Salvation - Defined




Introduction (Heb. 11:1)

1a. Faith is a somewhat generic term used in a religious and secular sense

1b. Most church goers claim to have faith

2b. The Religions of the world claim to have it: Judaism, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Spirit worshipers and etc. all say they have faith

3b. Sports fans often talk about faith as do those who support many secular causes

2a. However not all faith is saving faith so it is crucial to our eternal destiny to know the difference

I Definition of the Term Saving Faith

1a Definition of “Faith” (Heb. 11:1)

1b “Faith” involves placing our trust without reservation in a hope that you can not prove: I can not see, touch, hear, or feeling nor prove (Heb. 11:1; Rom. 8:24-25; 2 Cor. 4:18; 2 Cor. 5:7)

2b “Faith” is my proof of that which can not be proven

1c God existence

2c Bible is totally the Word of God

3c Jesus existed and died for my sins

4c Trusting in Jesus I am rescued from hell

5c Jesus is coming again to resurrect the dead and to transform His Saints

2a Definition of “Saving”

1b Root idea of “saving” is to rescue someone is in peril of perishing – a person who is incapable of rescuing himself

2b Saving faith is designed to remedy this peril that all of us find ourselves in

1c A peril of our own doing

2c Ill: like a captain on a cruise ship in the middle of a storm on the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of January telling you, a passenger, not to jump into the water lest you die – and you then jump into the water anyway and cry for help

II The Identification of Saving Faith: what are the characteristics of a saving faith (2 Tim. 1:5 – genuine faith)

1a #1: Saving Faith declares the total inability of man (Eph. 2:1)

1b Counterfeit faith always speaks of the ability of man to participate in his rescue either in part or the whole: religious and moral works, membership in religion, intrinsic ability

2b The very idea that the individual must be rescued precludes idea of any involvement on the part of the individual – so is the message of saving faith

1c No person has in part or as a whole the ability to rescue himself from eternal destruction; no more able to help yourself then a dead corpse can bring itself back to life (Eph. 2:1; Isa. 64:6-7)

2c Our only hope is to be rescued by some one else – since all of humanity needs rescuing, the only one left able and willing to rescue is God Himself

2a #2: Saving faith addresses the total provision of God (Eph. 2:8-9)

1b Counterfeit faith sees God needing or open to the assistance of men

1c God can be bargained with – you can work it out with him when you get to heaven based on men’s standards not His (Matt 7:22-23)

2c God is permissive - He love you so much He is unwilling to condemn you for your sins - (Rev. 20:11-15: 2 Cor. 5:11)

3c God is instructive - Man just needed to be set on the right path

2b Genuine faith: God providing everything we need to be saved – we must come His way or not at all

1c See God who out of love chooses to put Himself in our peril in order to rescue us (like rescuers going out on a storming sea – they expose themselves to the same perils that the perishing one does) (John 3:16)

2c God draws up to us, he hauls us in, and we rows us to safety requiring nothing in exchange but our love (the rescue boats tell you have to do this or that or they throw you back or you have to climb in your self)

3a #3: Saving faith changes the individual from the inside out (2 Cor. 5:17)

1b Counterfeit faith brings about change from the out side only: they are given laws and commandments that must be followed and adhered to if one hopes to find acceptance with God

2b Genuine faith bring about change from the inward, as the believer does not keep commandments because he has too, but rather because he wants too.

4a #4: Saving faith lives out what it preaches: (James 2:15-20)

1b Counterfeit faith is often much hype but little action

1c The individual’s activity is no different from “unbelievers’

2c The religion is a cover for ungodly activity

2b Genuine faith is driven by a heart of love for its Lord and other believers that drives the individual to unconditional sacrifices

5a #5: Saving faith delivers what it promises (1 Cor. 15:20-21)

1b Our Lord delivered on His promise when He arose the third day from the death and tomb

2b Unlike counterfeit faith which only offers at best a possible salvation, Genuine faith in rescuing work of Christ Jesus offers us a know so salvation – a certain destiny (John 3:16)

1c The fact that there is a genuine faith indicates that there is also a false or counterfeit faith (Js. 2:20)

2c Like genuine faith, it claims to be from God, but in reality it comes from another source then God