Wineskins Archive

December 18, 2013

What is Saving Faith? – Part 2 (July-Aug 2010)

Filed under: — @ 3:01 pm and

by Edward Fudge
July 20, 2010

A gracEmail subscriber asks, “What is saving faith? What does it look like? Why is it important?”

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This story of Abraham, recorded in the Book of Genesis and which the Apostle Paul discusses in Romans chapter four, was not written for Abraham’s benefit, Paul goes on to say, but for our sake (v. 23-24). God will reckon us righteous in the very same way Abraham was — by faith, by trusting God’s promise, by saying “Amen” to God’s promise with all our heart. And what is God’s promise to us? Just this, that Jesus was delivered up to death because of our transgressions, and that he was raised up to life because of our justification (v. 25).

God promises us that he will forgive our sins and make us his children because of what Jesus Christ has done — for us and in our stead. Jesus died, Paul points out, because we are sinners, and Jesus rose again because we are forgiven. If we say “Amen” to that divine word, if we trust God’s promise, God counts our faith as righteousness. And whoever trusts God’s promise has peace with God, through what Jesus Christ has done (5:1). By trusting God (“faith”) we move into a state of grace, and God’s Holy Spirit fills us with hope concerning our future with God (5:2-5).

Like Abraham, those who believe and are justified by faith are called to a life of obedience. That is another topic. Only the person who says “Amen” to God’s marvelous promise, the person who is justified by faith, is really ready to think about obeying God. Anyone else will invariably confuse their own obedience with the basis of their acceptance by God. To do that would be to completely miss the point of this chapter, this Epistle, the rest of the New Testament and indeed the Bible itself.

Copyright 2010 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby given to reproduce, reprint or forward this gracEmail without change and without financial profit.

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