Local Radio Station WKAC 1080 AM 7:50 AM Monday - Friday With Scott Richardson
Welcome To The Jackson Drive Church Of Christ Website!
Listen to the Jackson Drive internet radio station 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Click the play button below to listen. Christians at Jackson Drive is on Mixlr
Schedule Of Services:
Jackson Drive's Address:
June 5, 2016
Scripture is clear—we are saved by faith and cannot be saved without it. If you are reading this, most likely you already believe and understand the necessity of faith. However, in the religious world, there is great disagreement and misunderstanding of what constitutes true, saving faith as defined by God’s word.
Some are of the opinion that having faith means the abandonment of reason—the blind acceptance of that for which there appears to be no reasonable basis. This is why religion is so often ridiculed by skeptics. They think of believers as superstitious, ignorant, and simple-minded. There are even those who are “religious” people and seem to think that faith is accepting things which have no reason or evidence. They go so far as to teach that faith is something received miraculously when the Spirit opens your heart, and that, in fact, no one can even understand the Bible until the Holy Spirit has come upon him in some miraculous and mystical way. Further confusion results in the minds of many because they will hear one preacher say that saving faith consists merely of belief or mental assent in Jesus as Christ and Savior.
What Is Bible Faith?
The Bible states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Do we see “blind leap” or “I sure hope so” anywhere in this Biblical definition [or anywhere else in the Bible, for that matter]? No, but we see the words “assurance” and “conviction.” Faith is the assurance of that which is to come. Therefore, it must have its basis on that which is reasonable and factual rather than on superstition, human feeling, or a “blind leap.”
Then, What Does Characterize True Faith?
Not only do we have the above noted inspired definition, but the Lord also supplied us with a number of marks or characteristics that are illustrative of true, Biblically defined faith.
Trust—In Hebrews 11:8-10 we read that Abraham left his home and his father's people. “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” He was not anxious about what the outcome of his sojourn would be because he had faith in God, and trusted God to lead him to a better land and to be with him wherever he went.
Also, in Hebrews 11:17, we are told that Abraham “when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten.” Though Isaac was Abraham's son of promise, Abraham did not hesitate to obey the Lord. He knew that if need be, God could raise Isaac from the dead. “He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type” (Hebrews 11:19).
Hope—What caused Abraham to have such unreserved trust in God? One factor was the hope that Abraham had for the promises God had made to him. Look again to Hebrews 11:9-10—“By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise … for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Through desire for a better country Abraham was given much of the strength and courage he needed to remain faithful.
Based in Fact— As already pointed out, true faith must be based on fact rather than wishful thinking or changeable human opinions or emotions. Many religious people seem to be very trusting and hopeful that they will be saved. Sadly, they do not have a saving faith because their trust is misplaced and their hope is unfounded. For example, some put trust in their parent's religion no matter what they find the Bible to say. Others put trust in promises God has not made: God never promised to save someone by "praying through" at during an “altar call,” but so many put trust in the idea that God will save them that way; thousands are hoping for a 1,000 year reign upon earth with Christ as a physical king; some are looking for everlasting life on this earth. The Bible does not promise any of these things. So then, those who trust in these doctrines of men and who have hope for things not promised in God's word do not have their faith established on a factual basis.
Obedience—This is an essential element of Bible faith. Read through the cases listed in Hebrews 11 of these great men and women of faith. There is not one instance of a lack of obedience. They were commended because of what they did by faith. Their faith moved them to obedience. In spite of this plain observation from God’s own word, many today preach that obedience is not necessary to a saving faith. They try their best to illogically and without basis in fact claim that God would like for men to be obedient, but that obedience comes after you are already saved. Do not be deceived! In order to become a Christian you must act upon your faith in obedience to God's plan of salvation. “But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works’” (James 2:18). “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24).
Many also seem to forget that obedience is continual. Once one has answered God’s call and had sins washed away in baptism by the blood of Christ, obedience has to be ongoing. If one as true faith, there is an ever-present growth (2Peter 3:18), there is walking in good works (Ephesians 2:10), there is a life to live in service to God (Romans 12:1), there is life of sacrifice (Luke 9:23), and the list goes on.
Do you have enough trust and faith in God's will to obey what he says regardless of what it may be? If so, then you can say you have a saving faith. Many do not have the faith it takes to obey simple commands, but reject them, believing they can be saved by faith alone or grace alone or that they can live their life as they please. What about you? Do you have a trusting faith, a faith based on scriptural facts, an obedient faith?
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.