Salvation is through faith.
Prepositions can e crucial, and they are in discussing salvation. It is by grace, through faith. Faith is only the link; grace provides the power. So—what is faith? The first thing to establish is that it is not a matter of feeling. Martin Luther once said, ‘I do not feel that my sins are forgiven, but I know they are because God has said so in his Word.’ Faith is not feeling, although wonderful feelings may follow faith in Christ. In a sense, when the Holy Spirit takes hold of a person he releases his feelings in a new way, freeing him from inhibitions that have been bottled up before, and prevented him from experiencing love, joy and peace. But it is not the feeling that is the faith; the faith creates the feeling.
Nor is faith primarily a matter of thought. Thought is involved of course. There is a certain minimum intellectual content necessary for faith: the deity of Jesus for instance, his death and his resurrection. But if you recite the Creed and say ‘believe all of that with my mind’ you are ‘believing’ no more than the demons…and they do a bit more, the Bible tells us: the thought of it makes them ‘tremble.’
So, what is faith? Faith is to take those truths and apply them personally: to say, ‘Jesus died for me—rose for me—and is coming back for me.’ The devils cannot share that belief, that kind of faith.
Faith is, in a sense, an act of trust in which the believer takes his life and puts it into the hands of Christ. It is a daily thing—committing myself into the hands of another. In ordinary life we do it all the time—every time we board an airplane or a bus, every time we put ourselves into the hands of a surgeon. Faith is just that putting my ruined life into the hands of Jesus and giving him responsibility from that point on.
Faith (Necessary for Salvation)
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.