Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
True saving, or justifying, faith is the main grounds of Christianity.
Galatians 2:16 says that “we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Christ.” It is through faith that we are saved from damnation. It is by faith that we are declared just or right before God. It is in faith that all the blessings of Christ are given to the unworthy. Yet what is this faith?
There are 4+1 necessary elements of saving faith: hear, agree, turn and trust.
3. TURN: The Gospel calls us to respond. This response involves turning (repenting) from our sin, changing our mind, changing direction. We turn from sin and toward Christ. (poenitentiam- to show penance, or sorrow; to change direction; to change one’s mind. From the Greek μετάνοια).
a. “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk 1:15)
All of this can of course appear as if it happens in a moment. For example someone could hear the Gospel, assent to it, recognize without convincing their life is on the wrong path turn and trust in an instant. Or one could hear the Gospel many times, wrestle with believing it to be true, wrestle with their sin and finally come to a place where they actually trust in Jesus. Conversion is like an accordion, either all bunched up or discernible over time. Regardless these are the steps the Bible lays out for us to discern saving faith.
So we must hear, agree, turn and trust in order to be saved and we know someone is saved because they persevere in trusting Christ’s promises and commands. See Paul and James.
This is the test of faith we ought to look for in ourselves and in those who profess to be Christians.
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