The Wonderful Results of Saving Faith, pt.2
“Let There Be Light” - The Wonderful Results of Saving Faith Pt.2
*This series was taught at North Christian Church, leading up to a marvelous series on "The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification". www.nccdighton.org
There is nothing quite as striking as the difference between darkness and light.
When God turns the light on, early every morning without fail, everything around us becomes visible.
And all it took was a word from God, then the power of God went into action.
When a person chooses in humility to receive saving faith in our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord then turns the light on in his soul. Eph 2:8-10
When someone repents of their sin and turns to Christ in their heart, God changes them.
And from that day on, that person can "see". Spiritual truths becomes visible, because God turned the light on in their soul.
And in the lives of believers, so long as they desire to learn the Truth, that light becomes brighter and brighter as "the sun continues to rise" in their life.
The Lord Jesus said in Matt 7:7-8, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
If the believer follows Christ and pursues His Word, he will really begin to see it all as truth, and the light that is in him will overpower the darkness in his soul, more and more.
Eph 5:8-14 "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible."
This takes humility and obedience, motivated by love for the Lord that saved you.
But this salvation is totally from God.
Without our gracious God turning the light on FOR us, we would remain in darkness.
By God's grace, at the moment of saving faith, He says “let there be light”, and it is so in our souls, and then we possess the wonderful results of His saving grace.
And we begin to shine the wonders of salvation, not only in our own souls, but for the whole world to see.
And this is all the work of God, which He does in us and for us.
So let’s first look at the wonderful, INVISIBLE results of saving faith. These are the results of God turning the light on inside of the believer, by His grace alone.
And we will focus on the Church Age believer; what is done for the believer AFTER the cross and the resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ.
The Invisible Results of Saving Faith: The believer in Christ has been made into a new creature/new man. Eph 2:15,4:24, 2Co 5:17, Gal 6:15, Col 3:10, Joh 3:3
God doesn’t improve the darkness in man’s soul; instead He pierces the darkness by giving man the light, by giving man a piece of Himself, making him new!
Eph 2:15 "by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man (the man ‘in Christ’), thus establishing peace,
Eph 4:24 "and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
You must possess a new self before you can put on a new self, amen?
2 Cor 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
Gal 6:15 "For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
By faith in Christ, he is made a new man. In fact, he is made into the light of the world, according to Jesus. Joh 8:12, Mat 5:14-16
As a new man, believers are an extension of Christ. They are the lights of the world, and He has made believers like the lights in the expanse of the heavens, that shine light on the earth. (Gen 1)
As a believer in Christ, you are a brand new man with brand new power; perfect power because Christ is in you!
Col 3:9-10 "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him"
Again, you must possess a new self before you can put him on!
John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
The old self has not been fixed up, he has been replaced, thank God!
You have been given His light in your soul, and that new, perfect light overcomes the darkness. It is the light of Christ.
Another wonderful result of saving faith is that the believer now has peace with God, forever.
The Invisible Results of Saving Faith: The believer in Christ has been Reconciled. 2Cor 5:18-19, Rom 5:1,10-11, Eph 2:15c-18, Col 1:20, 1Jo 4:10.
2 Cor 5:17-19 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation."
Notice how all these invisible results in our souls are intermingled.
All these fruits of salvation are intertwined. (just as the fruit of the Spirit is all one fruit in Gal 5:22-23)
Focusing on reconciliation as one of the invisible results of saving faith; this means God has granted us PEACE, in an eternal relationship with Him, as believers in Christ!
That's the Good News of the Gospel!
Even though we were His enemies (Romans 5), God has offered us a peace treaty. He has offered us complete forgiveness through His Son, AND He even justifies those who trust in Him.
Rom 5:1 "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Rom 5:10-11 "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."
Notice reconciliation here is spoken of in the past tense.
It's already done. Peace with God has already been given to those who trust in Christ.
Eph 2:15b-18 "so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man (the man ‘in Christ’), thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father."
Through the cross, our gracious God preached peace to us!
He didn't have to, but His love is so great that He wanted to.
He wanted to reach out to us, even though we were His enemies.
He wanted this so badly, He sacrificed His own Son on the cross in our place of judgment.
It truly is beyond words that the perfect God of heaven did whatever was necessary so that we could have peace with Him for all eternity, despite our sin.
Col 1:19-23 "For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach — 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
Because God is fully satisfied by His Son’s sacrifice, we now have peace with God forever, as believers.
1 John 4:10 "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
The believer in Christ now has peace with God!
The Invisible Results of Saving Faith: The believer in Christ has been Justified. Acts 13:38-39, Rom 3:21-4:8, 5:1, Gal 2:11-21, 3:23-26, Tit 3:4-8
Acts 13:38-39 "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses."
To be "justified" is a judicial decision by the Supreme Court of Heaven. And God the Father has not only declared us innocent through faith in Christ, but He has also given us the very righteousness of Jesus Christ as a gift!
Rom 3:21-4:8 "But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. 8 "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT." (quote from David in Psa 32)
The basic message is that God does NOT justify man based on his works, but He justifies the ungodly through faith in Christ, AND He even credits that man with Christ's perfect righteousness. 2Co 5:21
The one who STOPS trying to be saved by his works can be justified by faith in Christ!
Again, God's grace is truly beyond words. Why does He act as our Best Friend, and treat us with such kindness and gentleness?!!
His love is supernatural, perfect, full, and unfailing.
How and why He did this for us is truly not understandable in human terms.
All we can do is relax and thank Him for His amazing grace.
Justification by faith is available to ALL men, regardless of stature or culture! And this is so important, that one time the apostle Paul had to rebuke the apostle Peter for compromising this truth, in Gal 2:11.
Gal 2:11-21 "But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
15 "We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 17 "But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 "For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 "For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."
Look again at vs. 21. The one thing we never want to do is cancel out or add to the grace of God in salvation.
Either salvation is a gift, received by faith, or its something you have to work for. It cannot be both.
Are you going to rely on yourself to save your 'self', or are you going to rely on Christ to save you?
It's a clear choice, and Jesus left no room to compromise and have both.
Remember, the Lord said 'he who saves his life will lose it, but he who loses for My sake will find it.'
A man cannot have it both ways. Who is your Savior going to be?!!
Gal 3:23-26 "But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
The Old Testament Law revealed to man that he COULDN'T keep it! The requirements of God are perfection, and man is helpless in light of that, because we are all born in sin.
Man has NO HOPE of saving himself, against God's standard of perfect righteousness.
Titus 3:4-8 "But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.
The only way man can be justified in God's eyes is by God's grace. It's His grace that even gives us the faith to believe, Eph 2.
And through the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, God was free to extend His grace to sinful mankind.
Because the blood of Christ has paid for our sins, God can now treat us in kindness, and that kindness is called "grace" in the Bible!
There we have our justification. God justifies the believer, by grace through faith.
The Invisible Results of Saving Faith: The believer in Christ has been Redeemed. Gal 3:10-14, 4:1-7, Tit 2:11-14, Heb 9:11-15, 1Pe 1:17-21
Redemption means purchasing freedom. Christ has purchased our freedom from sin and death, and delivered us to a new life, as adopted sons, and heirs of God!
First of all, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law; which was that man had to keep it ALL, PERFECTLY, if he were to satisfy God.
Just look at the 10 Commandments, and you'll see that's impossible for man to do.
We just saw that in Romans.
Gal 3:10-14 "For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE" — 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
How was Abraham saved? By faith! (Romans 4)
Even though he was the first Jew, he was saved as a Gentile before that! And that is evidence, to both Jews and Gentiles, that a man is saved by FAITH in Christ, and not by the works of the Law.
In fact, when Abraham was saved by faith the Law hadn't even come yet! It came hundreds of years later to Moses.
Gal 4:1-7 "Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God."
Christ also came to redeem us from lawlessness, not only from the curse of the Law…
Titus 2:11-14 "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."
Grace gives us a new life unto God, and grace gives us the power and freedom to LIVE in His calling for us.
As it says in Romans 1:17; the righteous man shall LIVE BY FAITH.
Christ has taken us FROM sin and brought us TO righteousness!
It is a total transformation, praise God!
The Lord has done all the work for salvation, through redemption. He has paid the price for our sins, and that price was full enough to purchase our freedom.
In the book of Hebrews, Christ's blood is seen as the FINAL sacrifice for sin. Old Testament animal sacrifices are no longer necessary, nor accepted by God. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ in John 1:29, came to be sacrificed once for all, and His blood has attained for us ETERNAL REDEMPTION.
That's why no more animal sacrifices are required to pay for sins!
Heb 9:11-15 "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Act 20:28 "Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood."
The only Person this could be referring to is the Lord Jesus Christ.
And this is just another scripture pointing to the fact that He is God in the flesh.
Death was required for payment. Blood must be shed for the remission of sins.
And thank God, through Jesus' blood we are redeemed from our transgressions.
1 Peter 1:17-21 "If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."
You and I were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; by the blood of the innocent One.
Jesus was WITHOUT sin, and yet He volunteered to be judged as though He were guilty.
How great the love God has for us. It is by this unselfish love that we can become children of God.
The Invisible Results of Saving Faith: The believer is said to be “in Christ”. Rom 8:1-4,12:3-5,16:3-10, 1Co 1:2,30,12:12-13, 2Co 5:17, Eph 2:4-10, Phil 1:1-2, Col 1:1-2, 1Pe 5:14
This means that Christ indwells him, and therefore he has an eternal position in Christ.
If you have placed your trust in Christ, you are “in Christ” forever!!
This is a POSITION you have been placed in, by God's grace.
Let’s see some scriptures that reveal this beautiful reality in the believer’s life.
Rom 8:1-4 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
Rom 12:3-5 "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another."
Rom 16:3-10 "Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5 also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus."
Then we see the baptism of the Spirit in 1Co 12, and He places all believers into one body, the body of Christ.
1 Cor 12:12-13 "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."
As a born again believer, we have been "created in Christ Jesus", ultimately to walk in the good works He has set before us.
But first, we must be placed "in Christ Jesus", by grace through faith, and not by works. Then, we are blessed and made able to perform the works He has planned for us, by grace. Eph 2:4-10
Eph 2:4-10 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."
And let’s see how Paul and Peter greeted believers as “in Christ”. It was the proper way to address someone who had saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…
1 Peter 5:14 "Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ."
Phil 1:1-2 "Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Col 1:1-2 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father."
Back to the point about spiritual truths intertwining, into one spiritual reality…
Notice “saints” are mentioned regarding those "in Christ".
"Saints" is from the same Greek root as the word "sanctified"; which means the believer in Christ is also made holy, set apart for Christ, as His own possession.
The Invisible Results of Saving Faith: The believer in Christ has been Sanctified. Acts 26:12-18, 1Co 1:2,30,6:9-11, Heb 10:10
Having believed in Christ from the heart, he has been once and for all sanctified, or set apart, for God.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series for more about this wonderful reality!