There is one question that, above all others, is of greatest importance. Our Lord himself asked it, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" The question is not, "Are you religious?" Most everyone is. In comparison with this question, all questions concerning denominational affiliations and theological opinions are insignificant. How can I put this question to you with due solemnity? "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" Life and death, heaven and hell, eternal bliss and unutterable woe, depend upon your answer to this question. Perhaps there are some of you whose hearts are troubled by this question. You may be genuinely concerned about the state of your soul. You are wondering, what is it to believe on Christ. Let me try to help you. There are three things essential to what we call saving faith.
1. BEFORE ANY MAN CAN BELIEVE ON CHRIST, HE MUST HAVE A KNOWLEDGE OF HIM. This knowledge comes through the preaching of the gospel. When the Holy Spirit applies the preached Word, he makes us to know our need of Christ. He teaches us our guilt and our helplessness. And he makes us to know who Christ is, and what he has done. He shows us that the Son of God died in the place of sinners, satisfying divine justice; and that he has power to save sinners upon the merits of his substitutionary work.
2. THERE MUST BE AN ABSENT, OR AGREEMENT, TO THE TESTIMONY GOD HAS GIVEN CONCERNING HIS SON. True faith is more than simply agreeing with the facts and truths of the gospel. But, wherever there is true faith there is an agreement in heart with God's testimony in the gospel.
3. THE SINNER MUST TRUST CHRIST. Realizing his sinful and wretched condition, he simply cast himself upon the arms of mercy. You must commit your soul, and all your hopes of salvation and life to the Son of God, knowing that it is in his power alone to show you mercy and grant eternal life.