Sermon #812[i] Miscellaneous Sermons
Text: Hebrews 11:6
Subject: Saving Faith
Date: Sunday Morning – September 18, 1988
My subject this morning is Faith. Paul has told us that “the just shall live by faith” (10:38), and that those who have faith “believe to the saving of the soul” (10:39). The substance, the ground, the foundation of our confident hope of eternal salvation is our faith in Christ. And that faith is the proof and evidence of our eternal justification and everlasting salvation. Faith understands what the most learned scientist cannot fathom. Faith understands that “the worlds were framed by the Word of God,” for faith simply believes God. Abel understood that the only way a guilty man could approach God is by blood atonement. His brother, Cain, did not. Cain thought that a man could please God and win his favor by works. Abel believed God. Cain did not. Enoch understood that the only way a man could please God and be accepted of him is by faith. So Enoch walked with God by faith. And when he left this world, he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Paul is telling us that the only way to be saved, the only way to be accepted of God, the only way to walk with God, the only way to please God is by faith, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Read verse 6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
· What is faith?
· Why is faith necessary?
· How can I obtain this faith?
· Do I have faith?
I.What is faith?
There are many forms of false faith by which the souls of men are deluded. Judas, Demas, and Deotriphes all had faith. But theirs was a false faith. Many people have a denominational faith. I do not say that their faith is without sincerity, devotion, and zeal. But unless they have that faith which is described in the Word of God, their faith is damning to their souls. As we saw a couple of weeks ago, even the devils have faith. But what is that true, saving faith, by which a man pleases God? That is the question I want to answer.
There is but one true faith. And you and I must examine ourselves and prove ourselves on this point, whether we be in “the faith (2 Cor. 13:5).
Faith, true, saving faith, consists of three things: Knowledge, assent, and trust. If we would be pleasing to God, if we would come to him and be saved by him, we must know the revelation of God in the gospel, we must give assent that God’s revelation is truth, and we must trust him whom God reveals.
A. The first aspect of faith is knowledge.
Paul says, “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” The text clearly shows the necessity of knowledge. Faith in Christ is a heart work. But it is not a leap in the dark. It is based upon knowledge. In order for us to trust, there must be someone, or something known for us to trust (Isa. 53:11; John 17:3). Two things, according to our text, must be known:
· In order for anyone to have faith, he must know the Lord God, as he is revealed in the Person and work of Christ (John 1:18; 14:6-9; Heb. 1:1-3).
o You must know that God is.
o You must know that God is who He says He is.
o You must know that God is what He says He is.
(1). Sovereign and good (Ex. 33:18-19).
(2). Just and gracious (Isa. 45:20-22).
(3). Holy and merciful (Isa. 6:3, 7).
o The only way man can know god is by the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, the God-man (2 Cor. 4:5-6).
· And you must know that God is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Isa. 55:3, 6, 7; Jer. 29:13-14).
All who seek the Lord, all who come to God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, shall be rewarded with eternal life and everlasting salvation. This too must be known. But how can we know that God will reward every believer with eternal salvation? By the Gospel! (1 Cor. 15:3; Rom. 3:24-26).
o The Lord Jesus earned righteousness for His people (Rom. 5:19).
o The Son of God purchased salvation for His elect (Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12).
o God has promised that salvation to all who trust His Son (John 3:14-16, 36; Rom. 10:9-13).
· This is the point I am making – Gospel knowledge is essential to saving faith. And the matter of paramount importance in the knowledge of the gospel is the redemptive work of Christ.
o He is an able Redeemer – The God-man!
o He is a willing Redeemer – (Isa. 50:5-7).
o He is an effectual Redeemer – (Isa. 53:10).
Unless a person knows these things, he cannot have faith, he cannot please God, he cannot be saved; but, merely knowing these things is not faith. Knowledge is necessary. But knowledge alone is not faith.
B. Along with that knowledge, our hearts must give assent that these things are true.
Many people know the truth. They have heard it for years. They have been catechized and trained in gospel truth from their infancy. But saving faith involves a willing, voluntary, deliberate, considered assent to the truth of God. Faith simply embraces the Revelation of God as the Revelation of God.
Today, you are being confronted with the truth of God. Your Bible is open on your lap. The truth is staring you in the face. God is speaking directly to your heart. Now you will make a decision. You will either embrace the testimony of God as the Truth, or you will reject it and declare that God is a liar! (1 John 5:10).
Have you now embraced this gospel of God’s free grace as the truth? If you have, you are not far from the kingdom of God. But still, there is something else necessary.
C. Faith knows the gospel and gives assent to the gospel of the truth. But there is more – Saving faith trusts the Lord Jesus Christ.
A man acts upon what he believes. And the act of faith is trusting Christ.
Illustration: The woman with an issue of blood.
“He that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved, be his sins never so many; but he that believeth not in the Lord Jesus must be damned, be his sins never so few” – (Brooks).
II. Why is faith in Christ necessary?
Why is it necessary for sinners to trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone in order to be saved?
· No one has ever pleased God and been accepted of Him except those who have simply believed.
Hebrews 11 records the names of 17 men and women, whose histories are well known, who pleased God. How did they do it? By faith alone!
Many others, mentioned in the Bible have perished under the wrath and curse of God, though they did some good, commendable things.
· Repentance will not save you! (Esau – Judas).
· Confession of sin will not save you! (Ahab – Saul)).
· Self-denial and sacrifice will not save you! (Ananias).
· Only faith pleases God, because only faith gives all praise, honor, and glory to the Son of God.
· Faith is necessary, ecause without faith there is no vital union with Christ.
Illustration: The grafted branch.
The member and the head.
· Faith is necessary, because God plainly declares that works have nothing to do with salvation (Eph. 2:8-9).
Illustration: Cain and Abel.
· Faith is necessary, because salvation is by grace alone (Rom. 4:16; Gal. 5:2-4; 2 tim. 1:9).
o Faith brings nothing!
o Faith promises nothing!
o Faith does nothing!
III. How can I obtain this faith?
· Not by heredity (John 1:11-13).
· Not by education.
· Not by reason.
· Not by ceremony!
· Faith in Christ is the free gift of God’s sovereign grace.
· If you obtain faith, you will get it by God’s appointed means – Preaching (Rom. 10:13-17).
· If you obtain faith, you will get it by Divine Revelation (Matt. 16:16; Gal. 1:15).
· If you obtain faith, you will get it by regenerating grace and the irresistible call of God the Holy Spirit (John 6:63; Eph. 1:18-19).
IV. Do I have true, saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
It is possible for men and women to know whether or not they have faith in Christ (1 John 5:13).
If I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…
· I renounce all personal righteousness!
· I trust Christ alone!
· I willingly surrender to the rule of Christ as my Lord.
· I love the Lord Jesus Christ and love my brethren.
Application: Mark 16:16; 1 John 5:10-13.
1. Trust Christ, and He will save you.
2. Confess Christ in baptism – Follow the Lamb!
3. Children of God, honor Christ – How? By faith.
· Faith in Christ pleases God.
· Faith in Christ honors God.
· Faith in Christ is honored by God.
[i] Hebrews #52 – Tuesday – April 24, 2001