- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -
REQUISITES OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE: SAVING FAITH
†(2Pe 1:5 from vss. 3-10)††† 8-5-12
Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming
Pastor Daryl Hilbert
I.†††† PERCEIVE THE SUFFICIENCY OF GODíS POWER (3)
II.††† PERCEIVE THE SUFFICIENCY OF GODíS WORD (4)
III.† POSSESS THE SUFFICIENCY OF GODíS SALVATION (5)
A.††† The Meaning of Faith
1.†††† ďFaith comes from the Greek word pistis which means faith or faithfulness. Pistis comes from the root word peithō which means to persuade or have confidence.
2.†††† It has several aspects:
a)††† Subjectively, it is trust or confidence directed toward a person or thing (Mat 9:2; Col 1:4).
b)††† Adjectively, it is what brings confidence (i.e faithfulness) (2Ti 2:2, 13).
c)†††† Absolutely, it is a term that represents the Christian religion (i.e. the faith) (Gal 6:10; 1Ti 4:1).
d)††† Objectively, it is the content of what is believed (i.e. doctrine) (Gal 1:23; 1Ti 4:6; Tit 1:13; Jud 1:3).
B.††† The Phrase ďin your FaithĒ
1.†††† With the phrase here, ďin your faith,Ē it refers to oneís subjective faith. It is the personal faith that they have in Christ and becomes saving faith.
2.†††† With the idea of the root peithō it refers to one who has saving faith being persuaded by the Gospel contained in the Scriptures through the Holy Spirit.
3.†††† The gospel requires faith as confidence in the person and work of Christ.
C.††† Scriptural View of Saving Faith
1.†††† It is Faith that Exercises Volition
a)††† Often faith is regarded as mere intellectual acknowledgement. By that is meant that an individual merely acknowledges something about Christís death and agrees intellectually with it.
b)††† Scripture teaches that even the demons have intellectual assent but clearly they are not saved (Jam 2:19).
c)†††† There are three elements to saving faith:
(1)†† Intellectual element (notitia) - Knowing the facts about Christís work on the cross for salvation.
(2)†† Emotional element (assensus) - An assent to those facts about Christís work on the cross for salvation.
(3)†† Volitional elements (fiducia) - An act of the will to trust and rely upon Christ for salvation (Act 16:31).
d)††† It is entirely possible for someone to know the facts of the Gospel, and to give assent to its truthfulness, but not add the third element and never exercise their will to trust Christ for their salvation (Heb 2:3).
2.†††† It is Faith that Relies upon Christís Substitutionary Atonement
a)††† Salvation is not just having faith, but having faith in the person and work in Christ.
b)††† What is it about Christ that one must exercise faith? It is Christís death on the cross, specifically Christís substitutionary atonement.
c)†††† The whole premise of salvation is that Christ was the sinnerís substitute on the cross and that Christís death made atonement for his sin.
(1)†† Christ took the sinnerís sin (2Co 5:21; 1Pe 3:18).
(2)†† Christ took the sinnerís punishment (Rom 5:9; 6:23).
(3)†† Christ made atonement and removed the sinnerís sin (Lev 1:4-5 cp. Joh 1:29).
(4)†† Christís work is applied at the moment of faith (Joh 3:16; Rom 10:9-10).
d)††† The essence of the gospel then is faith (trust, reliance) in Christís death on the cross on the behalf of the sinner (Rom 5:6-8).
e)†††† It was reported that when asked to put the gospel into a few words, C.H. Spurgeon said, ďI will put it in four words for you: Christ died for me.Ē
3.†††† It is Faith that is Alone† Without Works
a)††† In regard to salvation, the Scriptures explicitly teach that salvation is by faith alone. The reason why it is by faith alone is because the work of Christ is not only sufficient to make atonement, but it is the only atonement that is acceptable to the righteousness of God.
b)††† God declares that justification is by faith apart from works (Rom 3:28).
c)†††† In fact, no one will be justified, partly or wholly, by the works of the Law (Gal 2:16).
d)††† The Law was given to reveal manís unrighteousness so that man relies solely on Christ (Rom 3:20).
e)†††† Furthermore, the Scriptures teach that no one is righteous (Rom 3:10) and God does not accept manís works of righteousness for salvation (Isa 64:6).
f)†††† Therefore only Godís grace through Christís work on the cross can save sinful man. All man can do is avail himself of it by faith alone (Rom 11:6; Eph 2:8-9).
4.†††† It is Faith that Includes Repentance
a)††† Repentance in the NT comes from the Greek word metanoe,ō and literally means an afterthought as in a change of mind (meta - after noe,ō - mind or thought, i.e. change of mind or thought). It is a change of mind that leads to a change of heart and behavior.
b)††† In salvation, repentance is a change of mind in regard to oneís sinful state and behavior, oneís inability to save himself, and oneís unbelief toward Christ, His death and resurrection, and His salvation (Luk 24:47; Act 11:18; 17:30; 26:20).
c)†††† Both faith and repentance are granted by God (Act 5:31; 11:18; 2Ti 2:25) and grow with the believerís sanctification (1Th 3:2; 1Ti 1:5; 2Co 7:9; 12:21; Rev 2:5).
d)††† Though repentance is preached, the concept of faith appears to be the focal point with the assumption that repentance is an essential part of faith. In order for there to be true faith (saving), it must include true repentance (change of mind).
e)†††† The Scriptures and the Reformers taught ďFaith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone.Ē True faith includes true repentance which will bring about true change.
D.††† Saving Faith and Christian Virtue
1.†††† Saving faith is the basis for Christian Virtue (2Pe 1:3).
a)††† Saving faith must come first before Christian virtue.
b)††† Without saving faith one cannot produce Christian Virtue nor is it acceptable to God (Isa 64:6; 2Ti 3:5).
2.†††† Saving faith enables the believer to exhibit Christian Virtue (2Pe 1:3).
a)††† The believer is empowered by God to live in Christian Virtue as well as everything for life and godliness.
3.†††† Saving faith enables the believer to understand Christian Virtue (2Pe 1:4).
a)††† Man cannot determine virtue apart from God, His attributes, and moral excellence (Rom 1:32; Col 3:10).
4.†††† Saving faith brings the by-product of Christian Virtue (2Pe 1:5-7).
a)††† True salvation results in a new nature by the Holy Spirit and the supernatural out-working of Christian Virtue (Rom 6:22; 1Jo 2:6).
5.†††† Saving faith is assured by Christian Virtue (2Pe 1:8-10).
a)††† Christian Virtue brings assurance of the possession of saving faith (1Jo 5:2-5).