You cannot be saved without faith. But it has to be the type of faith that God requires from us - and makes possible in us.
Faith (Trust) in God
The world has so greatly distorted the concept of "faith" and "believing," that we can't even discuss the issue without defining terms. The world separates "faith" from "facts"; whereas the Bible inseparably connects them.
Genuine "faith" is based on the factual foundation of Scripture. It's not the "make-believe" stuff that the world offers!
The world constantly "bombards" us with its fake concept of "faith"; but only the Bible's concept of "faith" will result in salvation. It takes an active, conscious effort to maintain the Bible's concept of "faith" in all of life.
Hebrews 11 is full of examples of people who had a living, fact-based faith. This is the result of a "fact-based faith" and a "faith-based life." There are also two "parentheses" that: 1) provide examples of genuine vs. fake "believers," and 2) emphasize the need to define concepts the way Scripture does (if we don't want to be led astray).
There are many kinds of FAKE faith - sometimes obvious, sometimes not so obvious. Yet all of them either: 1) fail to be based on fact, or else 2) fail to have the right effect on life. (As we saw in Hebrews 11, genuine faith is a living, fact-based faith.)
Genuine faith is based on what Jesus Christ did, not on our feelings and beliefs, or even the amount of "Bible knoweldge" we may have. This is just an introduction to the issue; greater detail is found in the presentations that follow.
The faith that comes from God influences all of life. There are changes that are described in Scripture (so we can know if our "faith" is genuine) - and without these changes, there is no actual life in us. (Scripture describes us as still dead in our sins.)
As with all other genuine "proofs of salvation," God has a role in guaranteeing that genuine faith will result in salvation. When we become willing to accept ("trust") Scripture and do what it says we must do, we can rest assured that God's sovereignty will guarantee that our efforts are not in vain.
How do these changes take place? What makes us willing to have the type of "faith" that Scripture describes? The Holy Spirit is at work inside us! Today's emphasis: The Spirit teaches us ... and we are willing to learn. This presentation describes some of the things he teaches.
(A continuation from last week.) Not only does the Spirit teach us ... and we are willing to learn; but he also directs us ... and we are willing to obey. We accept the truth he teaches us, and are willing to respond the right way (which is also described in Scripture).
Because of what God (the Holy Spirit) does in our lives, we can have a saving faith that results in life! Yes, we can know it with certainty - and this gives us reason to rejoice!
Short Break Before the Next Topic
God says it... people don't want to accept it. But it remains true. And it applies to issues related to this present life, as well as to life in eternity.