by Rev. Robert L. Brush

Salvation by Faith, Part 2

Salvation is available now through faith. We have looked at the degrees of faith and have defined the faith which brings salvation.

II. The Results of Faith

A. We are saved from sin. The angels proclaimed, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from [not in] their sins" (Matt 1:21).
  1. We are saved from the guilt of all past sin. All have sinned and all stand guilty before God. Since the law reveals our sin, we cannot expect to be saved from this guilt by keeping the law. The scriptures declare that by fulfilling the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified (Rom 3:20). The righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ is given to all who believe (v 22). God has set forth Jesus Christ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood to declare His righteousness by the remission of the sins that are past (v 25).

    Nowhere in scripture do we find a promise that God forgives sins not yet committed. The idea that God forgives, past, present, and future sins in one sweep of His hand is a cunningly devised fable from the evil one. There is there-fore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1).

  2. We are saved from fear of punishment. While we still reverence God and keep His commandments lest we grieve or offend Him, we are saved from fear that has torment (1 John 4:18). We are delivered from the fear of punishment, the fear of God's wrath, and the fear of meeting Him at the judgment. This confidence is not based upon our presumption, but upon the assurance given by God to a penitent that his sins are forgiven. We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God (Rom 8:15-16). We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise which is the guarantee of our inheritance (Eph 1:13-14). Therefore we are saved from the fear, even though not the possibility, of falling since we have the promise that no temptation shall come without God making a 10:13). We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which is given us (Rom 5:5). Therefore, we are persuaded that neither death nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39).

  3. We are saved from the power of sin. In the preliminary stages of faith we find ourselves fighting but often conquered by sin. This struggle is described in Romans 7. But the faith that saves makes us an overcomer. John declared that Christ was manifested to take away our sins and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning (1 John 3:5-6). "Little children, let no man deceive you…. He that committeth sin is of the devil …. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" (1 John 3:7-9). "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not: but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not" (1 John 5:18).

    1. He that is born of God does not sin habitually. Habitual sin is sin reigning, yet sin cannot reign in anyone who believes. Those who are under this saving grace no longer have sin as their master (Rom 6:14).

    2. He that is born of God does not sin wilfully. While we abide in faith our will is utterly opposed to sin and we hate it. It is the double minded person, who maintains a profession of faith while desiring sin, who is unstable in all his ways. The true believer desires the whole will of God for his life and stifles all tendencies to unholy desires.

    3. He that is born of God does not sin through ignorance or infirmity because such thoughts, words, and deeds do not spring from his will. Since they are not deliberate choices to rebel against the law of God, they are not properly sins.

B. We are born again.

This great salvation is a salvation from sin. In a word this salvation from the guilt and punishment of sin is expressed as justification. He who is thus justified is indeed born again. He is born of the Spirit unto a new life in Christ. He is a new creation. Old things have passed away; all things have become new (1 Cor 5:17). As a new born babe we gladly receive the sincere milk of the Word and grow in the might of the Lord from faith to faith and from grace to grace until we become mature, attaining the full measure of the perfection found in Christ (1 Peter 2:2; Rom 1:17; John 1:16; Eph 4:13).

The faith that saves is never void of good works. James explains that faith without good works is dead (2:19-26). As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead. While no amount of good works can save your soul, the faith which saves produces a life of godliness. Salvation is not based upon our good works, but rather it is the result of God at work within us. The preaching of the law alone will never save people. In fact, it will drive them to despair. But salvation by faith will produce an earnest desire to keep the law and the grace of God will enable us to do so.