Sunday, March 4, 2012

Faith's role in salvation

Romans 10:10-11 "For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

What is the minimum required for one to become a Christian?
In the past couple of blogs we have been exploring what consistutes true saving faith.  In order for a person to become a Christian, the following truths must be believed:
1. That I am a sinner, incapable of bringing about my own salvation
2. The Bible's words about me are true, since God is the One saying them
3. Jesus Christ is God
4. Christ's death and resurrection are necessary for my salvation
5. There is One God, not many gods

These five truths comprise the contents, doctrines or notita of which agreement in the mind must occur (ascensus) in light of the saving faith event made possible by the Holy Spirit (fiducia).  Whether a small child, or a fully grown adult, the five truths above are made "known" at salvation.  Only after salvation will further comprehension occur. 

With that said, let's look at the sixth and final content required for the fundamental truths in saving faith - namely faith (fiducia) itself.

Faith alone can receive the gift of salvation
The Apostle Paul describes the break down of what takes place at the moment of saving faith.  In Romans 10:8, faith is a Divine gifting, brought to the heart by the Holy Spirit.  When we arrive at Romans 10:9-10, faith becomes the answer of the heart that produces the confession from the lips.  Thus the Divine gifting of faith turns into a decision from the heart.  Faith is described as "coming" to the sinner, positioning the sinner to "choose" and "come" to Christ. (Galatians 3:25-26)  God the Holy Spirit has to do a work internally in order for me to confess openly and affirmatively my reception of the gospel. 

This is why salvation is a gift, and not a reward.  A reward means I work for it, am entitled to it. A gift means that God is giving me something that I neither earned nor was entitled to.  Ephesians 2:8-9 states plainly:  "8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."  When a person hears the gospel, if they insist that they still have to do something to earn God's favor, then they evidence unbelief. 

All other religions are concerned with "what must I do", the Gospel states: "He's already Done it"
I heard a preacher one time say that man-made religion spells salvation as "d-o-i-n-g".  The Gospel on the other hand spells salvation as "d-o-n-e".  Man-made religion states that I have to perform and achieve.  The Gospel states that salvation has been performed by Christ, and that all I have to do is receive.  I love what the Holy Spirit says in Romans 10:11, that all those who trust in Him will not be dissapointed.  The way we know that we have experienced salvation is when we day by day further embrace that "my hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness". 

No comments:

Post a Comment