Saving Faith

What is saving faith?

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Certainly, one of the main themes in the Gospel of John is saving faith. To "believe" is an emphasis throughout the gospel. And its emphasis is placing in two areas. One is that belief, or becoming a child of God, is a work of God himself, and the other is that it is an action, as it were, taken on the part of the individual. And so, John in his gospel very clearly places a theological term, a synergistic aspect, upon faith. Now, faith is understood, saving faith is understood, certainly, as a gift. It's God's grace in our life that we believe. But it is based upon something that we are doing, and so there has to be an aspect of knowledge. There must be an understanding that Christ has died on the cross for our sins. There must also be a sense of assent, that we agree with that. But it goes far more than just knowing and agreeing. There is the sense of trust, and that is the crucial aspect of faith. It's the empty hand of the individual reaching out and receiving all that God has done through his Son, Christ.

Answer by Dr. Jeff Lowman

Dr. Jeff Lowman is Professor of Homiletics and Systematic Theology at Birmingham Theological Seminary and pastor at Evangel Presbyterian Church in Helena, Alabama