Q35: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from?
A: All the gifts we receive from Christ we receive through the Holy Spirit, including faith itself. (Crossway 2017)
Titus 3:4-6 “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, when he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (ESV)
The Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
Our relationship with God is not based on works or merit, but simply by faith. We come to God and are saved by faith alone, by putting our complete trust and confidence in who God is and what God has done, according the His Word and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is at work in the world and brings conviction of sin, reveals the righteousness of God, and the judgment of God. Upon understanding the truth of the gospel and the need for Christ, we put our faith in Christ and receive salvation. This gift of salvation is not earned but confessed through faith by the work of the Holy Spirit, because of the completed work of Christ. As we walk daily with the Lord, let us be in tune with the Holy Spirit and continually put our full trust in Christ.
- Hebrews 11:1-3“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
- Ephesians 2:8-9“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
- John 16:8-11 “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
- Ephesians 1:13“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
We know that our relationship with God is not on our own doing, but through faith according to the Scriptures. How we relate to humanity is our mission: to share the gospel and make disciples. Though we are called to preach the good news, it is only the work of the Holy Spirit that brings forth true faith. Knowing that we must simply be faithful to share the truth, not save people, is relieving in a way. As Paul described in 1 Corinthians 2, the Spirit works in powerful ways in convicting people of sin and calling people to faith, despite our “weakness”, “fear”, or lack of “lofty speech” and “wisdom”. As we relate to others, we must simply be faithful to share the work that God has done, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that others may have the opportunity to believe and trust in Christ.
- Romans 10:17“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:1-5“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
- Mark 16:15“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospelto the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’”
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
First of all, let us daily look to Christ, the founder and perfecter of our faith, in order that we may daily look more like Him. Let’s be reminded of the amazing news of Ephesians 2:4, that we were dead in our sin, but God, by His mercy, made us alive in Christ and we receive His grace by faith. Second, let us daily seek the Holy Spirit for conviction, guidance, understanding, power, and boldness as we live for the glory of God and the mission He has called us on.
- Hebrews 12:-2“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
- Ephesians 2:4-5“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved…”
- Matthew 28:20“…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”