Before we can speak of what saving faith isn’t, we must first consider what faith is.
Hebrews 11 is full of examples of those who through their faith in God accomplished incredible things. It’s only fitting that verse 1 gives us a biblical definition.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith has played an integral role in salvation from the very beginning, and so important is it that Jesus repeatedly chastised those who did not demonstrate it. Even His own apostles! Matthew 8: 23-27
Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
And these were those who witnessed Jesus’ miracles and messages directly. But like them, in times of peril or stress our faith also may weaken. We must do our best to fight against losing or weakening our faith because it is grace that saves us through said faith. The same faith that begins the process that leads to our salvation. Ephesians 2: 4-9
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast
Faith isn’t something that we have passively. It’s something we are to use regularly. We are to live life in such a way that we earnestly look forward to the day when we live in Heaven for all of eternity. 2 Corinthians 5: 4-7
For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight.
It, being a walk, is an active continual journey we undertake so we too can have our mortality swallowed up by life everlasting and it is God’s Holy Spirit, through His word that gives us the knowledge that we are saved once we are baptized and live [to the best of our ability] lives acceptable to Him.
Now simply having faith isn’t enough. James 2: 14-17
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
It’s only an active, working faith that saves. Now the actions ourselves do not save, but it is our faith that makes us want to perform these good works that saves.
So since it is an active working faith that saves us, we’ll continue our series with different examples of faith that do not save.
Thank you for reading.