Grace Protestant Reformed Church

True Saving Faith

Date: AM
Text: Acts 5; Lord's Day 7
Psalters: 50, 339, 60, 392
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2015-16)
  1. Faith’s Power
    1. The Bible teaches that the Mediator died only for the elect who are gathered from all over the world.
      1. The Bible rejects universalism: that God loves every man and that Jesus died for everyone.
      2. The Bible teaches limited or definite atonement: Jesus died only for His people (Matt. 1:21 John 6:37-40; 10:14,15,26).
    2. Because salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8,9), salvation is impossible without faith.
    3. Faith is the means God has chosen for salvation.
      1. Faith is a gift of God through the Spirit (Eph. 2:8; Acts 5:31; 18:27; Phil. 1:29).
      2. Thus Scripture speaks of faith as a graft: connected and a living connection.
      3. Only the grafted ones are saved, not all who fell in Adam!
  2. True saving faith is an ability (active) - faith without works is dead (James 2:17,20,26).
    1. First, faith is the knowledge of what God has revealed in His Word, centrally that Jesus is God.
      1. Faith is not sight, i.e., “seeing is believing” (II Cor. 5:7; Romans 8:24,25; Heb. 11:1), nor “a leap” into the unknown.
      2. Central to the Scriptures is the revelation that Jesus is God and that He is the only Savior.
    2. Second, faith expresses itself by resting on or trusting in Christ and His wisdom and care.
      1. Faith knows that God is trustworthy, so we have confidence that He will always be there for us.
      2. Learn and keep learning about our God and of the Christ from His Word.  Then we are persuaded!
  3. Bound together with Christ, Christians are assured of their salvation.
    1. What believers know makes them confident and sure.
    2. The activity of faith is like anything living, namely, it should be developing, but sometimes is wanes.
    3. Our assurance usually corresponds to the activity of faith.