While in truth this isn’t all that could be thought out loud about faith, especially saving faith, however it is the conclusion of this series on or concerning true saving faith or genuinely godly faith.
I had stated in “Just Thinking Out Loud About Faith, Part Two, that, “I believe that the Lord will use this natural ability in man to have faith, to believe (to trust), as a seed base, as soil for His revelation of the truth to be planted in (Matt 13:1-9; 18-23) and hopefully, by His grace and corresponding gift of faith, will come to bear the fruit of genuine salvation”.
True faith or genuine saving faith then, is our natural capacity for faith graced with the reality and power of God’s Faith. Here is how I see this all fitting together: In the beginning when the Lord created man, man was endowed with a God given, albeit natural ability to have faith, belief and trust. When Adam and Eve fell, these God given abilities, as every thing else that was imparted to mankind, were corrupted by sin and its nature.
The natural ability of faith, belief and trust became areas of soil that potentially allowed for the seeds of God’s Word to be planted, grow and flourish. However because of sin, this soil of man’s natural faith was rendered incomplete. This incompleteness and corruption are seen as the hardness of road packed soil, or soil with rocks, or weeds, all of which hinder the growth of God’s genuine saving faith (Matt 13; Mk 4; Luke 8;). Therefore because of sin and its overpowering nature in fallen man, man’s faith was rendered incomplete, inadequate and misdirected. The incompleteness of man’s faith, power to believe and or to trust, was therefore in need of that which could then complete it. The potential was there but man’s faith in itself was corrupted and incomplete. The only reality that could complete mans’ insufficient faith, belief and trust was and is a measure of God’s faith imparted by the Holy Spirit through God’s grace.
This incompleteness and therefore inability to have genuine saving faith is also revealed in this aspect as well:
Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. ESV
Faith comes by hearing, however our ability to hear is hindered by the corruption and fruit of our sin nature as well. This hindrance to our hearing could also be seen in or as the hardness of our hearts, along with its corresponding word pictures of hard soil, rocky soil, weedy soil, etc. Without our being enabled by God’s grace to actually hear what it is that the Lord is saying, God’s true and complete faith, which then completes ours, is kept from us. So we need the Lord God to open our hearts so we can actually hear, in our inner man, our spirit, our heart, the sure Word of God. When this grace empowered hearing occurs, God’s faith, the fruit of His enabling us to hear, is able to manifest.
Look at this passage in Acts concerning the salvation of Lydia:
Acts 16:14-15 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. ESV (compare this with Isa 50:5; Ps 40:6; Job 33:16; 36:10,15)
The result of this precious work of God’s grace was that Lydia could actually hear the Word of God through His servant Paul. Her hearing by God’s grace resulted in her receiving God’s gift of faith, of God’s saving faith. We see that she was then baptized in the very next verse, the witness and testimony of her salvation, conversion, her regeneration in and through God’s saving faith in Christ Jesus.
In summary thus far, we see that man’s faith, his capacity to believe and to place trust in, is totally corrupted and therefore weakened through and because of sin and its nature at work in fallen man. While the potential is there, it is a potential that needs the divine intervention of the Lord God Almighty in order for us to come to the living and vibrant reality of God’s authentic and genuine Saving Faith.
Remember, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, we can do nothing, absolutely nothing (Jn 15:5). Again remember what was also spoken through John the Baptist when he said,
John 3:27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. ESV
This most certainly means that we cannot receive salvation apart from God’s gracing us with it. This also means that we do not have the sufficiency of faith for salvation apart from the provision of God’s gracing us with His faith. Apart from the Lord’s grace we also will not be able to actually hear the clear Word of God that results in this grace gift of God’s faith.
We may indeed be the soil but as soil we are incomplete in ourselves. Therefore we need the work of God’s grace, in every area of our lives to override the obstacles and hindrances of sin effecting in our lives. Apart from the work of God’s Grace, man cannot and will not be saved, born again, regenerated or converted. Thus we will continue to fall short of the righteousness of God resulting in eternal judgment. We cannot save ourselves nor can we save anyone else no matter how much we choose or will to do so. No, this is the domain of the Lord God Almighty, not ours or anyone else’s to do with as we would.
We are simply the messengers, the witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us continue to pray and intercede on behalf of all that we meet and with whom we would seek to share the Word of God with, that the Lord Jesus Christ would intervene in their lives, gracing them with His divine ability to truly hear His Word, that they might then receive His gift of saving Faith, genuinely crossing over from death to His Life eternal in, through and because of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Authentic Living Word of God.
Let us continue to point hearts and souls to the Lord Jesus Christ, through the accurate preaching, teaching and testimony of God’s Word, under-girded with prayer, prayer and even more prayer on the behalf of all we know, meet and shall yet come to know and meet, that the Lord God Almighty may have mercy upon them, genuinely bringing them to the point of His salvation through the power of His wonderful Grace and His Saving Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.