So we come back to our thought, of what is saving faith, what is the kind of faith that is required for a person to be born of God.
John 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
- " But now our evangelist observes, let a man be ever so great, or good, or eminent, for gifts and grace, he cannot communicate grace to another, or to whom he will; none are born again of any such will: but of God; of God, the Father of Christ, who begets to a lively hope; and of the Son, who quickens whom he will; and of the grace of the Spirit, to whom regeneration is generally ascribed." John Gill
Were born--of God; changed, by His Holy Spirit, from supreme love of self and sin to supreme love of God and holiness. No man inherits this holy character by nature, nor can it be given to him by man. It is the gift of God alone. The change in men called being "born again," by which they become children of God, is produced not by men, but by God, and to him will for ever be all the glory.
How clear can it be, that a man can not "be born again" by his own nature. And to be born again, one must have faith in Christ as Savior, prophet, priest and king. That is just not going to happen in a person who has not been born again by the supernatural work of grace in him by the Holy Spirit. Charles Whisnant (There are times I have a thought, you know)
Here is what happens, Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I came as a sinner. I find that whosoever trusts in Him shall be saved. I therefore trust him, and having done so, I learn
from His Word that I am the object of His special love, and that I am born of God.
Once I have been born of God, I learn from reading the Word that He died for me, a sinner. I learn that my very nature was in rebellion God. I learn how I was saved only after I have been born of God, and learn how God alone saved me by reading the Word of God, and by the indwelling Holy Spirit
I might have known that the Jesus Christ in the Bible is said to have died on the cross, and I might have known that it is said that Jesus died for the purpose of redeeming mankind from Hell. And I might know that the preacher would say, "whosoever believes that can go to heaven." And I just might believe that. And yet I learn that is not what happens when I am truly born again of God.
Thousands of people go forward in a Billy Graham crusade because they believe they have the kind of faith to believe, who have not been born again of God. They believe the"whosoever." They believe that Jesus died, but they have not been born again of God. How can you say they have not been born again.?
- When I first was introduced to Christ when I had just turned seven I had no personal knowledge of any personal and special interest in the blood of Jesus. It was only as I was told that the Bible said it. "God hath set Him forth to be a propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world." Which I didn’t understand for years anyway. Williamsroad Baptist Church, Roanoke Virginia . Everette T. Whisnant, Pastor 1954.
But what I did, I came to trust myself to that which I was told that Jesus did for me. I said, if Jesus did that for me, I will totally trust what Jesus did. I believed with all my soul Jesus saved me. I really believed that I had nothing to do with it. I knew I didn’t know anything in the first place, and if I were saved, Jesus had to do it. I trusted Him, I just said, Jesus you saved me, I will trust you, and read your Word, and will try to live by what you desire me to do. And I have over the last fifty two years.
2 Corinthians 13:5 Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate. Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith, So we need to understand that it’s not just human faith, it has to be a faith that is a gift from God.
To examine the state of their own souls, and see whether they were in the faith; either in the doctrine of faith, having a spiritual and experimental knowledge of it, true love and affection for it, a healthy belief of it, having felt the power of it upon their souls, and abode in it. This is proof positive of saving faith.
Paul is addressing this issue: "ye stand in the faith", firm and stable; or in the grace of faith, either of miracles, or that which is connected with salvation. Which, if they were in it, and had it, is attended with good works. It operates by love to Christ and to his people; by which souls go out of themselves to Christ, live upon him, receive from him, and give him all the glory of salvation. If this is the case, they desire to know how they came by their faith; and suggests, that their light in the doctrine of the Gospel, and their faith in Christ Jesus, as well as the miraculous gifts many of them were possessed of, were through his ministry as the means.
This was a full proof of Christ's speaking in him:
Faith does that: Proof positive saving faith will totally rely on God’s Word as our source of confidence. Faith takes the things of Christ and makes them our own. To believe in Jesus is but to glance the eye of faith to Him, and trust Him with your soul. "If I may touch the hem of His garment I shall be made whole." she said. She took no medicines, made no profession, she performed no ceremonies, she simply just touched the fraying of the Saviour’s robe and she was healed at once. Thus, when our faith gets into contact with Christ by simply trusting Him, though that trust be ever so feeble, in my case, my faith was so little of knowledge, you have the faith of God’s elect. You have the faith which is in every case the proof of the new birth.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Checked by wife of 37 years Charity Whisnant