Based on the last couple days’ posts, faith is “submitting to God to the extent you obey what He says.” I think this adequately sums up biblical faith.
When it comes to salvation, many teach that faith is “believing the Gospel.” This is true, but I fear we don’t explain what “believing the Gospel” means.
What is the Gospel? As far as Paul sums it up–Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures and He was seen of many witnesses (although you’ll rarely hear that last bit in a Gospel presentation).
Notice that 1 Corinthians 15 has a verse before this explanation of the Gospel. Paul says he declares the Gospel to them “By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.”
It is possible to believe in vain! It is possible to believe the Gospel to no fruit, to be pointless. Paul says it is possible to believe the Gospel and yet not be saved by it. You are only saved by it if you keep it in memory (that continuation thing again) unless you believed it in vain.
You can believe the Gospel facts and yet still be dead in sin. Even the demons believe, don’t forget. They not only believe they also tremble.
I know many a person who claims to believe, they even tremble and are afraid, but there is no evidence of biblical faith. They struggle and are tossed about, double-minded in all their ways. They want peace but can’t get it. They want sin’s battle over, but really want the guilt to stop so they can sin with better self-esteem.
But biblical faith, believing the Gospel, is obedience to the Gospel. The Gospel is about Christ’s death and resurrection. If we are to obey The Gospel, guess what that looks like?
Obedience to The Gospel looks like death and resurrection. We are crucified with Christ, our old man is dead with its affections and lusts and we are raised up with Christ to newness of life.
Faith in The Gospel is not proved by saying you believe it; faith in the Gospel is proven by death and resurrection. A real, tangible, proven, I am dead and Christ lives in me, life. That is what biblical faith in The Gospel is. This is not done by willpower and goal setting, it is only accomplished through the Spirit and the Gospel’s power.
You can disagree if you like, but come Judgment Day you’ll discover this to be the case.