Apostle Paul told the Corinthians to examine themselves to see if they were in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). How do we do that, and how do we help others do that?
What is Saving Faith?
These have been written [by John in his gospel] so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:31).
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 (Romans 10:9-10).
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not see (Hebrews 11:1).
We need intellectually to know some* about God, our sin, and Jesus Christ. We need some* knowledge about both the bad news and the good news. But head knowledge isn’t enough; even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).
We must accept that our knowledge about Jesus Christ and what He has done is true. (But, remember, not everything we intellectually know about is correct. For example, we know some about false religions. We need to continually study the scriptures to discover more about God’s truth.)
We must act on our intellectual knowledge by our will, repenting, committing ourselves to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and trusting Him.
We become assured that Jesus Christ is who the Bible says He is, that the gospel is true. We are convicted with our whole being.
The Protestant Reformers divided “heart” into two parts: 1) belief that the Christian gospel is true, and 2) volitionally committing and placing trust in Jesus Christ.
Saving faith involves our whole being. Saving faith is an action. We must confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. Faith becomes a way of life, evident to others through our actions.
Once we have saving faith, we have been saved from the penalty sin, and embark on a life-long journey of learning to walk in the newness of life. We will be in the process of being saved from the power of sin, and increasingly keep our Lord’s commandments, pleasing God.
Then, one day, we receive from God what He promised, what we hope for, are assured of: saved from the presence of sin. Glorified! Hallelujah!
*Our knowledge grows as we grow in the Lord. We’ll never know it all!