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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Saving Faith

By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
I.  Introduction.
    A.  The word "faith" is a New Testament word. It is found 231
        times in the King James translation, and occurs only twice in 
        the Old Testament.
    B.  The words "believe, believing, believeth, belief" occur 179 
        times in the King James translation--21 times in the Old 
        Testament and 158 times in the New Testament.
    C.  The importance of faith.
        1.  Faith saves (Heb. 11:6; John 3:16; John 3:36; Eph. 2:8).
II.  How Does Faith Come?
    A.  Some say faith comes by direct, immediate operation of the 
        Holy Spirit, separate from the Bible, in an incomprehensible 
    B.  The New Testament tells us faith is the result of knowledge.
        1.  "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word 
            of God" (Rom 10:17 KJV).  The American Standard translates 
            the verse, "So then belief cometh by hearing . . . ." 
            "Belief" and "faith" are interchangeable in Bible usage.
        2.  "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which
            shall believe on me through their word" (John 17:20 KJV).
        3.  "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, 
            and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a 
            good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles 
            by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and 
            believe" (Acts 15:7 KJV).
        4.  "Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were 
            baptized" (Acts 18:8 KJV).
        5.  "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall 
            be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they 
            have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of 
            whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without 
            a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be 
            sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them 
            that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of 
            good things!  But they have not all obeyed the gospel.  
            For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?" 
            (Rom. 10:13-16 KJV).
            Note:  You cannot call on God without believing in God.
            Note:  You cannot believe in God without hearing, i.e., 
                   receiving information.
            Note:  You cannot hear without a preacher.
            Note:  They cannot preach except they be sent.
            Note:  "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to 
                   save them that believe" (1 Cor.1:21).
    C.  Faith therefore is not a leap in the dark.  It comes from 
        knowing facts and having considered evidence.
III.  What is Saving Faith?
      A.  Misconceptions.
          1.  All faith is saving faith.
          2.  The New Testament speaks of different kinds of faith. 
              There is a faith that will save, and there is a faith 
              that will not save.
              Note:  Many Jewish rulers believed on Jesus but would 
              not confess him because they feared the Pharisees and 
              being put out of the synagogue (John 12:42-43).
              Note:  Demons believe and shudder, but demons will not 
                     be saved (James 2:19).
      B.  Saving faith is conviction based on facts and manifested by 
          1.  "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the 
              evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1 KJV)--The 
              American Standard says, "Now faith is assurance of 
              things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen."
              Note:  Saving faith is substance, evidence, conviction, 
                     assurance.  We must not believe because of 
                     convenience and prejudice. Faith is conviction 
                     based on evidence.  The word translated 
                     "evidence" or "conviction" in Hebrews 11:1 means 
                     "reproof," denoting a proof, proving, test (See 
                     Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament 
          2.  At Pentecost the people were presented with  proof that 
              Jesus is Lord, and were then told to believe it 
              absolutely.  "Let all the house of Israel therefore know 
              assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, 
              this Jesus whom ye crucified" (Acts 2:36).
              Note:  Faith does not end with sight!
              Note:  Paul saw the risen Jesus and said, "That I may 
                     know him, and the power of his resurrection" 
                     (Phil. 3:10). "I know him whom I have believed" 
                     (2 Tim. 1:12).
              Note:  Paul had knowledge born of sight, but he believed 
                     on Jesus.  "That life which I now live in the flesh 
                     I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of 
                     God" (Gal. 2:20).
          3.  Saving faith illustrated in Hebrews chapter eleven.
              Note:  Abel "offered" (v. 4); Noah "moved with Godly 
              fear" (v. 7); Abraham "obeyed" (v. 8); The walls of 
              Jericho after them were "compassed about seven days" 
              (v. 30).
              Note:  In the Bible, no person was ever blessed because 
                     of his faith until that faith manifested itself 
                     in an overt act of obedience.
          4.  James 2:14-26 defines the faith principle as inclusive 
              of obedience to God -- works of righteousness.
              Note:  Faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
              Note:  Cannot show faith apart from works (James 2:18).
              Note:  Demons believe and shudder (James 2:19).
              Note:  Faith without works is barren (James 2:20).
              Note:  Abraham was justified by faith because of what he 
                     did (offered Isaac upon the altar) (James 2:21).
              Note:  Abraham's faith produced works and works made his 
                     faith perfect (complete) (James 2:22).
              Note:  We are not justified by faith only (James 2:24).
              Note:  Faith without works is as dead and useless as a 
                     body without a spirit (James 2:26).
      D.  Saving faith must do something (obey).  The faith that makes 
          us acceptable to God is a conviction that grows out of 
          knowledge and that compels absolute obedience to rules, 
          principles, and standards.
          1.  "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 
              16:16; See also Gal. 3:26-27).
          2.  Be faithful at all cost, even death, and receive a crown 
              (Rev. 2:10).

H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email:
P. O. Box 690192
Houston, Texas 77269-0192
(281) 469-3540

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