“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (I Corinthians 10:11)
In the world system in which we live it is commonly spoken of as having three major faiths: Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. Of course, there are numerous other “faiths” that people proclaim, or hold to in their religious beliefs. This type of classification, of course, is unknown in Biblical Truth. These designations have come about through man’s study of church history or religion as it has developed across the years; however, we are going to see that as far as the Bible is concerned, for this age, God only recognizes one faith. In this presentation of Bible Truth, the definition of this one Faith will be presented.
Source of Faith
For faith to be “saving faith” it must be that which comes from God because only God can save a sinner from his or her sin. In Galatians 2:20, it is stated:
“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
We notice that this is “the faith of (or in) the Son of God.” The good news we believe for salvation is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (I Corinthians 15:3-4). Since this faith is that which the Lord Jesus worked out, there can be no salvation or victorious living apart from Him and His work. M. R. Vincent in Word Studies in the New Testament, states that “this `faith’ is the element in which the new life is lived.”
Securing of Faith
The Bible surely teaches that a person must believe and appropriate the work of Christ in order to obtain or secure “the faith that saves.” The word “believe” and its derivatives are numerous, especially in the gospel of John. Belief is simply having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Companion Bible in its Appendix 150, shows that the noun pistis (GR) occurs 242 times in the N.T. and is translated “faith” in almost every instance. This faith or belief implies “the living, Divinely implanted principle.” When the verse in Acts 16:31 states, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house,” it is saying in essence, have faith in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and God will save you on the basis of the finished work of Christ in redemption.
This faith could be defined as “trust” or a willingness of the saved person to throw themselves upon the strength of God in order to overcome daily. The object of our faith must always be the Lord Jesus Christ, whether we are talking about saving faith, securing faith, or living faith. Living faith comes from the heart and mind of the believer and is directed upward to God, whereas saving faith comes from God and is directed downward to the sinner. A very fine Scripture that shows this very clearly is Colossians 2:6-7:
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him; Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
Abraham of old, really exhibited faith or trust, but he did so because of his firm belief that God could raise his son up (Hebrews 11:17-19). We might not always “see” God work, but, He does! Abraham didn’t “see” all of God’s promises fulfilled in his day, but he trusted God to carry them out in His own way and time. We are told of Abraham in Romans 4:20-21:
“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able to perform.”
Abraham showed real faith or trust in God. A remarkable faith! We, as believers today are not Abrahams, but it is very pleasing to God for each of us to trust Him and His Word as well as love Him.