Yesterday I said I would deal with the matter of how a Christian can be assured of their salvation by "faith alone."
A believer's "belief" emphasizes that God requires faith from anyone who would please Him. Hence, our Daily Verse. Anyone who would seek to come to God has to believe that He is and He rewards those who hunger after Him. Where does that faith come from? There are two basic passages that make that clear: 1 - Romans 10:17, "Faith comes by hearing; hearing the word of God." 2 - Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of your own, it is a gift from God." The "faith" is not your own. God gives you faith to believe. I felt that, when I got saved. When I heard the preacher's invitation I knew I needed Christ. Having listened to that urging from the Holy Spirit I knew I could believe in Christ. That also came from God.
Now, my point yesterday was that far too many Christians are "scared into thinking that if they don't live dedicated lives of discipleship to Jesus Christ then they are probably unsaved," or, they better "shape up" and "get right with God" lest they come before God and hear, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" So they live going from "one salvation experience" after another. When asked if they "accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior?" they will likely say, "Oh yes! Dozens of times!" But even then they will be unsure of their faith.
What's the problem? These scared believers think that if good works didn't save them, then good works keep them saved! They couldn't do good works to get saved, but they are made to feel that they better "work hard at doing good works to show their salvation is genuine!" Work hard? Where does that come from? A Christian who is a true believer has the presence of God the Holy Spirit in their lives. It is He who lives out Christ's life in the believer. The believer doesn't have to "work hard" for that to happen. It comes as natural as breathing and walking come to any human being. It's part of their nature. Good works are part of the nature of a believer. But good works are not the basis of a believer's assurance. Their faith is!
What does God say? John 3:18, "He who believes in Me is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." What is the crucial point? BELIEF! Where in John 3:16 or 3:18 is good works mentioned? If you have trouble answering that I've got a 9 year old boy named, Seth, who can help you! When he read John 3:16 he saw "believe on Him" and he knew exactly what God wanted from him to be saved. He believed. He is saved!