What does it mean to believe? In whom are we to believe? If your answer to either question is wrong, you can miss your salvation!
I think it is no exaggeration to say that most of the sermons today describing coming to a saving faith are in error – they do not present a saving faith or how to obtain it. They miss the point, often pointing a person to the wrong Jesus, saying we need only accept Jesus as our personal Savior and we will be saved.
There is only one source by which we can learn what a saving faith is and that is from the Scripture. Paul wrote: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
What does Scripture mean when it says to believe in Jesus? How are we to believe in him? You may never have heard the biblical answer to these questions. This heavily footnoted book has the Bible’s answers to these questions.
The manuscript of What the bible Says About a Saving Faith was submitted to many laymen and church leaders throughout America for comment prior to publication. You’ll likely recognize many of their names. A remarkable number wrote an endorsement of the book. You can read their comments here. Their comments may inspire you to read and study the entire book.
This chapter introduces the two issues which are discussed in the book, both from John 3:16 — “believes” and “him.”
The Prologue recites the testimony of the author. It tells those incidents about his life, first as a Christian, then without the Lord or any belief in Christianity, then as a nominal Christian, and finally the change that altered his life dramatically. You will understand his passion for the subject of this book as you read the Prologue.
The author shares his personal testimony. He tells the steps the Lord took him through to find and understand what a saving faith is. As he studied, he learned, believed, and received it. He relates what happened to him then.
Chapter 1, Believe in Him
Repeatedly we are told in the New Testament to “believe in him” (meaning Jesus) and we will be saved. John 3:16 is an example. But what “him” is Scripture referring to? We all have various capacities. I am a son, father, grand-father, brother, uncle, friend, creditor, borrower, etc. The list goes on and on. It may surprise the reader that there is a specific capacity of Jesus that we are commanded to believe in if we are to be saved.
Chapter 2, Jesus is Lord
Scripture proclaims Jesus as Lord — King of kings and Lord of lords. This chapter establishes the salvation message of Scripture: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. A huge preponderance of evidence establishes that Jesus is Lord of all those who will be saved and is Savior only of those for whom he is Lord.
Chapter 3, Jesus is the Christ
The Jewish Messiah to come was known as the Anointed One — the Christ. The Jews eagerly awaited his coming and his coming was foretold by many specific prophecies. Only one unique person could fulfill these prophecies. The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all those except those still awaiting fulfillment. Few people are aware that his coming as King was foretold to the day.
Chapter 4, Jesus is the Son of God
The Apostle John referred to Jesus repeatedly as the Son of God. Scriptures show that the title Son of God is equivalent to that of Lord. Paul assures us that the Son of God is Jesus Christ the Lord, covering Jesus’ major titles in one sentence. The title Son of God shows Jesus’ relationship with his Father.
Chapter 5, Jesus is the Son of Man
It is as the Son of Man that Jesus identified with humanity. Indeed, he was completely human — a man — as well as God. He is the unique God-man. Because he was uniquely conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was able to live without sin and did not sin. Thus he was able to be the perfect, unblemished lamb whose blood was shed for the remission of sins, as an atonement for sin.
Chapter 6, Jesus is Savior
Jesus is Savior for all for whom he is Lord. And Jesus is Lord of all who will be saved! It may surprise the reader that God the Father is also referred to as our Savior. Indeed, he is the one who sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins so that we may be saved. But, contrary to popular belief, there is no salvation for those who only “accept” or “receive” Jesus as Savior.
Chapter 7, A Saving Faith
The word “faith” is used loosely but it surely shouldn’t be when talking about that which is required in order to have eternal life. I can have faith that an object I drop will fall, that the sun will come up in the morning. Will that save me? More specifically, I can have faith that Jesus is the Christ, that he is the Son of God, that he died on the cross for my sins. Will that save me? What does Scripture say?
Chapter 8, Obedience: The Evidence of a Saving Faith
If I suggest that obedience is necessary for those who follow the Lord Jesus am I talking about “salvation by works?” Of course not! The reader will find strong evidence from Scripture that those who refuse to obey or simply don’t obey may not have salvation. Why? The reason goes back to Scripture’s definition of a Saving Faith.
Chapter 9, Fruit: Evidence of a Saving Faith
Could fruit be important in the life of those who claim to be believers? What does Scripture say? The answer may surprise you.
Chapter 10, Good Works: Evidence of a Saving Faith
Surely now we are talking about salvation by works! No, not at all. No one can earn salvation no matter what his works or the costs or price of his works. What then is the role of works according to Scripture?
Chapter 11, Punishment for Those Without a Saving Faith
What does Scripture say is the punishment of those who fail the test of a saving faith? What will happen to those who listen to teachers who tickle their ears and disregard the plain teachings of Scripture? This chapter defines what Scripture says. It isn’t pleasant, but it is true.