles which He did.” [John 2:23] They knew by His miracles that He was the Messiah, God in flesh, but in verse 24 we read of the strange response Jesus gave to their belief. It says; “But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men.” [John 2”24] The reason Jesus did not make a commitment to them was because as God, He could see their Hearts, and He saw that they were not sincere. Sure they believed about Him, but not in Him.