Taking & Trusting Christ
You may never have heard of Robert Sandeman but you may agree with his teaching about saving faith. He was a preacher in the 18th century who taught that the faith that justifies sinners is a faith that believes the gospel events, described in the bible, to have actually happened. He taught that if you believe that Christ lived, died and rose again then you are saved. Now undoubtedly, true saving faith does believe the historical events of the gospel. Thomas doubted that his Master had risen. The Lord appears to him and says: “be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:27) Those who deny the history of the gospel are unbelievers and not saved.
But is that all? Is faith simply a mental exercise that agrees with the truth of the biblical record? That such a question must be answered in the negative should be immediately obvious to all. The devil and his angels are orthodox in their assent to the gospel yet are not saved. Moreover, when we examine the biblical language we see that faith is described as a work of the entire soul of man. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness…” (Romans 10:10).
The various synonyms for believing in the New Testament all teach that belief is a movement of the soul in its entirety and not just our minds.
To believe is to receive Christ:
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12)
To believe is to come to Christ:
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
To believe is to eat and drink of Christ:
“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:54; cf. v40)
To believe is to follow Christ:
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
To believe is to love Christ:
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13; also Philemon v5)
This simple bible survey shows that those who are saved by faith have taken Christ, trusting their souls to His safe keeping. Their minds believe the gospel; their wills choose Christ to be theirs and their hearts are captivated with love for Him. “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) Have you taken and trusted Christ? “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
Dr Stephen Pollock.