My good friend, Brent Martin, is serving the Friendship Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia as pastor. In May of 2007, Brent preached at Arabi Baptist on the life of Joshua. He is one of those men in my life that I am glad to know because God uses him to drive me to be a more faithful teacher of the Bible. When Brent preaches, his aim is clear--to make plain the truth of God's message and what that means for our living.
I just finished listening to a sermon that Brent preached in his church on January 18--The Nature of Saving Faith (Hebrews 11). I would certainly commend this message to you because it is so very clear on what it means to have "saving faith" in God. In a time where people speak often in their various beliefs about God, Brent's exposition on Hebrews 11 makes clear what it means, biblically, to be in relationship with God. You can access the sermon in the "for your soul..." section of my blog under "Brent Martin's Preaching" that takes you directly to the Sermon page of the Friendship Baptist Church.
In that sermon, Brent makes four observations about saving faith that I found challenging:
1. Faith pledges allegiance to One
(Faith does not pledge allegiance to all equally.)
2. Faith perseveres in God's promises
(Faith believes in what God says--though, at times, it appears unreasonable.)
3. Faith obeys, loves and trusts God
(Faith is to be in love with Jesus Christ--this is saving faith.)
4. Faith trusts God and is willing to do what seems humanly ridiculous
(Faith calls us to obey the commands of God which must trump commonsense.)
The observations he makes about the nature of faith comes from the writer's use of various men and women from the Old Testament to reveal the nature of true faith in God. Brent then points out how the writer also reveals that saving faith is also displayed in the lives of those that follow Christ up to the present time of the original readers.
If you don't listen to the sermon, I would certainly encourage you to read Hebrews 11 again to see the reality of faith and God and think about its implications for your life.