Here you have people who have assumed faith to be the same things as a presumptuous confidence of safety in Christ They believe that they have a faith that saved them, yet without any sign that they truly have been born again anew in Christ. When self-examination has been proposed to them they have avoided it as an assault upon their assurance, and when they have been urged to try themselves by gospel test, they have defended their false peace by the notion that to raise a question about their certain salvation would be unbelief.
They have in their mind that they believed by faith when they were twelve and on that position they believe they are saved, when upon examination of their life, they have no evidence in their life to support the kind of faith that Scripture teaches, and they desire not to examine their assumed faith upon the clear teaching of Scripture..
Scripture has a faith as the index of our being born again, faith is seen in overcoming the world, faith is seen as an inward witness, faith is seen as giving us eternal life.
THE QUESTION IS: WHAT KIND OF FAITH IS REQUIRED? WHAT KIND OF BELIEVING IS NECESSARY FOR ONE TO BE TRULY BORN AGAIN?
In Scripture, is the Bible clear with the message of how a person truly comes to be a BORN AGAIN person in Christ, and clearly shows what will be the result of one who does put their belief and faith in Christ as Saviour?
The verse is very clear: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God." "Every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him."We will note three things here:
- 1 The believing which is here intended:
- 2 How it is a sure proof of regeneration.
- 3 Christian love is the result of this believing.
1A WHAT IS THE BELIEVING EXPECTED IN THE TEXT?
Mark 1:15, note that Jesus is saying: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, ye, and believe the gospel."
Peter is exhorting men to repent and believe the gospel. To have men to exercise a faith which will save them. Some think this verse is not talking about saving faith. But it’s not.
When Christ told His disciples go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and added, "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,." the faith which was to be preached was evidently none other than a saving faith. And it is impractical to say otherwise.
"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD." The belief, the faith, that Christ speaks of here is a belief that will bring about salvation that is of God.
IT’S THE DUTY OF EVERY MAN TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST
Note in this verse: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. It is man’s duty to believe the truth, that Jesus is the Christ is the truth, and it is the duty of every man to believe it. The gospel commands this. "This is the commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ"
My understanding here of "believing," in this verse, is the duty of man to have confidence in Christ.
The gospel command,
- "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved," is addressed by Christ’s authority to every creature, it is the duty of every man so to do.
John said, "This is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and Christ assured us, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God."
Here is the tension in this doctrine:
Some will point out, it’s impossible for all men to believe. They say that man has not the spiritual ability to believe in Jesus. There is a difference between one’s duty and his spiritual ability to believe. "There are many things which men ought to do which they have now lost the moral and spiritual, though not the physical, power to do.
A man ought to be pure, but if he has been so long immoral that he cannot restrain his passion, he is not thereby free from the obligation. It’s true that every man ought to believe that which is true, but if his mind has become so depraved that he loves a lie and will not receive the truth, is he thereby excused?
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant