Calvary Road Baptist Church

“ABRAHAM’S SAVING FAITH”

Romans 4.1-5

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans was written to people who already embraced the Christian faith. With few exceptions, they were not personally acquainted with this most well-known of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, though it is not to be doubted that they knew him by reputation. Their introduction to the Christian faith likely began, for some of them, on the Day of Pentecost when the Apostle Peter delivered a powerful message from God’s Word that is mentioned in Acts chapter two, a message preceded by occurrences that multiplied thousands of religious Jews saw with their own eyes and heard with their ears. Coupled with the astonishing resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead that not even the most adamant opponents of Christianity could disprove, three thousand religious Jewish men publicly came to faith in Christ in one day.

Returning to Rome, those Jewish-now-Christian men rehearsed what they had seen and heard in their synagogues, reviewed what they had been taught in the Hebrew Scriptures in light of what the apostles had taught them, and the result was many more Jewish people embraced the Christian faith, as well as a whole host of Gentiles. Of course, this all took place long before Saul of Tarsus, the greatest enemy of Christianity, miraculously encountered the glorified Son of God and became over time the most well-known preacher of the Gospel.

Writing letters and establishing congregations throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, the apostle now known as Paul has a strong desire to relocate to the Western Mediterranean, with Rome as his base of operations as he seeks to take the Gospel message to Spain. Before he does that, however, he writes a letter of introduction known to us as the epistle to the Romans and would personally deliver an offering for the relief of impoverished Christians in and around Jerusalem.

At this point in our study, the Romans have received Paul’s letter, and his journey to Jerusalem with the relief offering from the Greek and Macedonian congregations is about to begin. So far in our study of Romans, we have finished the first three chapters, in which Paul sets forth to his readers the desperate condition of every human being, the desperate need of every human being, and the only hope of deliverance available to every human being. Since each person is sinful, no person can perform good deeds to earn God’s favor. What each person needs is the favor God has toward His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for men’s sins on the cross of Calvary and rose from the dead.

The question is how that favor God has only toward His Son is to be acquired by someone who is sinful in God’s sight and incapable of doing noteworthy needs to earn God’s favor. The only means by which a sinful person can be reconciled to God is faith. Understanding that the notion of blind faith is foreign both to the Bible and to the Greek-speaking people of the first century, we must resort to what faith was understood to be in the first century. Hebrews 11.1 informs us about faith: 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

Thus, faith is a right conclusion based on circumstantial evidence.

Paul has already informed his Roman readers that faith is not a new thing. And in our text he will use the most revered of the Jewish patriarchs, father Abraham, to explain both the importance of faith and the past use of faith in coming to a right relationship with God. Abraham was the first Jew, the friend of God, and a man who serves as a prototype in the Bible of God’s dealings with people using faith. At this point, we need to understand some things about Abraham that may be new to some of you. What I am about to say may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am persuaded that father Abraham was not a converted man during that portion of his life that is described in Genesis chapters 12-14, Acts 7.2-5, and Hebrews 11.8. My assertion is that for the approximately ten years he exhibited what Scripture declares to be faith, what he was exhibiting was a genuine faith that was, nevertheless, not “saving faith.”

Perhaps you are shocked by my conclusion that Abraham was not justified in the sight of God before his experience described in Genesis 15.1-6. Turn there and read the passage with me, after which I will make several comments before going to today’s text: 

1  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

2  And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

3  And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

4  And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

5  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

6  And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 

Perhaps you think Abraham was saved while he was in Ur of the Chaldees, or you think that Abraham must have been saved when God spoke to him since you are persuaded that God would not speak in such a manner to an unsaved man. It may even be that you have not given the matter much thought. Whatever your situation, please turn your mind to the subject of Abraham’s justification at this time. Let me first address the notion that God would not speak to an unsaved man as He spoke to Abraham when his name was still Abram. Some might say that Abram had to have been a saved man when God spoke to him in Genesis chapter 12, reasoning that God would not speak to an unsaved man as He spoke to Abram at that time. Is that so? God spoke to both Adam and Eve when they were lost after they had sinned, did He not? Genesis chapter 3 records the conversations. And did not God speak directly to their son, Cain, a lost man, both before and after he slew his brother, Abel?[1] So, it cannot be argued that God would not speak to a lost man in such a manner as He spoke to Abram since He certainly did speak to Adam, to Eve, and to Cain, both before and after they committed heinous sins.

As for the argument that Abram was saved in Ur of the Chaldees, such a belief is pure speculation. What evidence is put forth by anyone that Abram was a saved man before Genesis 15.6? Adam Clarke, John Wesley, Matthew Henry, and Charles Spurgeon are convinced that Genesis 15.6 describes Abraham’s conversion.[2] As does Matthew Poole.[3] As does John MacArthur.[4] Allow me to read a portion of the comments of John Calvin, the famous Reformer, and preacher from Geneva, on Genesis 15.6: 

“The words of Moses are, ‘He believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.’ In the first place, the faith of Abram is commended, because by it he embraced the promise of God; it is commended, in the second place, because hence Abram obtained righteousness in the sight of God, and that by imputation.”[5] 

As for the timing of Abram’s conversion, Calvin continues, 

“We must now notice the circumstance of time. Abram was justified by faith many years after he had been called by God; after he had left his country a voluntary exile . . . .”[6] 

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, in their famous commentary on the whole Bible, say this about Genesis 15.6: 

6. he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness - Hebrew, trusted in Jehovah, as a child leans on the arm of his nursing-father, who guides and takes care of it. Such is the import of the original term.”[7] 

Keil and Delitzsch, particularly reputable Hebrew scholars, very clearly identify this event as the occasion in Abram’s life when “the purely spiritual relation of a living fellowship” was established with God.[8] I close with a wonderful Baptist, B. H. Carroll. In his famous An Interpretation Of The English Bible, that portion which deals with Genesis chapter 15 is titled “Abraham’s Conversion.”[9] Allow me to lift a single sentence from his commentary on Genesis 15.6: 

“He believed in him and became a converted soul, yea, the father of the faithful until the end of time.”[10] 

Thus, having established beyond reasonable doubt that Abram was not justified by faith before Genesis 15.1-6, that he was an unconverted man to whom is attributed faith in Hebrews 11.8 (what I have chosen to designate “seeking faith”), let us now turn to Abram’s “saving faith.” A complete examination of Abram’s “saving faith” is found in Romans 4.1-5, which is our text for today. When you have found that passage, please stand with me for the reading of God’s Word: 

1  What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

2  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 

This was Abraham’s “saving faith,” occurring approximately ten years after his “seeking faith” commenced. This was the faith that resulted in his justification, the faith that is also mentioned in Galatians 3.6, the faith that Paul refers to when he speaks about being saved, the faith by which and with which a sinner lays hold of the Savior, Jesus Christ. As I just stated, this is the faith that resulted in Abraham being justified in the sight of God, the faith that was counted for righteousness by God, the kind of faith that you come to Christ with, that you do believe in Jesus Christ with to the saving of your soul. It is this faith that is sealed with the indwelling Spirit of God, that accompanies regeneration and a new heart. This is the faith that corresponds to being a new creature in Christ and having a new eternal destiny. This is the faith, when you come to Christ when you believe in Him, that results in your sins being forgiven, washed clean in the blood of Christ, God forever forgetting your sins and remembering them no more.[11] This is the faith that results in you being adopted into the family of God, becoming God’s child by the new birth.

Though it is of the same essence, the faith of Abraham that we consider at this time has a different efficacy than the faith Abraham had for the previous ten years of his life. Therefore, so that we might appreciate both the similarities of Abraham’s “seeking faith” and Abraham’s “saving faith,” as well as the distinctiveness of his “saving faith,” let us proceed along a familiar line of inquiry: 

First, There Is The Question Of HOW ABRAHAM’S SAVING FAITH WAS ACQUIRED 

Faith is faith. Therefore, “saving faith,” being of the same essential nature as “seeking faith,” should be expected to be acquired in the same fashion. And, indeed, it is. As “seeking faith” is a gift that God gives, so “saving faith” is a gift that God gives. Ephesians 2.8 applies in any case: 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” 

We find no faith in the Bible that is not a gift given by God.[12] As to the means whereby God gives “saving faith” to a sinner, we again invoke Romans 10.17: 

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

As a matter of fact, Romans 10.17 is more commonly associated with “saving faith” than any other aspect of faith, and rightly so. But again, let us remember that the faith that is God’s gift to sinners is not God’s gift to every sinner, for there are some who do not have faith, Second Thessalonians 3.2.

Therefore, let us ask how Abraham came to hear so that he might receive “saving faith.” The faith that Paul tells us in Romans 4.5 is counted for righteousness by God must have some source. What might that source of Abraham’s faith be? Genesis 15.1-6, again: 

1  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

2  And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

3  And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

4  And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

5  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

6  And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 

Twice in this passage, we are told that 

“the word of the LORD came unto Abram.” 

We are once told that God’s Word came to him in a vision. The other time the specific manner by which God’s Word came to Abram is not mentioned. Thus, once again the uniqueness of Abraham is demonstrated in the manner by which He is exposed to God’s Word, while the commonness of Abraham is demonstrated in the fact that, like everyone else who has ever lived, there is no faith apart from hearing God’s Word.

To restate the matter for clarification: Abraham’s “seeking faith” was given to him by God by means of him hearing God’s Word, when the God of glory appeared to him and spoke to him, Acts 7.2-3. As well, Abraham’s “saving faith” was given to him by God by means of him hearing God’s Word. O, how important to every sinner is the hearing of God’s Word.

While it should never be denied that “saving faith” can come so close on the heels of “seeking faith” as to be sometimes indistinguishable in someone’s life, neither should it be denied that “saving faith” does not always, and perhaps does not usually, come close on the heels of “seeking faith,” as we see in Abraham’s case. God’s ways in such matters are sometimes unfathomable. 

Second, There Is The Question Of WHAT ABRAHAM’S SAVING FAITH ACCOMPLISHED 

The profound distinction between Abraham’s “seeking faith” and his “saving faith” has to do with two characteristics; the time frame associated with each type of faith, and the result of each type of faith:

Consider, first, the time frame involved with “saving faith.” Abraham’s “seeking faith” was initially given to him when God called him out of Ur of the Chaldees and carried him through the period of his life recorded in Genesis chapters 12, 13 and 14. Thus, Abraham’s “seeking faith” was a feature in this patriarch’s life over a span of time; approximately ten years. Quite different was Abraham’s “saving faith,” with no span of time characteristic of it. Rather, it was faith that was given by God and was “implemented” in a moment. How long did it take for Abraham’s faith to be counted for righteousness, Romans 4.3? It took no time at all. Its saving benefit was immediate, instantaneous, though its effect is everlasting. Thus, while “saving faith” takes no time at all to benefit, “seeking faith” requires the passage of time because of its very nature. Consider another observation in connection with the “saving faith” of Abraham. Romans 4.5 reads, 

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly . . . .” 

The immediate benefit of “saving faith” necessarily excludes works, since works always require some passage of time to “earn” salvation, if such a thing were possible. However, since salvation is by faith, apart from works, the transition from having no standing before God as a sinner to having the standing before God of a righteous man must be instantaneous. Thus, “saving faith” is the only means by which salvation can be secured immediately.

Now consider the result of each type of faith. Being of the same essence and origin, both “seeking faith” and “saving faith” are “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Both types of faith obtain a good report, Hebrews 11.2. Both types of faith grip the truth about God’s creation and formation of the universe, and all that herein is, Hebrews 11.3. And both kinds of faith believe that God is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, Hebrews 11.6. Being genuine faith, both types of faith are necessarily similar in these respects, since they are of the same essence and derive from the same source. What James 1.17 declares certainly applies to both “seeking faith” and “saving faith”: 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” 

But how are these two types of faith different in their results? Without getting too deep into the theology of it, let it be observed here that “seeking faith” and “saving faith” are profoundly different in their results in this one point; “seeking faith” does not result in the conversion of the sinner, while “saving faith” does result in the conversion of the sinner. “Seeking faith,” operating over a decade in Abraham’s life, did not see him justified in the sight of God. However, “saving faith,” operating for a moment, saw Abraham’s standing before God forever changed. Let it be observed that the very nature of faith makes it impossible to credit faith with Abraham’s salvation. Contrary to the religion of the charismatics and Pentecostals, it is not faith that accomplishes anything. Rather, it is the Object of “saving faith” which forever altered Abraham’s eternal destiny by securing for him the standing before God of a righteous man. 

Third, There Is The Question Of WHAT ABRAHAM’S SAVING FAITH ANTICIPATED 

If I may summarize, the unsaved Abraham’s “seeking faith,” what we find back in Genesis 12.1-4, which shows us how Abraham acquired “seeking faith,” is characterized by what it anticipates: 

1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

4  So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 

All faith is a present belief, based upon an unseen past, that supports an anticipated future. But notice what Abraham’s “seeking faith” is based upon. 

Genesis 12.1:

“a land that I will shew thee.” 

Genesis 12.2:

“I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”

Genesis 12.3:

“I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” 

“Saving faith,” on the other hand, is particularly characterized by what it realizes. Being faith, “saving faith” must have a strong element of hope, must look to the future, and must feature anticipation of some as yet unrealized blessing. But “saving faith” achieves a standing before God that “seeking faith” only looks for and wishes to gain. Read from Genesis chapter 15 with me: 

1  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

2  And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

3  And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

4  And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

5  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

6  And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

7  And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

8  And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

9  And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites. 

This is a rich passage of Scripture, and much could be said at this point. But my purpose here is not to expound so much as to point out a single distinctive of Abraham’s “saving faith.” Whereas Abraham’s “seeking faith” in Genesis 12 anticipates what theologians refer to as the Abrahamic Covenant, the covenant upon which the promises made to Abraham were based, Abraham’s “saving faith” actually realizes the covenant that obligates God to fulfill those promises. To state the matter another way, “seeking faith” was used by Abraham to pursue a personal relationship with God, while “saving faith” was used by Abraham to establish a personal relationship with God, as symbolized by the formality of the covenant-making ritual we have just read about in Genesis 15.9-21.

To make application to our time in history, “seeking faith” is exercised by the sinner responding to God’s Word as he seeks the salvation of His eternal and undying soul through faith in Jesus Christ. “Saving faith” is that by which the sinner closes with Christ and realizes the salvation of his eternal and undying soul through faith in Jesus Christ. While “seeking faith” is exercised a sinner oftentimes expends valuable time to sort through a number of issues and realities; perhaps clarifying his understanding of Who God is, the heinousness of his own sins, the absolute holiness of God, the terrible destiny that awaits a lost sinner when he dies, and the utter depravity of his own soul. “Saving faith,” on the other hand, is busy with none of those types of things, but simply and solely looks to Jesus Christ, the Author, and Finisher of our faith. 

Finally, There Is The Question Of WHAT SAVING FAITH DID NOT APPROPRIATE 

It is the very nature of faith that something is anticipated, something has not yet been realized. What “seeking faith” has not yet realized is the full and free forgiveness of sins and the establishing of a righteous standing before God. That realization is left for “saving faith.”

But what does “saving faith” anticipate? What does “saving faith” not yet realize? What does “saving faith” not yet appropriate? I read a wonderful note from the Scofield Reference Bible: 

The Heb. and Gr. words for salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. Salvation is the great inclusive word of the Gospel, gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes: as justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification. Salvation is in three tenses: (1) The believer has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin (Lk. vii. 50; I Cor, i.18; 2 Cor. ii.15; Eph. 2.5, 8; 2 Tim. i.9) and is safe. (2) The believer is being saved from the habit and domination of sin (Rom. vi.14; Phil. i.19; ii.12,13; 2 Thes. ii.13; Rom. viii.2; Gal. ii.19, 20; 2 Cor. iii.18). (3) The believer is to be saved in the sense of entire conformity to Christ (Rom. xiii.11; Heb. x.36; I Pet. i.5; I John iii.2). Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without works (Rom. iii.27, 28; iv.1-8; vi.23; Eph. ii.8).[13] 

In light of this fine note, it can be seen that what “saving faith” does not realize, what it has not yet appropriated, indeed, what it cannot appropriate, is salvation in the sense of entire conformity to Christ.

Stated another way, if salvation is deliverance from the penalty of sin, deliverance from the power of sin, and deliverance from the presence of sin, “saving faith” results in deliverance from the penalty of sin, but anticipates deliverance from the power of sin and deliverance from the presence of sin. Deliverance from the power of sin is wrought during the course of the Christian’s lifetime leading up to his passage from this life to the next, while deliverance from the presence of sin is realized by the child of God only when he stands in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in heaven. 

The approach preachers and Churches take to reaching the lost has been greatly affected by the influence of Charles G. Finney and the decisionism that has developed from his unscriptural notions about evangelism.[14] When dealing with the lost about their sins and their great need to immediately come to Jesus Christ for salvation and cleansing in His precious blood, it needs to be recognized that sometimes God’s dealings with sinners involve giving them “seeking faith” for some period of time before they are given “saving faith.” Sometimes “saving faith” is given very quickly. Sometimes “saving faith” is not given very quickly.

Though each sinner should be urged to come to Christ immediately, since 

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” 

Second Corinthians 6.2, the decisionist refuses to address the reality that many sinners do not immediately come to Christ when they hear the Gospel, quite simply because God has not yet given them the faith to believe in Jesus Christ. “Preposterous,” you say? Then you explain the ten years during which Abram had faith, but was not saved.

Those of us who are committed to Biblical evangelism recognize the critical need to see the differences that exist between “seeking faith” and “saving faith,” and to avoid the false assurance that frequently results from both sinners and so-called soul winners who misinterpret what kind of faith a person has, if he has any faith. I think such may be the case with you. I think you may have such a false assurance. How do I know? You are not a new creature in Christ. There is no joy unspeakable in you, and full of glory. There is no appreciable evidence of the indwelling Spirit of God in you. And there seems to be no growth in grace and in the knowledge of God over time. It could be that you think you are saved. Or it could be that you know you are lost, and you are completely discouraged by the fact that you thought you had faith and still you are not converted.

Be encouraged this evening, my friend, by the fact that you may be just like Abram between his 75th and 85th birthdays. You may still be in that phase of life where you need to strive to enter in.[15] Or you may be at the place where God gives “saving faith.”

In any case, the promise of the Savior remains. The Lord Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” John 6.37. If you come to Jesus Christ when you come to Jesus Christ, He will receive you, and He will save you. Why not come to Him now?

__________

[1] Genesis 4

[2] Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), bible@mail.com, John Wesley, Notes On The Bible, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), bible@mail.com, Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Whole Bible, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), bible@mail.com, Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon Devotional Commentary, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), bible@mail.com.

[3] Matthew Poole, A Commentary On The Whole Bible, Volume I, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers), page 36.

[4] See footnote for Genesis 15.6 from John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 36.

[5] John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Vol I, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1979), page 405.

[6] Calvin, page 408.

[7] Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, Vol I, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1997), page 144.

[8] C.F. Keil & F. Delitzsch, COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT, Vol I, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1996), pages 135-136.

[9] B. H. Carroll, An Interpretation Of The English Bible, Volume I, (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2001), vol 1, page 271.

[10] Ibid., page 277.

[11] Hebrews 8.12; 10.17

[12] James 1.17

[13] See footnote for Romans 1.16 from C. I. Scofield, The First Scofield Reference Bible, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), page 1192.

[14] Decisionism is the belief that a person is saved by coming forward, raising the hand, saying a prayer, believing a doctrine, making a Lordship commitment, or some other external, human act, which is taken as the equivalent to, and proof of, the miracle of inward conversion; it is the belief that a person is saved through the agency of a merely external decision; the belief that performing one of these human actions shows that a person is saved.

 

Conversion is the result of that work of the Holy Spirit which draws a lost sinner to Jesus Christ for justification and regeneration, and changes the sinner’s standing before God from lost to saved, imparting divine life to the depraved soul, thus producing a new direction in the life of the convert. The objective side of salvation is justification. The subjective side of salvation is regeneration. The result is conversion.

[15] Luke 13.24

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