Knowledge, Belief and Trust
“By grace you are saved, through faith” in Jesus
Christ (Ephesians 2:8).
The grace of God is the open fountain that saves
the sinner. “By grace you are saved.”
The grace of God is an infinite attribute of God.
The first and last moving cause of our salvation is God’s grace. “No man comes
to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw him,” said Jesus. The effectual
call of God is of grace. Even our faith is the result of a divine operation. Our
salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
“In due time, Christ died for the ungodly.” God
in His marvelous grace provided that sacrifice which covers all our sins.
Why is faith so important? Faith is the channel
or conduit through which we receive God’s free girt of salvation.
Let us make it very clear that you faith does not
save you. We are saved by the grace of God. Faith is not an independent source
of salvation. It is not how much faith we have as if we are to psych ourselves
up to a certain level of faith. Salvation is received by “looking unto Jesus,”
not by looking at our faith. Faith is not the power that saves. God saves us by
His grace. The saving power of God is found in His grace, and not in our faith.
Faith focuses our eyes upon Jesus Christ alone who died for our sins.
“By grace are you saved, through faith.” You
would think that you could not get much clearer than that. C. H. Spurgeon said
faith is made up of three things—“knowledge, belief, and trust.”
We must have knowledge of certain facts in
order to be saved. What is the good news of Jesus Christ? How do you receive
God’s free gift of salvation? We must know certain facts about sin, and the
sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins. Without this knowledge we cannot be
“For while we were still helpless [sinners] at
the right time Christ died for the ungodly . . . God demonstrates His own love
toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6,
8). That is essential knowledge we need in order to be saved. Without knowing
that we are sinners, and that Jesus died for our sins, we cannot be saved. You
cannot be saved without knowing the fact that Jesus died for you, in your place,
on the cross.
“He [God] made Him [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin
to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”
(2 Corinthians 5:21).
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word
of God” (Romans 10:17). We receive “the righteousness of God through faith in
Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His
grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed
publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (3:22-25).
God displayed “His righteousness at the present
time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus”
(v. 26). “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of
the Law” (v. 28). “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as
righteousness” (4:3). “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who
justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (v. 5).
Faith begins with knowledge of certain facts, and
moves on to believe that these things are true.
I believe the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me
of all my sins, and that His sacrifice is completely and fully acceptable to God
on my behalf. Since I have believed on Jesus Christ as my Savior I will never be
condemned. “Believe these truths as you believe any other statements; for the
difference between common faith and saving faith lies mainly in the subjects
upon which it is exercised. Believe the witness of God just as you believe the
testimony of your own father or friend. ‘If we receive the witness of men, the
witness of God is greater’” (Spurgeon).
Faith believes that Jesus Christ will do what He
has promised to do. Therefore, we can trust Him.
True faith believes certain things. It rests upon
this sure knowledge. When we trust in Jesus we are making a commitment that His
sacrifice on the cross is complete and fully acceptable by God on sinful man’s
behalf. The object of our faith is Jesus Christ.
When we trust in a chair or hammock to hold us we
make a commitment by placing all our weight upon it. It is a leaning upon a
thing. When we have faith in Christ we are leaning with all our weight upon Him.
We “fall at full length, and we lie on the Rock of Ages. Cast yourself upon
Jesus; rest in Him, commit yourself to Him.” When you do that, you have
exercised saving faith. Faith is not a blind thing, because faith begins with
knowledge. It is not a speculative thing; for faith believes facts of which it
is sure. We must each one trust in Christ. “He that believes on Him has
everlasting life.” We trust Jesus to save us.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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