FAITH TO BELIEVE WHAT?
FAITH! What is saving faith and where does it come from? I am not talking about the faith that is in every man by nature, the kind of faith that has led and continues to lead millions to place their trust in false gods. I am not talking about the kind of faith that cannot justify, the kind of faith that cannot save, but only serves to reveal and confirm the condemned and accursed state every man is in by nature. The faith I am talking about is the faith. That faith which is NOT in ANY man by nature. That faith which leads a man to trust only in the true God, Who He is and what He has done, for salvation. That faith which does not place its trust in false doctrines or even a mixture of false doctrines and true. I am talking about the faith which does justify, the kind of faith which converts a man from the condemned and accursed state into a right relationship with the true God. The only kind of faith that savingly believes the only Gospel there is that reveals the righteousness of Christ. I am talking about the faith that comes exclusively from God!
Faith is a wonderful thing—ONLY if it is the faith that God gives, which is the only one that believes the doctrine of Christ and no other. For any other faith, the kind of faith that every man can only believe with by nature, is a hopeless faith, a deadly faith, for it has never led any man to savingly trust in the true Savior but holds a man in a vice-like grip and deceives him into thinking it has! The evidence of this is plain for all to see in the pages of Holy Scripture. The Lord says that, by nature, "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God" (Rom. 3:11 cf. Psa. 53:1-3). The faith that is of man, which is inherent in every man, cannot understand God and therefore cannot be that which can lead a man to seek the true God. Man is dead in sin and dead to God, and the faith that is of man is equally as dead to God as he is. Therefore it stands to biblical reason that if there are none who understand or seek after the true God, there can be none who know God or have any way of knowing Him with the dead-to-God faith that is in every man by nature. According to God’s declaration, despite man’s enormous love of religion, there is no man who even seeks the true God, for the faith that does not justify a man can never lead him to the true Savior. None by nature understand God, so it stands to reason that none by nature can understand God. None by nature seek God, therefore it stands to reason that none by nature can seek God. None by nature believe in God, therefore it stands to reason that none by nature can believe in God. Such is the dilemma of the dead man with a dead faith. No one with the faith that is of man can be motivated to understand, seek or believe in the true God. No man, in and of himself, can in any way come to the true God, or even want to, for the faith he has by nature, that thing which is slave to his warped ideas of Who God is and what He has done, can never lead him to savingly believe in the true God. It always leads him away from the true God .
The most succinct study of what faith is may be seen in Hebrews 11 and verse 1 which says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." False faith present always means true Gospel absent. False faith can never be said to be the evidence that the true Gospel is believed, but only ever the opposite. No man can be said to have been visited by the grace of God whose faith belies an ignorance or unbelief of the Gospel of God. Faith is the evidence that shows just which God/god a man believes and places his trust in. Faith is the link between a man and his God/god. It is the umbilical cord, if you will, by which a man is attached to, and receives his nourishment from, the God/god of his life. One can tell a lot about a man by what he believes and it is of a certainty that what a man believes will show who that man believes in, and in turn the origin of his faith. Faith enables us to act as if that which we have faith in is real. Without faith in something, we simply do not and cannot believe it. We believe that which we believe because we believe it to be true. But it must be pointed out that simply because a person believes a thing to be true does not automatically mean that it is true. No matter how convinced a person may appear, this is no sure and trustworthy evidence that what the person believes is true. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12). What must also be pointed out is that which we believe not, which we do not have faith towards, is that which we do not believe to be true. If a man does not have the faith which comes from God he will continue to reject the truth of God, can only believe a mixture of truth and lies about God, and therefore cannot be saved. The man who believes in a false god cannot and does not believe in the true God. The man whose faith is in a false gospel cannot and does not have faith in the true God. THE TRUE GOD HAS NEVER REVEALED HIMSELF THROUGH THE LIES OF A FALSE GOSPEL. This would be like trying to tell a person what you look like by showing them a photograph of me! A person can only believe in one god/God at the one time, just as a person can only have one faith at any one time. With his home-grown faith, man does not believe in the true God but rather is in perpetual denial of him. Without the faith that comes from God, given by God out of love and grace, a man can only rebel against the true God and believe only in false gods. The faith that we all have by nature not only shows who or what we believe in but also who or what we do not believe in. You cannot simultaneously believe in a false god and the true God, just as you cannot have been saved whilst believing in a false gospel. You cannot believe in the true God with a false faith. How can anyone be said to have justifying faith who believes with a false faith in a false gospel which reveals a false god? False faith, revealed by its belief of false doctrines, is always connected with false gospels and false gods, just as one will always find "...another jesus..." and "...another spirit..." associated with "...another gospel..." (2 Cor. 11:4). True saving faith which comes from God can only believe in the true Gospel which reveals the true God. One is either for one and against the other, approving of one and disapproving of the other. One either has the faith that leads a man to abide in the doctrine of Christ or a faith that leads a man to abide in doctrines other than those of Christ.
True faith, the faith which God gives, means "...reality, substance, existence, in contradistinction from that which is unreal, imaginary or deceptive". However, false faith can make that which really does not exist seem to be as real as reality itself. "A belief in the veracity of another leads us to act as if this were so. As long as the faith continues, whether it be well-founded or not, it gives all the force of reality to that which is believed." We learn from this that faith, whether it is the faith which comes from God or that which is produced by man, is extremely powerful. It virtually shapes a man’s life. One leads a man in one direction and the other leads in the opposite direction. The question is, Which way are you headed? Which faith do you have? And most importantly, which god/God do you believe in?
Where does your particular faith come from? How are you going to find out which faith you have? Can we find out whether or not the faith we have is from God by looking at our actions? Is how good we are and how nice we are to others, or how good we feel in ourselves, the type of evidence we need to look for and/or maintain to convince ourselves that the faith we have is the one that comes from God? Hardly! The actions of a Mormon or a Buddhist can be just as kind and loving and selfless as those of a true believer, but can this alone be interpreted as evidence that they have the right faith, the justifying faith, that believes in the true God? NO! One can never rightly judge a man saved purely by his actions. How many times and in how many ways have people been deceived after judging a book by its cover! What makes the difference is what a person believes. It is not so much a matter of a person knowing more or less than another, but which God/god has revealed himself. Has the true God revealed Himself or has a charlatan been presented? Do they believe the truth or do they believe lies about God. Are they of THE faith or is the faith they have of themselves? In order to know if we have justifying faith or an unjustifying faith, a condemning faith, we need to look at what is behind the faith which we believe with and what exactly that faith believes in. Do we believe the doctrines about God that come from man or do we believe in the actual doctrine of Christ? The gravity and importance of such a question is accentuated by the following verse of Scripture: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" (2 Jn. 9). If one has the truth then one has God and if one is without the truth then one cannot have God. God has not revealed Himself to that one, for if God loves a man He reveals His truth to him and gives him the faith with which to believe it. From this we see that what a man believes is vitally important, for what a man believes reveals whether or not he has the faith that comes from God or a faith of his own making. What a man believes is a consequence of either the true God or a false god having revealed himself.
The faith that man believes with by nature can never be in, or bring a man to, the true God. This is shown clearly by the fact that man’s faith, as we shall refer to it henceforth, always looks to the man himself to do something, to fulfill a certain condition or conditions, in order to secure or maintain his salvation. This type of faith, that is held to by the unregenerate, can only provide a semblance of assurance of ‘salvation’. Man’s faith has never led him to repent of ever having trusted and believed in the lie that he can do something to get or stay ‘saved', or of ever believing that he was not saved whilst believing doctrinal errors which make up false gospels. Man’s faith has never led him to completely throw himself upon the mercy, grace and love of God or to trust completely in Who the Savior is and what the Savior alone has done in order to procure and sustain salvation for His people. Even in many who claim to hold to the doctrines of grace, man’s faith has never led them to turn their back on the lie which says that a man can be saved in ignorance of the very doctrines that make up the Gospel of God, the very doctrines that the faith of God was sent to believe, THE VERY DOCTRINES THAT GOD USES TO REVEAL HIMSELF BY AND THAT A MAN MUST BELIEVE IN ORDER TO BE JUST BEFORE GOD! The principal factor, the indicative and essential nature, of true saving faith that comes from God is that it not only believes God’s Gospel but also does not believe that a man was or can be saved before the hearing of the Gospel of God. Justifying God-given Faith comes no other way but by hearing the God-Authored Gospel.
Saving, justifying, faith ALWAYS and ONLY believes in the Gospel of God. How could it believe in anything else? Can you honestly envision in your mind God justifying a man who has a faith of his own which does not believe in what God has said about His Son, but is instead partial to the lies man has concocted about God’s Son? How utterly pathetic is the lame claim made by those hirelings, who go by the name ‘pastor’ and ‘minister’ and ‘reverend’, who assure their followers with a nice soft pat on the head that they were saved or are saved regardless of how much they don’t know. The purpose for which faith is given by God is that His Gospel, His truth, be believed and that all erroneous concepts of it be expelled forever! The whole reason behind God having sent a Savior into the world is that man, left to his own resources, could never save himself. So too, the reason behind saving, justifying faith being something that has to be given to a man by God in order for him to believe in the Gospel of God, is that man, left to his own faith which he has by nature, could never be saved, for with such a faith man could never believe God’s Gospel and repent of all others, he could never be converted. Only God’s faith justifies, only God’s faith believes the true Gospel therefore only God’s faith makes a man free. The Lord Jesus says, "...the TRUTH shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). He never once said, ‘Ignorance of the truth shall make you free', or ‘You shall be made free without the truth', or ‘You shall be made free long before you believe the truth'. No, Christ said a man will be made free only by the truth, by his belief of the truth via the faith of God sent to grant him the discernment necessary to recognize and abide in the truth. Do you think that God is going to give any of His elect a faith that will not believe in Him, a faith that believes in a false god, a faith that cannot discern between false gospels and the true, and then call that faith justifying faith? How could God maintain His Holiness and Justice if He were to place false faith on a par with true faith; if He did not make a distinction between the two and the results of believing with one or the other as different as black and white? God is not going to lead you to believe a lie about Him and then save you based on your belief of it! God cannot reveal Himself through a lie but only through the truth. Therefore no one can be saved by faith in a lie but only by belief in the truth of God. It is the exclusive domain of the truth as revealed in the Gospel of God, to reveal God. This is why the true God can never be revealed, and never be believed in, through falsehood.
God sent His Son as Savior for no man can save himself, and not even a professing Christian believes that one can be saved without the Savior. God sends His faith because no man can save himself by his own faith, a faith that is of him, which springs from within and is not given from without. No man is his own savior and no man can be saved by his own faith produced by his sinful nature. Everything that has to do with salvation is given by God: Love, Grace, the Savior, Repentance and Faith. All these must come from God, for salvation is an operation of God’s. No man can save himself (see Matt. 19:25,26). Therefore nothing within man can prompt him to receive and follow and believe in the true God. Anything about a saved man that is alive TO God has been made alive BY God! You cannot have faith that is alive to God but that believes in lies about God. You cannot have faith that is alive to God but that is not alive to the Gospel of God and dead to the lies about God which appear only in false gospels and in which only false faith can believe. Scripture says a man is born again "...not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:13). Just as no man is born again by his own will, no man can be born again by his own faith. It is only by God’s will that a man is saved; it is only by God’s faith that a man can be saved. The Lord Jesus says, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him....And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto Me" (Jn. 6:44,45). Only when a man has heard and learned of the Father can he come to the true Savior, Jesus Christ. How could anyone possibly come to the true God before hearing of Him and being taught by Him? How can faith in a false gospel ever justifiably be used, or interpreted, as proof that one has been taught, or heard and learned of the Father? Notice that man’s coming is not according to his choice, but exclusively that of the Father’s. God draws a man to him by His love, His grace, His faith. Man’s inability to come to the true God, in and of himself, proves conclusively that there is nothing intrinsic in him, nothing to which God can appeal to that can prompt man to choose, or even recognize, the true God for he is constantly and consistently being fooled into recognizing false gods as the true God and false gospels as the true Gospel.
The faith that every man has in his natural fallen state is not that faith which justifies a man before God, and it is this faith, inherent in every man, which cannot savingly believe the Gospel of the true God. The principal evidence for this, which makes it absolute truth, is the fact that justifying faith must be given to a man by God and as a gift of God based on the grace of God. The grace of God made the Gospel of God possible, and only the faith of God can believe it. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8,9). Neither grace or faith are as a result of the works or efforts made by man to obey God but they are both gifts, undeserved gifts, which come only from God. They are granted, not based on a man’s works, but on the love, will and purpose of God. Man cannot achieve saving faith, he cannot climb a ladder to it, but is stuck with a faith that cannot save him. Lost man cannot see his problem—a dead faith—but happily goes on, convinced that his lack of aversion to things religious means that he is at least heading in the right direction. Saving faith is that which God gives and no man has it before it is given to him by God, therefore no man can believe God’s Gospel before he receives that Godly faith. Just as no man can be saved without the grace of God, no man can be saved without the faith of God which believes only the Gospel of God. No man can, therefore, believe in the Gospel before he is given the only faith which can savingly and eternally believe it. Consequently, no man can be saved before he believes the Gospel of God by the faith which comes from God. Man needs to be justified. There is no justification without the faith of God, so how can there be salvation without that justifying faith whose principal identifying feature is that it only believes God’s Gospel? Anyone who says that they or someone else is saved is saying that they are justified, that they have been personally justified by God. A person, and it matters not who they are or what their reputation is, who says one can be saved before or without the justifying gift of faith that believes in the only Gospel that reveals the true God, loses any and all credibility they might have had as a teacher of God’s Word, and as a ‘man of God’. Believing the truth of God and having the faith which is given by God always go hand in hand. You can never have one and not the other for how can you believe the truth without the only faith which can believe it, and, how can you have the only faith which can believe the truth if that faith does not have the Gospel to believe!
Whatever a man’s interpretation of grace might be, not even a professing Christian would tell you that you can be saved without the grace of God. Everyone who claims to be Christian will tell you they were ‘saved by grace'. This is something that is easily verifiable. So with this established, we must now ask ourselves whether or not a man is saved by grace—the will of God motivated by the Love and Mercy of God—alone, or is there something attached to the grace of God, that never leaves its side, something that the gift of grace always brings with it? The simple answer is ‘yes.’ Yes there is something that always comes with grace, that grace is never without, and we see it clearly in the above verse: FAITH! A man is saved by grace through faith. They are holy siblings if you will and where one goes the other always follows. God cannot act graciously towards His elect without granting each and every one of them the gift of faith. IF THERE IS NO JUSTIFYING, GOSPEL-BELIEVING, FAITH THEN GRACE WOULD BE EMPTY. Faith is the kernel within the shell, or husk, of grace. If one is without the kernel then one cannot be in possession of the shell, and, if one is without the shell one cannot have the kernel. To have one is to ALWAYS have the other. To be without one is to NEVER have had the other. To have saving grace is to have faith in the Gospel of God and to have this justifying faith is the proof that one has been saved by grace. The grace of God, without which no man can be saved, is inextricably linked with the faith of God. It does not take a great mind to figure out that grace is not something which comes from within man but is something granted to him from without. Being saved by grace is something which obviously could not be of ourselves. So we see then that faith, spoken of in Ephesians 2, is also that which is not of ourselves. A man does not need to be told that grace is something which is not of him but of another, but he does need to be informed of the biblical fact, it needs to be made perfectly clear to him, that the faith through which a man is saved is not his own faith, not something which is of him, but something which is connected to grace and so, of necessity, must be something which is not of man but of God. A man is saved by grace through faith and neither of these two salvation essentials come from man. They are not of us but of God. They are not works but gifts. So then, if no one can be saved without grace, it stands to biblical reason that no one, and I mean no one AT ALL, can ever be saved without faith. By faith we mean belief in God’s Gospel. Saving faith is given so that a man can and will believe the truth. We see from this that believing the truth is vital to salvation. There is no salvation without the grace and faith of God. Without belief of the truth one cannot, and therefore does not, have the faith of God and without the faith of God one cannot be saved. Without a belief in the Gospel of God one would find it IMPOSSIBLE to prove that one has the faith of God, or that one has been saved by the grace of God. God justifies by grace through faith in the Gospel, not through some ignorance riddled faith in the fact that it exists, that it is, but through knowledgable faith in WHAT it is! The faith that God gives KNOWS what the Gospel is and believes what it says.
Now that we have established these truths in the mind of the reader, we approach the following question: FAITH TO BELIEVE WHAT? What does God give His faith to a person to believe? Would God ‘go to all the trouble’ to save a man by grace through faith, both of which are holy things that emanate from the love of God, if it did not matter what the man believed? Of course not. Grace is bestowed so that faith might be given so that a person will believe the truth of God. The fact that God’s faith rejects any and every gospel that is not His is just as important and relevant as the fact that God’s faith believes only God’s Gospel. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if the only way a man could believe the truth of God is if he were given the faith of God, the faith that a man has by nature could never savingly believe God’s truth? Therefore, equipped with the faith of God, how could a man still believe in a false gospel? No loving father would ever sit his child on a tricycle and point him in the direction of a busy road, so too, God would never give His faith so that a person would believe a false gospel. God’s faith believes only God’s Gospel and so God’s people, ALL God’s people, believe only God’s Gospel from the moment of their birth into God’s Kingdom. How can we say this? Because the Scriptures say that a man is begotten of God by the Word of God: "Being born again...by the Word of God....and this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1:23,25 cf. Js. 1:18). A Christian is a person begotten of God by the Truth of God so how, it may well be asked, can a person be saved and yet not know or believe the Gospel of God? How can a person be born of the Word of the Truth of the Gospel (Col. 1:5) of God and yet not have the faith that believes in that Truth!! The faith of God gives birth to Gospel believers, not Gospel deniers. It does not leave a person in denial of the Gospel, but opens his eyes to it.
There are many gospels out there but only one true Gospel, the one that God bears record to, the only one which tells about His Son and His Righteousness. So too, there are many faiths out there but only one faith that comes from God, which believes in the only Gospel that comes from God. There is no salvation without the Gospel of God, and therefore it stands to reason that there can be no salvation without the faith that comes from God. The faith which comes from God is given in order that a man will believe only the Gospel that comes from God AND REJECT all others. It does not tolerate the presence of a false gospel, but expels it forever from the mind of the elect. Can there be salvation before or without the gift of faith, the only faith that can believe God’s only Gospel? Of course the answer to this question is an obvious and scripturally emphatic NO!!! The faith which God gives a man could only believe, can only believe, and does only believe HIS Gospel. So naturally there can be no salvation whatsoever before or without the faith which is given by God to believe His Gospel. Otherwise we would have the absurd situation of either a person being saved whilst only having man’s faith which believes in false gospels, or, God giving a person saving faith yet that person persistently believing a false gospel, all the while continuing to remain ignorant of or rejecting the only Gospel that saves. This would mean that having the faith of God would mean nothing, for one could still believe error even with God’s faith! Why would God grant a person His faith in order for them to continue to remain in ignorance and believe a false gospel? How could true faith ever believe in a false gospel, a counterfeit plan of salvation? I defy anyone to show me from the Scriptures a case of a saved man believing in a false gospel, though having the justifying faith which comes from God! I defy anyone to show me a case where someone in the Scriptures had saving, justifying, faith yet who remained in ignorance of the Gospel of God! This would be as fruitless an exercise as trying to prove a man converted who has not been brought out of darkness into God’s marvellous Light and from the power of Satan unto God (see Acts 26:18). Why would man need to be given something, by God Himself no less, in order for him to continue to be deceived by believing in a gospel that cannot save? God does not need to assist man in believing a false gospel, for every man by nature is more than adequately equipped to do this all by himself. When faith is given by God, it is for the express purpose of turning a man from believing lies to believing the truth of God’s Gospel. I mean, that is the whole essence of salvation isn’t it—to turn a man from darkness to light? So then why does a man who claims to believe in the doctrines of Light insist he was saved whilst lovingly embracing the doctrines of darkness! Justifying faith makes a man understand God and believe God. The faith which comes from God is that which is necessary for a man to believe in the Gospel of God and turn from every false gospel that his own natural faith has fallen prey to and believed in before saving faith came. I believe that no one in their right mind could possibly oppose these truths, or want to for that matter, for it all makes perfect and proper biblical sense and I challenge anyone to deny them from God’s Word.
It is plain to see in the Scriptures that faith, saving faith, is a gift given by God in order for a man to be converted—in order for him to go from believing a gospel that is not God’s Gospel and which does not save, to believing God’s Gospel, the only one which does save, and turning away from ever believing he was saved whilst believing any other. This is obviously a necessary thing, for without this justifying faith, which can only be given to man and not something he himself can produce, no man can be saved. Without this justifying, Gospel-believing faith, no man can see the ineptness of, and turn away from, false gospels. Before saving faith is given there is nothing but lostness and hopelessness. Just as man’s physical body and spirit have suffered death—separation from God—so too, man’s faith has suffered a death towards God, it is eternally separated from God and therefore can never lead any man to the true God. It is this BLIND FAITH that can never lead a man to the true God. True faith is never blind but can see the true God, and flees all others. Christ said "...Everyone that is of the truth heareth My voice" (Jn. 18:37 cf. Jn. 10:4,5). That sin has brought physical death to man is obvious. That sin has brought spiritual death to man is also obvious, seen in the fact that to be saved, one must be born again. And that sin has brought death to man’s natural faith is seen in the fact that to be saved, man requires justifying faith that can only come by the grace of God, which shows that it is something that does not and cannot emanate from man. Without saving faith one cannot know, understand or seek the true God. Without God, and without the faith that comes from God, man is simply tossed about in a whirlpool of religious mayhem UNTIL he is rescued by means of the gift of faith, which comes by the grace of God and separates him from belief in that which cannot save him. He is no longer "...tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men..." (Eph. 4:14), but through the faith he has been given, sails the calm seas of the Doctrine of Christ. Again, the gift of faith is that indispensable link between man and salvation. Without it, without the faith that comes from God which believes only in the Gospel of God, there is no salvation at all. Without the true Savior, the true God, there is no salvation; without the Gospel that reveals this one and only Savior there is no salvation; and so therefore, without the only faith that believes the truth about the true Savior as He is revealed in His one and only Gospel there can be, never has been, and never will be any man saved.
The key to understanding and coming to the unchallengeable conclusion that a person cannot be saved, that they cannot be in a saved, justified state, before they believe the Gospel of God to the point where they exclude all other gospels as having any power to save, is the gift of faith. The gift of faith given by the God which that faith believes in, is the difference between believing the Gospel and rejecting the Gospel. It is the very difference between saved and lost. For if one does not have the faith which comes from God, by the grace of God, one cannot believe in the Gospel that comes from God. Scripture says that all to whom the Gospel of God is hidden—all those who do not have the faith that believes in it—are lost: "But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (2 Cor. 4:3). How can anyone who has been given the faith of God not see, know and believe the Gospel of God? Or how can anyone claim to be saved, that is, have the faith of God, and with that God-inspired and God-given faith continue to believe in lies, and only later come to believe the truth and reject the lies they once believed yet still claim to have been saved whilst having believed those lies!! If a man is lost it does not mean, necessarily, that he does not have faith, but simply that he does not have God-given faith in the Gospel of God. Most lost people have a faith but none at all have THE faith. THE IDENTIFYING SIGN OF EVERY LOST PERSON IS THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE THE FAITH IN THE GOSPEL OF GOD! If those who cannot see, know and believe the Gospel of God are lost, how could it be said that any of them have justifying faith? God does not and cannot justify a man, He cannot vindicate a man, based on the fact that he believes a false gospel, but only when he believes the true Gospel. How can it then be said, in light of this Scripture, that those who have justifying faith, who are born again, can also be among those to whom the Gospel is still hid? Paul goes on in the following verse to show that those to whom the Gospel is hid and who are lost have been blinded by the god of this world, Satan, so that they believe not (see 2 Cor. 4:4). Satan’s purpose is to keep man blind to the true God via faith in false gospels. God’s purpose is to reveal Himself to His chosen ones and grant them the faith to believe His Gospel, WHICH REMOVES ALL BLINDNESS to Him. Those whose eyes are blinded cannot see and those whose minds are blinded cannot identify, or discern, and therefore believe the Gospel, which is why it is said to be hid from them. This is incontrovertible and undeniable evidence that such people could not possibly have the faith which comes from God, and that they could not possibly be saved. They do not see the Gospel because they do not have the faith to believe it. The faith of God REVEALS the Gospel of God in that it gives a man eyes to see and ears to hear and a mind to believe it. Those who cannot see the Gospel, who do not recognize it as God’s Message, are those to whom the Gospel is hid, and they therefore cannot have the justifying faith of God. What other spiritual state could such people be in but a lost one.
To be saved is to have the faith that comes from God and believes only His Gospel. To be saved is to have the faith that cannot and will not accept the lie that one was saved before hearing and believing the Gospel of God. To be lost is to not have that faith, but a vastly inferior one produced by the lost and spiritually dead nature of fallen man, which rejects the Gospel of God as being that which a person must believe—to the exclusion of all others—in order to be saved. The foolish faith of the lost believes that one can hold to doctrinal error regarding Gospel issues and still be saved. But the Scriptures are clear in saying that to be saved a man must believe the Gospel, which means all the Gospel, everything God says His Gospel is. Believing part of it, or even most of it, is not enough. To leave out one doctrine of the Gospel, one detail, is to make way for error, and any error when it comes to the Gospel changes it into a different gospel that portrays a different god to the one revealed in the Gospel. The faith that believes that one must learn and come to believe in the right doctrines but that one is just as saved during the learning process regardless of its being riddled with error and ignorance, evidences lostness. Just as a net full of fish being drawn to shore or into the boat is not in the boat or on the shore until the drawing is completed, so too, none can be said to be in Christ whilst the drawing (dragging) is taking place but only after the process is completed (see Jn. 6:44,45). The new birth of any man is by the will of God and the means He uses for each man’s spiritual birth does not differ. It is always by His Mighty and Glorious Message, which is His Gospel, and none are saved until they believe the whole of it. Salvation is a blessing from God and contained in that blessing is the faith, which no man has by nature but that must be given to him as a gift, that rejects every false gospel, every untruth about how God saves, and accepts, adheres to, abides in and believes, ONLY in the Gospel, which also comes from God. How can anyone accept the nonsensical lie that a man can be saved before he hears, before he understands and before he believes the Gospel? (compare Matt. 13:15 & !3:23 cf. Psa. 49:20). How then can anyone be taken seriously when, whilst claiming to believe the Gospel, they insist they were just as saved before they came to a knowledge of the Gospel doctrines? The Lord Jesus says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16). Any denial of any Gospel doctrine is a denial of the Gospel. No one can rightly be said to believe God’s Message unless they believe ALL OF IT!! Believing the Gospel is not something that is conditional. Just like God’s love for His people is unconditional, so too, the faith God gives to His people knows, believes and accepts the whole Gospel and not merely part of it. God has not said in His Word that to be saved a man must believe His Gospel, and then disregard His Word by saving people who believe only a portion of it. What are you going to call a gospel that contains partly truth and partly fiction? Surely you would not have the temerity to call it God’s Gospel? Then how pray tell can anyone refer to a faith that believes partly truth and partly fiction as justifying faith? Anytime you refuse to believe something in its entirety you either replace that which you do not believe or leave the matter open. Either way, you are denying the message as a whole, you are refusing to believe it as a whole. The Lord Jesus did not say, ‘He that believeth what they like about the Gospel, or what they know about it, shall be saved'. Jesus did not say, ‘He that believeth and he that believeth not shall be saved, but made a distinction between the two. And the distinction is: he that believes the doctrines that make up the Gospel of God which reveal Who Christ is and what He has done for His people will be saved, as opposed to the one who does not believe the individual doctrines of the Gospel of God and therefore rejects the Savior of that Gospel. The Scriptures say those that perish do so "...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" and "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess. 2:10,12). If one does not have the love of the truth, the whole truth, then one cannot have the faith of God to believe, for how can one believe that which one does not love? The Scripture also says that this love of the truth, therefore belief of the truth, is connected with salvation. You cannot have one without the other and you cannot have salvation before the love of the truth. And how can you have a love of the truth of God before you know what that truth is! To love something is to imply that you know what that something is. The evidence here for salvation is the love of the truth of the Gospel. Ignorance of the truth of the Gospel will not get you saved, but warrants only damnation. Not being submitted to the plan of salvation as God has outlined it in His Gospel, is evidence of a false faith, a distinct lack of love of the truth. Do not fool yourselves, such people WILL be damned, not saved! Scripture says that Christ WILL take "...vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord..." (2 Thess. 1:8,9). Notice here the connection between knowing God and obeying the Gospel of God. No one can know God or obey the Gospel of God without the faith that is given by God to believe His Gospel. In verse 12 the apostle states clearly that, far from receiving mercy from God and a crash course on the Gospel so that those who remained ignorant of it on earth may also enter heaven, those who failed to believe the truth during the course of their lives, no matter how much they were convinced that what they believed was the truth, WILL BE DAMNED!! As for those who did believe the truth, who were given the faith of God to believe it, who were called by God from the beginning and chosen to salvation, they will be recognized as children of God by the fact they have been sanctified by the Spirit of God, evidenced by their believing the truth of God with the faith of God: "...God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit AND belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our Gospel..." (2 Thess. 2:13,14). The elect man is called to believe the truth, God’s Gospel, not to remain in ignorance of it. His belief of the truth does not come years after his sanctification any more than his sanctification could occur years after his belief of the truth. Sanctification and belief of the truth are two sides of the same coin. When one arrives the other is always with it. Find me a coin with only one side and I will believe that one can have sanctification without belief of the truth! Notice that those God called by His Gospel did not remain ignorant of His truth but were made believers of His truth. They had to have been, for there is no salvation without belief of the truth. This is the real Christian; this is the complete Christian—one who is chosen and called by the Gospel of God and believes the Gospel of God! Obviously, the person who does not believe the Gospel has not the faith to believe it. They have not been led to it, the truth, by God’s Holy Spirit: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, THEY are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14). Those who are led by the Spirit of God believe in the Gospel of God, and so it stands to reason that all the sons of God are believers in the Gospel of God. THEY CAN HAVE NO FAITH IN ANOTHER, FOR THEY HAVE BEEN LED TO NO OTHER!! How can one have been led by the Spirit of the Truth of God and not have justifying faith, which believes in the Gospel of God? How can one be saved after being led by another spirit to another gospel which speaks of another christ. And, how can a man have the mind of Christ who believes he was saved whilst embracing these counterfeits? He that savingly believes the Gospel of God is saved. The evidence for this is clear: they believe the Gospel, for they have been given the faith of God to believe it. If all any mere man’s faith can believe in is anything but the Gospel of Christ, then surely if a man has been granted the faith of God he can only believe, will only believe and want to only believe, God’s Gospel, wanting nothing to do with any other gospel. HE WILL NEVER CLAIM TO BELIEVE THAT HE WAS SAVED BEFORE BELIEVING THE ONLY GOSPEL OF GOD!! How utterly stupid and irrational does this sound: ‘I was saved by God before I believed the Gospel of God’, or ‘I was saved when I believed a gospel I thought was of God with a faith I thought was from God’. Now, can you imagine God’s gift of faith leading a man to believe such hogwash? Of course you can’t. God-given faith will show each and every elect child of God, in no uncertain way, that only the Gospel of God is the power of God unto salvation and that any other gospel could not possibly be that which must be believed in order for a man to be saved; that no other gospel but the Holy Gospel of God could be qualified, or fit to be called, "...the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16). Two of the surest signs of lostness are belief in a false gospel, and a man’s belief in the lie that he or anyone else was saved whilst believing a false gospel. THE FAITH OF GOD DOES NOT LEAD A MAN TO BELIEVE SUCH RUBBISH, BUT TURNS A MAN FROM IT. The faith of God is given so that a man will believe the Gospel of God, and shuts every door and closes every window in his mind so that no draft of gospel error can get in or ever return. False gospels only require false faith. Only God’s Gospel requires God’s faith. God’s only Gospel can only be savingly believed by the faith God gives to believe it. Man’s faith and man’s gospels go together like a horse and carriage. They are in sync, they are perfectly matched. They were meant for each other. They are the perfect couple. God’s faith in God’s Gospel is required for salvation. Only God’s faith and His Gospel combined will save a man.
"...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). The Spirit of God is "...the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him..." (Jn. 14:17). The faith that is man’s by nature cannot recognize the Spirit of Truth and therefore does not believe in the Truth of the Spirit. The Gospel of God is foolishness unto man (see Rom. 1:16 & 1 Cor. 1:18). Man in his natural fallen state rejects the only Gospel that saves, and the ramifications of it—no man is saved before he believes the Gospel, and no one claiming to believe it yet insisting they were saved before they knew and believed all the doctrines that go to make up the Gospel of Christ, are saved either. The Scriptures say that one can only trust in the true Christ "AFTER" and not before one has "...heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel..." (Eph. 1:13). And it is a given that no one can trust the true Christ without the true faith that comes from God, for why else would it have been given other than to ensure a man believe in the true Christ of the true Gospel. The truth of God, the Gospel of God, is something that is spiritually discerned. It cannot be properly discerned by the natural thinking of man, by the carnal mind, but only by the mind of Christ, which every true believer has (see 1 Cor. 2:16). The faith that God sends brings a man’s thinking into line with God’s thinking and agrees with His plan of salvation AND that no other can save. If no other gospel can save, how can anyone claiming to believe the Gospel of God say they were saved whilst not believing it? God has never signed His name to a false gospel, so what other Gospel but His own could His justifying faith ever lead a man to believe! True saving faith does not come naturally. The faith that saves is that which comes SUPERNATURALLY as a gift from God. There is no way that a man in his natural fallen state can ‘drum up’ the faith to savingly believe God’s Gospel and reject all others. Natural man’s mind can have an intellectual knowledge of the Gospel but he can never savingly believe the Gospel, from the heart, which declares that all of salvation from beginning to final glory is conditioned on the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the mind of the unregenerated will always look to works as a contributing factor to one’s salvation. The spirit of the world is that which guides men into believing false gospels, unlike the Spirit of God Who alone can and does lead men to the true Gospel and grants them the Faith to believe it. "Faith is only produced by the Holy Spirit, and it is only produced by the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the Word of God, principally the Gospel." Every true believer may join together in unison and say, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; THAT we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God" (1 Cor. 2:12). To really know the things of God is to be taught by the Spirit of God and none can learn by the Spirit of God unless one has been given the faith of God, which alone can discern and believe those things. The faith of God is that by which a man can rightly interpret the language of the truth of the Gospel and reject all which contradicts it. It is clear then that only by God-given faith can a person know the true God for Scripture exclaims "...the world by wisdom knew not God..." (1 Cor. 1:21). Nothing that comes naturally to man can lead him to God, therefore no man by nature seeks God. All that the wisdom natural to fallen man can produce is a faith in a false gospel that speaks of a false god who cannot save. God gives His chosen His faith so that they will love His truth. Without the grace of God there is no love of the truth, because there is not the faith of God present to believe it. That saving faith must be given by God BEFORE a person can be saved is testament to the undeniable fact that salvation is by grace, and to believe the Gospel of grace one must, BY GRACE, be equipped with that faith that can only come by grace.
If a person could be saved before saving faith was given to them, why would that faith be necessary at all! What purpose would it serve, what role would it play, if a man could be saved without it? If a man could be saved, could actually savingly believe in the Gospel of Christ, which requires the faith of Christ to be believed, before receiving the faith to believe it then we would have a case for the justification of a man by works—by his own efforts, something that emanated from him and not by a grace-motivated gift of God. Seeing that faith is always contrasted with works in the Scriptures and that salvation is by grace through faith, it is clear that none could be saved before receiving the faith that God gives, which can alone believe His Gospel (see Rom. 4:5). Salvation is by grace (which comes from God) through faith (which comes from God). No one is saved in the absence of the faith that God gives, just as much as no one can be saved in the absence of His grace. Without grace there is no justifying faith and without justifying faith there can be no salvation. Just as a man is saved only by Christ’s perfect righteousness, so too, it is only by God’s perfect faith in that righteousness that a man is saved. If God saves by a means is it then not obligatory that to be saved man must believe the means by which God saves?
The fact that saving faith is a gift which comes from God is absolute proof that a man cannot be saved without it and that there is nothing inherent in man that can convert him to a saved state. Justifying faith is essential to a man’s salvation and without the grace of God which imparts it, no man can be saved. And so we see that salvation is by what God does and by what God gives. Without God man has no hope, therefore, no saving faith and no salvation. Without the grace of God that provides the faith of God to believe His Gospel, no man can be saved. No man has ever been saved who did not receive the faith of God to believe only His Gospel. ONLY TRUE FAITH BELIEVES TRUE GRACE. False faith, that which presents itself to the mind of man as true faith, is merely an illusion by which no man has ever entered heaven. False faith will believe many truths. False faith can drive and motivate a man to morally reform his entire life, never to return to his immoral ways. False faith often makes a man very religious etc. But false faith does not and cannot save because it is not the faith which comes from God. It is not that faith which believes that the righteousness of Christ is the only ground of salvation. The faith that does not come from God, but from the mind of man, is anti-God, which is why it cannot ever lead a man to believe the Gospel of God, thereby leaving him in an unjustified state. Carnal minds can only produce carnal faith: "For to be carnally minded is death....Because the carnal mind is enmity against God..." (Rom. 8:6,7).
The faith that believes in God comes by God (see Acts 3:16). Sanctification can only be by the faith that is in the true Son of God, which can only come from God (see Acts 26:18). When one is sanctified by the Spirit of God one believes in the truth of God, i.e., one is given the faith to believe in the true Gospel of God by which one has been called (see 2 Thess. 2:13). No one in their right mind believes in a sanctification-free salvation, so how can anyone accept the lie that one can be saved, or sanctified—separated from the lost unto God—without the faith that comes from, and believes in the Gospel, of God! Scripture declares that the saved man shall live by faith (see Heb 10:38). Now, just which faith do you think the Scriptures are speaking of here? Do you honestly believe that the Word of God is speaking of the faith that is common to every man by nature, which his carnal mind has convinced him is true faith but that can only lead a person to place their trust in a false gospel, or, the special and unique faith that is given by God? Of course the saved man shall live by the faith that is given to him of God. Without that faith no man can please God (Heb. 11:6). Without that faith man cannot live, he can have no spiritual life, for his faith is in a lifeless god. A man cannot live eternally by any other faith than that which God gives. Therefore a man cannot live eternally by believing any other gospel but God’s Gospel. The man who ‘believes’ with any other faith is not saved but accursed. Scripture says a man is justified by faith, but this faith is not of man, it is not something he produces, for justifying faith is contrasted with the works of man, that which he can do or produce (see Rom. 3). Saving faith does not fall within the parameter of what a man can do, but is outside the realms of possibility and ‘potentiality’ of man. Man is inside the circle and saving faith is outside. The two cannot be brought together, but by the grace of God. Saving faith is not a work of man but is a gift of God.