A Sermon on
The Biblical Characteristics of Saving Faith
The Qualities of Saving Faith
It is Humble
Humility is the most essential character quality a person must have to
be saved. For without humility there is no conviction of sin and thus no
sense that one needs salvation. A proud person refuses to acknowledge their
sins before God. It's too condescending for such a person to view oneself
as a filthy rotten sinner worthy of eternal condemnation.
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23
A person whose conscience and spirit have been corrupted by sin is baffled
at why God would send people to hell, being blind to the concept of justice.
Furthermore, without humility people refuse to listen thinking themselves
to be wise in their own eyes. God speaks and the proud person shuts his
eyes and ears.
Pr 28:5 "Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the LORD understand it fully."
It is Application Oriented
God is not interested in the kind of faith that many claim to have - that
which is simply artificial. It is not a "make-pretend" or "experimental
- lets try this out and see what happens"-type of faith that saves. Neither
is it a doubtful wavering faith. The faith that saves is fully assured
and confident that what God has promised He is also able to perform, as
Paul describes Abraham's faith:
"Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of
God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully
persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Romans 4:20,21
Saving faith is simply real faith which is evident by its outworkings such
The Object of Saving Faith
The Atoning Work of Christ on the Cross - Alone
It is not through any works or ceremonies that one can be saved, but
only by believing.
Romans 4:4,5 "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited
to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not
work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as
And the object of one's faith must be the atoning work of Christ.
Eph 2:8,9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works,
so that no one can boast."
John 3:14,15 "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert,
so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him
may have eternal life."
The object of faith is not one's own faith. Believing "hard enough" will
not save you, for you are not focussing your faith on Christ, but on your
own faith. You're simply putting faith in yourself.
Furthermore, if one adds to the cross either his own works or ceremonies,
such a person is disqualified from receiving eternal life, until one puts
their faith in Christ's atoning work ALONE
Gal 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been
alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
What are you trusting in to save you from hell? Neither Catholic nor Protestant
ceremonies will save. Praying to a saint like Mary won't do any good either.
For what are man-made ideas and traditions compared to the Bible. If God
has spoken in the Bible, then why don't people listen to Him? The Bible
is the only explicit source of information concerning Jesus and concerning
what God said. So why is it that many people who claim to believe in Jesus
reject what the Bible says? Why is it that they don't even read and study
it? Do you have something more important to do? So I exhort you:
Gal 3:21,22 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises
of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life,
then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture
declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised,
being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.
Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-- unless, of course, you
fail the test?" 2Cor 13:5
And as for those who preach a false gospel such as in Catholicism or New
Age philosphers preaching a bunch of psychobabble, as John writes::
"He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel
of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and
shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power."
1John 4:1 "Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits
to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone
out into the world."
And Paul who writes to those caught up in the legalism of performance-based
salvation, says to them:
Gal 1:6-8 "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting
the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different
gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing
you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But
even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the
one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!"
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources