Part 16 of 22

Evidence of Saving Faith


We might say that God Himself is the ultimate “free will,” and man, being made in God’s image, was also given to have a free will. The exercise of “saving faith” is the responsibility of the one in need of salvation. This is an exercise of free will. The Lord presented this choice to Israel .

1 Kings 18:21a (AMP) Elijah came near to all the people and said, How long will you halt and limp between two opinions? IF THE LORD IS GOD, FOLLOW HIM!

Some have ask me; “Why wouldn’t God make us choose Him or make us love Him?” Genuine love is of a free will choice to give of ones self to another. Love cannot be compulsory, or it would not be love. If it were a compulsory demand of God for us to love Him then it would not be a demonstration of love on God’s part, and then also our requisite response would not be out of a pure motive of love. Apart from free will, man could never have a credible love for any other person or a love for God.

While the free “gift” of God’s grace is “faith” (Eph 2:8) that can save us, the choice to exercise that faith belongs to each person. We must “receive” the ultimate gift, the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.6:23).

Every person is born into the world being “in sin” (Psa 51:5), having the Sin nature. Yet, Paul says, all know Him, and in their arrogance, some refuse to “glorify Him as God or give Him thanks.

Romans 1:19-22 (AMP) For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). SO [MEN] ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when THEY KNEW AND RECOGNIZED HIM AS GOD, they DID NOT HONOR AND GLORIFY HIM AS GOD or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

For the one who decides to receive “the gift of God” in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, “saving faith” is not complicated – they just “believe in” (that is “trust in”) Christ alone for their salvation. They choose, deciding to put their eternal well-being into the hands and work of Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

Acts 16:31 And they answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well. ‘

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

It is only subsequent to salvation and its regeneration that the believer has a growing awareness of the far-reaching effects of his past sinful and utterly fallen Adamic nature. Yet, this fuller grasp of the implications of man’s neediness and God’s fullest “salvation” is not a condition for our salvation.

Some time subsequent to regeneration, the believer should come to realize just how lost, hopeless, and needy he actually was to receive salvation in Christ as “the gift of God.” He then comes to realize the grace of God. He realizes his only need was to simply receive “the gift of God” by the exercise “faith” – by trusting in Christ. Then also he realizes that salvation is something for which he himself can take absolutely no credit – except to receive it. Many confuse their Christianity with their activity in good works. Norman Grubb once said; “There can be no godly activity before there is receptivity.” John 1:12 as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God

“Saving faith,” carries with it certain implications that are characteristics of which the one who is coming to Christ may or may not be conscious of the time of initially trusting in Christ. The one under conviction should become persuaded that Christ, by His cross, is sufficient and that nothing else is needed. At the time the needy lost sinner’s decides to receive salvation in Christ, the implications and massive life-changing benefits of his continuing dependence upon Christ are not his primary focus of attention.

The absence of the following may indicate that ones trust is not in Christ alone for their salvation. 


Hebrews 11:6 (AMP) But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God (the Almighty Sovereign God) must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

Few people at the moment of salvation understand fully the implications of Christ’s sovereignty over their lives.

1Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN?

Since Christ is both the “son given” and “the everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6), and He is “the Spirit” (2Cor 3:17a) – Thus, Christ is absolutely all. He is The All who is seen in creation and The All that indwells every recipient believer.

Colossians 3:10-11 (you Colossian believers) have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but CHRIST IS ALL, AND IN ALL.

Obedience to the love-commands of the Pauline grace gospel is another outgrowth of saving faith. Beyond obedience, there is implied an absence of rebellion against what Christ stands for.

Colossians 1:21 And YOU, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet NOW HATH HE RECONCILED. 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Though once “at enmity with God” (Rom 8:7), the believer’s rebellion is now put away. The believer then wants to follow whatever He knows of the Lord. One can hardly place his full trust in Christ while harboring enmity against Christ or having a predisposition to oppose Him. 

Philippians 3:15-17 (AMP) So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that. 17 Brethren, together follow my (Paul’s) example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you.

2.      TRUSTING IN CHRIST ALONE, in all things, is our most genuine repentance; it’s a change of direction in mindset and attitude from sin and self …now toward the Savior. A person can hardly seek forgiveness for something toward which he has no aversion. Acts 20:21 (I Paul) Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance (turn) toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  (See Acts 2:36; 11:18; 26:20; 1 Peter 2:24). 

True belief that saves has no requirement of the kind of “repentance” that most people commonly defined as “being sorry for your sins.” Some are said to have repented only because they are sorry for some sinful act they have done; i.e., it could be that they are merely sorry for getting caught (e.g., Bill Clinton), or for hurting another, etc., but these are not acts of genuine repentance. To “repent” as “being sorry” really does not necessarily include trust in Christ. The emphasis of genuine repentance is not so much the turning away from sin, as much as a turning toward Christ… to trust Him as the remedy. I recall that the day I trusted Christ I personally was not so much sorry for my sins as I wanted a new life and at that time I simply believed the offer I heard preached - that Jesus held the way for to me becoming a “new creation” (2Cor 5:17).

Any “repentance” at salvation is more of a first step toward sanctification than a requirement for salvation. Genuine repentance is “a change of direction,” which is somewhat inherent with saving faith or trust in Christ for salvation – whereas once we trusted in our self, now we trust in Christ to save us from judgment. This is a limited directional change. There is a greater “turning” or change of direction that the believer will eventually come to in the process of their practical “sanctification.”

We may still sin occasionally but it is no longer our way of living. Where once we were slaves of the self and the Sin nature, we now are the Lord’s willing servants – “we love Him because He first loved us” (1John 4:19).

1Thessalonians 1:9 ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

Romans 6:16-22 (AMP) Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? 17 But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed. 18 And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action). 19 I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But then what benefit (return) did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? [None] for the end of those things is death. 22 BUT NOW SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN AND HAVE BECOME THE SLAVES OF GOD, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life.

The Christian’s life then is guided by this love command. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor. 10:31). This is the great guiding principle of the Christian life.