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  • Writer's pictureJenna

The Three Elements of True Saving Faith

Updated: 3 days ago

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Black, grey, and orange spotted butterfly on green leaf with bars in background

The Three Elements of True Saving Faith

1. An intellectual element (notitia), which is a positive recognition of the Truth

2. An emotional element (assensus), which includes a deep conviction and affirmation of the Truth

3. Finally, there is a volitional element (fiducia) that involves a personal trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

A truly saved person will not casually read the Scriptures without considering their significance to his/her life. A truly saved person will diligently examine them and endeavor to live by their teachings out of genuine trust in Jesus and gratitude for their salvation. This concept is simple. Sincere obedience to Jesus' teachings is a direct outcome and clear manifestation of one's faith in Him. Striving to obey our Savior, empowered by the Holy Spirit, serves as proof of the authenticity of our faith. Genuine faith and obedient love are closely intertwined.

We Cannot Earn Salvation. It's a Gift.

"Legalism is an attempt to make ourselves more acceptable to God by the deeds we do...The Spirit enables us to do the duty to which the Bible calls us. It is not an attempt to make ourselves acceptable to God, but it is to live in the empowerment of God in a way that pleases Him...Hearing the Word without doing it, professing it without practicing it, singing 'Jesus is King' and pleasing myself is an indication of the fact that I have never truly trusted in Christ. And therefore, we must examine ourselves and run afresh to Christ." - Alistair Begg from False Teachers Among You Series (Part 3 of 3)

God's favor cannot be earned by what we do. Salvation is not achieved through self-perceived goodness, good deeds, or lifestyle changes, as we are saved solely by grace through faith alone (Eph 2:8-9). Even our repentance and faith are not self-generated; they do not stem from personal merit, human accomplishment, or our own strength, so that we cannot boast except in the Lord. As it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:31). Genuine repentance and saving faith are gifts by God's grace, and all glory belongs to Jesus for our salvation. "You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary." - Jonathan Edwards

Enabled & Empowered by His Grace

We are not saved by our good works, but we are saved to good works. (Eph 2:8-10) We are saved by faith alone but it is not a faith that is alone. What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?...So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:14,17). “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” – Martin Luther.

Repentance and faith go hand in hand. As we turn away from our sins and put our trust solely in Jesus, living a holy life and bearing good fruit naturally follow as a result of our faith in Christ. Good deeds are a visible expression of our inner convictions and are carried out through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The strength to live in a way that pleases God does not come from our own efforts or willpower. It is through God's grace that we are saved, enabled, and empowered to follow His ways, carrying out good works for His glory. Just as God the Father predetermined our adoption through Jesus Christ according to His will, He also predetermined the good works for us to walk in (Eph 2:10). Therefore, the faith that brings salvation is evidenced by our actions, the fruit we bear, the righteousness we practice, and the way we conduct our lives. As James 2:18 says, faith is demonstrated through works, not merely words. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Pisteuo = To Believe, To Obey

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:36).

Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death (John 8:51).

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says (James 1:22). (See also James 2:14-26)

The terms faith and obedience, believe and obey, disbelieve and disobey are interchangeable in all of Scripture and are derived from the same Greek word. In ancient Greek, pisteuo commonly signified obedience. Pisteuo encompasses the meanings of to believe, entrust, be persuaded of, place confidence in the thing believed, dedicate one’s life to, and obey.

Professing faith in God through words alone holds no value if one's actions contradict that faith. As stated in Titus 1:16, claiming to know God while behaving in a manner that goes against His teachings is hypocritical. Engaging in sinful practices and disobeying God's word reflects a lack of belief. Conversely, living righteously and following God's teachings is a genuine demonstration of our faith in Jesus.

Trusting in Jesus leads us to naturally want to follow His commands. Our obedience is not a means to earn His approval through good deeds, but stems from our faith in Him as our Savior and our willingness to acknowledge Him as the ultimate authority. Our motivation comes from our belief in Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). It is the result of God's grace guiding our hearts towards Him, instilling His Spirit within us, and granting us a new nature through our spiritual rebirth. This new nature fosters a deepening love for righteousness and all that aligns with God's will, as well as a growing aversion to sin and all that opposes God's ways.

Easy Belivism Heresy

Genuine saving faith goes beyond simply agreeing intellectually with the historical facts of the gospel. Even demons acknowledge those facts and tremble (James 2:19). This shallow form of faith is often referred to as Easy-believism within Christianity, which is a deceptive belief system promoted by Satan and prevalent in many evangelical circles today. Easy-believism and modern popular theology may acknowledge the facts (notitia) and assent to them (assensus), but they frequently lack trust (fiducia). They promote the idea that surrendering to the authority of Christ is unnecessary for being a Christian. Instead, Easy-believism distorts the concept of heartfelt obedience to God's word, turning it into a works-based gospel. It wrongly labels those who desire to obey God as legalists. This heretical belief system distorts the true message of God's Word and leads to self-deception.

Jesus Paid it All

Genuine faith involves relying on the character and integrity of God, believing in who Jesus is, and understanding what He accomplished for us through His life, death, and resurrection. Out of His love, Jesus did what we could never do for ourselves by living a life of perfect obedience and ultimately sacrificing Himself on the cross (Philippians 2:8). For our sake, the sinless One took on our sins so that through faith in Him we might be made righteous in God's eyes (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus bore the full weight of God's wrath on the cross for our sins, died and was buried, and in three days rose again so that by grace through faith in Him, we may have eternal life.

The profound truth will naturally inspire a profound sense of gratitude and joy within us, leading to a genuine longing to follow His path. While our obedience may be imperfect due to our sinful nature, He reassures us that His grace is more than enough (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Secured by His Grace

Even though believers will continue to face struggles with sin while combating the flesh, the world, and the devil daily, God's grace keeps us from permanently falling away. His grace prevents us from persisting in unbroken cycles of sin, as we did before receiving Him as our Savior. God's grace prohibits us from indulging freely in sin, as we did prior to believing in Jesus. Once we are saved, we are always saved; eternally safeguarded by God's grace (John 10:28). God ensures we do not ever return to the broad and easy road again. Our security lies entirely in His grace.

Whenever God's children stray from His path, He will lovingly correct us, and the Holy Spirit will gently remind and lead us back to the right way, all for His glory. God's grace is bestowed upon believers to enable us to glorify Him and carry out good deeds in His name, which He had planned for us to do even before the world was created (Ephesians 2:10).

I am Not Religious. I am Saved by Grace.

I am not religious. I am saved by grace. It is not through good works or practicing rituals that I find salvation, but by God's grace alone. My repentance and belief in Jesus are a gift. Jesus has freed me from sin, transformed my heart and my life, and granted me the incredible gift of eternal life by grace alone through faith alone. Jesus rescued me from the punishment I deserve, eternal damnation, and blessed me with something I could never earn, eternal life. How could I not desire to surrender to the God of the universe who has done all this for me?

May I live for the One who died for me (by His grace) and praise Him for all that He is, the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). I am eternally grateful for my Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him forever and ever.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

❤️ With love, Jenna


But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves (James 1:22).

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:8

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you continue in my word, then you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand (John 10:28).

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead (James 2:18-26).


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