Gospel Threads – Part 5 of 6By Cory Varden
So far we’ve looked at the character of God, the sinfulness of man, and the sufficiency of Christ. Gospel thread number four is the necessity of faith. We are reconciled to God only through faith in Jesus.
It’s one thing to know the truths mentioned in the previous post regarding Jesus. It’s an entirely different thing for those truths to be appropriated in our lives resulting in salvation. After all, the demons know the truth (James 2:19). So how are the truths of the gospel appropriated in our lives? How to do they become a reality in our hearts? How do they transform us?
Paul tells us it’s all by faith. Romans 1:17 is one of the thematic statements for the book of Romans. Paul says, “…for in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith”, What does that mean? It means that the gospel is apprehended only, altogether, and completely by faith. “As it is written: ‘The righteous shall live by faith’” (Rom. 1:17).
The theme of faith is dominant in Romans and throughout Scripture. But we’ve got to be clear on what faith means, for just as mentioning God in our culture today brings up all kinds of unbiblical ideas about who He is, so faith is often understood in ways that are foreign to God’s Word. We can’t assume anything, not even in the church. So what is faith?
Simply put, it’s a turning from sin, and a turning to Christ. Jesus Christ becomes our life. This is what saving faith is. So to weave together the threads we’ve looked at thus far: When you see the character of God and the sinfulness of man and the sufficiency of Christ, you must respond by turning from your sin and putting your trust in Christ. In Christ alone we find forgiveness and eternal life.
This understanding of faith means trusting in Jesus as Lord. The dominant title for Jesus in the book of Acts and the book of Romans is Lord. He’s supreme. He’s worthy. Worthy of our entire life, worthy of all our submission. He is Lord.
As we submit to Jesus as Lord, we also trust in Him as our Savior (Rom. 4:25, Rom. 10:9). Romans 10:13 says it this way: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be,” what? “Saved.” Jesus rescues us. He saves us. We trust in Him as Lord and Savior.
Do you know this kind of faith? Have you ever run to the feet of Christ and fallen on your face before Him absolutely helpless, absolutely hopeless, and cried out for Him to save you? This kind of faith is not simply for getting out of the line going to hell and getting into the line going to heaven. This is crying out for God to save you and surrendering to Jesus as the Lord of everything in your life. It is saying to God with abandon, “I need you for every breath I breathe. I need you for every good thing in me. I need to be saved from myself.”
As we begin to sew the gospel threads, we must help people see the necessity of this kind of faith.