Saving Faith By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. The word "faith" is a New Testament word. It is found 231
times in the King James translation, and occurs only twice in
the Old Testament.
B. The words "believe, believing, believeth, belief" occur 179
times in the King James translation--21 times in the Old
Testament and 158 times in the New Testament.
C. The importance of faith.
1. Faith saves (Heb. 11:6; John 3:16; John 3:36; Eph. 2:8).
II. How Does Faith Come?
A. Some say faith comes by direct, immediate operation of the
Holy Spirit, separate from the Bible, in an incomprehensible
B. The New Testament tells us faith is the result of knowledge.
1. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word
of God" (Rom 10:17 KJV). The American Standard translates
the verse, "So then belief cometh by hearing . . . ."
"Belief" and "faith" are interchangeable in Bible usage.
2. "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which
shall believe on me through their word" (John 17:20 KJV).
3. "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up,
and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a
good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles
by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and
believe" (Acts 15:7 KJV).
4. "Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were
baptized" (Acts 18:8 KJV).
5. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall
be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they
have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of
whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without
a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be
sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them
that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of
good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel.
For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?"
(Rom. 10:13-16 KJV).
Note: You cannot call on God without believing in God.
Note: You cannot believe in God without hearing, i.e.,
Note: You cannot hear without a preacher.
Note: They cannot preach except they be sent.
Note: "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to
save them that believe" (1 Cor.1:21).
C. Faith therefore is not a leap in the dark. It comes from
knowing facts and having considered evidence.
III. What is Saving Faith?
1. All faith is saving faith.
2. The New Testament speaks of different kinds of faith.
There is a faith that will save, and there is a faith
that will not save.
Note: Many Jewish rulers believed on Jesus but would
not confess him because they feared the Pharisees and
being put out of the synagogue (John 12:42-43).
Note: Demons believe and shudder, but demons will not
be saved (James 2:19).
B. Saving faith is conviction based on facts and manifested by
1. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1 KJV)--The
American Standard says, "Now faith is assurance of
things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen."
Note: Saving faith is substance, evidence, conviction,
assurance. We must not believe because of
convenience and prejudice. Faith is conviction
based on evidence. The word translated
"evidence" or "conviction" in Hebrews 11:1 means
"reproof," denoting a proof, proving, test (See
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament
2. At Pentecost the people were presented with proof that
Jesus is Lord, and were then told to believe it
absolutely. "Let all the house of Israel therefore know
assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom ye crucified" (Acts 2:36).
Note: Faith does not end with sight!
Note: Paul saw the risen Jesus and said, "That I may
know him, and the power of his resurrection"
(Phil. 3:10). "I know him whom I have believed"
(2 Tim. 1:12).
Note: Paul had knowledge born of sight, but he believed
on Jesus. "That life which I now live in the flesh
I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of
God" (Gal. 2:20).
3. Saving faith illustrated in Hebrews chapter eleven.
Note: Abel "offered" (v. 4); Noah "moved with Godly
fear" (v. 7); Abraham "obeyed" (v. 8); The walls of
Jericho after them were "compassed about seven days"
Note: In the Bible, no person was ever blessed because
of his faith until that faith manifested itself
in an overt act of obedience.
4. James 2:14-26 defines the faith principle as inclusive
of obedience to God -- works of righteousness.
Note: Faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
Note: Cannot show faith apart from works (James 2:18).
Note: Demons believe and shudder (James 2:19).
Note: Faith without works is barren (James 2:20).
Note: Abraham was justified by faith because of what he
did (offered Isaac upon the altar) (James 2:21).
Note: Abraham's faith produced works and works made his
faith perfect (complete) (James 2:22).
Note: We are not justified by faith only (James 2:24).
Note: Faith without works is as dead and useless as a
body without a spirit (James 2:26).
D. Saving faith must do something (obey). The faith that makes
us acceptable to God is a conviction that grows out of
knowledge and that compels absolute obedience to rules,
principles, and standards.
1. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark
16:16; See also Gal. 3:26-27).
2. Be faithful at all cost, even death, and receive a crown