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The Nature of Saving Faith: It’s Basis (from today’s Christian Soul Food)

I posted this on the CSF devotional list, but figured I’d share here as well.

From Arthur Pink’s book “Studies in Saving Faith” – chapter 13, he writes:

Having before us the twofold objective named above, let us ask the question, Is a simple faith in Christ sufficient to save a soul for time and eternity? At the risk of some readers turning away from this article and refusing to read further, we unhesitatingly answer, No, it is not. The Lord Jesus Himself declared, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance is just as essential to salvation as is believing. Again, we read that,

“wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).
A “simple faith” which remains alone, a faith which does not purify the heart (Acts 15:9), work by love (Galatians 5:6), and overcome the world (1 John 5:4), will save nobody.

Much confusion has been caused in many quarters through failure to define clearly what it is from which the sinner needs saving. Only too often the thought of many minds is restricted to Hell. But that is a very inadequate conception, and often proves most misleading. The only thing which can ever take any creature to Hell is unrepented and unforgiven sin. Now on the very first page of the N.T. the Holy Spirit has particularly recorded it that, the incarnate Son of God was named “Jesus” because “he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Why is it that that which God has placed at the forefront is relegated to the rear by most of modern evangelists? To ask a person if he has been saved from Hell is much more ambiguous than to inquire if he has been saved from his sins.

Let us attempt to enlarge on this a little, for thousands of professing Christians in these days have but the vaguest idea of what it means to be saved from sin.

Have You Prayed the Sinner’s Prayer Before ?

Did you pray the sinner’s prayer before ?

Here’s why I ask…

No doubt, if you’ve been to church at least once in your life, you’ve heard something along the lines of ‘believe that you’re a sinner and Jesus died for you and ask Him to come into your life and save you.’ You were no doubt, given a scripted prayer that went along those same lines and told to ‘say it and really mean it’.

Immediately afterward (sometimes before the prayer), you may have been presented with the opportunity ‘come down the aisle’ or ‘come to the altar’ and make this a public declaration.

You were probably told that these two things (or any one of them by themselves) may have made you a Christian.

Sometimes, this presentation may have been given to us as children or at very young ages.

I have a few questions to ask you.