My Testimony of Saving Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

23 09 2007

For the next several posts I plan to focus on the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ, as well as some principles of spiritual growth for a Christian.

When I came to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in November 1978, my understanding of the Bible and how God desired that I live the Christian life was extremely limited. After being brought up in a mainline religious denomination that taught a works-based salvation (“holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;…” 2 Timothy 3:5), God convicted me during my college years that intellectual assent to a set of doctrinal statements and participation in the religious ordinances and/or sacraments of a church were not enough for me to be saved from my sin. In the process of being patiently witnessed / evangelized to by a group of believing Christians in the University residence where I lived over a period of time, I knew that there was literal spiritual evil in the world, that I was a sinner, and that I needed Jesus Christ as my Savior. The Christian brother witnessing to me showed me a gospel illustration titled “The Bridge” developed by the Navigators: ( http://navigators.gospelcom.net/cpr/navresources/page4/files/Bridge.pdf ) The Holy Spirit of God used the truth of the Scripture presented by a faithful witnessing Christian to bring me to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The process of my realization went something like this:

A. God is Holy – Man (me) is a sinner

  • Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

B. God is Eternal – Man (me) dies

  • Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus in our Lord”

C. God has a solution – He (God) is love – Christ died on the cross out of His love for me to pay the penalty for my sin

  • Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

D. Man’s Response to God’s Solution – Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved

  • 1 John 5:11-13 “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
  • Romans 10:9-10 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

With this, I came to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in November 1978. From there I was blessed to be mentored and discipled by committed brothers in Christ, who helped to teach me about the daily devotional disciplines of the Christian life (Bible study, prayer. witnessing, scripture memorization, understanding the basic doctrines of the Christian faith). The Lord used this input and foundation building in my life to help establish me in my daily walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. From there, my Christian walk has been an ongoing application and re-application of the following Bible verses:

  • Colossians 2:6-7 “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”
  • 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

For those of you who know you are sinners and need the salvation that is available through the Lord Jesus Christ, please prayerfully consider the Bridge to Life illustration linked above. If you have a religious background and are confused about whether you have a saving faith in Christ, please consider the Scripture below from Hebrews 11 and 1 Corinthians 15, as well as some helpful definitions of the different types of faith people have.

If you do not have a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, please place your faith in Him today for the forgiveness of your sins and the salvation of your soul.

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Question: What is faith in God?

Hebrews 11:1-3, 6: (1)”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen. (2) For by it the men of old gained approval. (3) By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. ….(6) And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

The Gospel – Good News Regarding Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4: (1) “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, (2) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the work which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (3) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He was raised in the third day according to the Scriptures,”

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Webster’s Dictionary Definition of Faith:

Reference: http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/Faith

Protestantism’s Definition of Faith: [Text adapted from Easton’s Bible Dictionary ]In the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.” The object of saving faith is the whole revealed Word of God. Faith accepts and believes it as the very truth most sure. But the special act of faith which unites to Christ has as its object the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 7:38; Acts 16:31). This is the specific act of faith by which a sinner is justified before God (Rom. 3:22, 25; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9; John 3:16-36; Acts 10:43; 16:31).

A. Faith is a kind of knowledge: Knowledge is an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoken of as an equivalent to faith (John 10:38; 1 John 2:3). Yet the two are distinguished in this respect, that faith includes in it assent, which is an act of the will in addition to the act of the understanding.

B. Faith is an operation of the Spirit of God: Assent to the truth is of the essence of faith, and the ultimate ground on which our assent to any revealed truth rests is the veracity of God. Historical faith is the apprehension of and assent to certain statements which are regarded as mere facts of history. Temporary faith is that state of mind which is awakened in men (e.g., Felix) by the exhibition of the truth and by the influence of religious sympathy, or by what is sometimes styled the common operation of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is so called because it has eternal life inseparably connected with it, and is a special operation of the Holy Spirit.

C. The warrant of faith is the truthfulness of God: The warrant or ground of faith is the divine testimony, not the reasonableness of what God says, but the simple fact that he says it. Faith rests immediately on, “Thus saith the Lord.” But in order to (have) this faith the veracity, sincerity, and truth of God must be owned and appreciated, together with his unchangeableness.

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