Knowledge alone is not enough. Personal saving faith as seen in the Bible involves more then just knowledge. It is of course necessary as we seen yesterday, that our faith is based on fact and we have knowledge of who Jesus is and what he has done, for ‘how are they to believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14). But knowledge about the facts of Jesus life, death and resurrection is simply not enough, for people know many facts but chose to rebel against them or dislike them. For example, everyone knows that smoking if bad for your health, nevertheless people still choose to smoke. People know that you should not steal, but people still steal. Paul gives us the example that many people know God’s laws but dislike them: ‘though they know God’s decree that those thing deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practise them’ (Romans 1:32). In James takes know the truth even a step further in James 2:19, ‘You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe and shudder.’ That knowledge then certainly doesn’t save you.
In addition even approving or agreeing with the facts is not enough. Nicodemus for example knew that Jesus has come from God, for he said ‘Rabbi, we know you are a teacher from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with Him’ (John 3:2). Nicodemus had evaluated the facts of the situation, he had seen Jesus remarkable miracles and heard his teaching and came to the correct conclusion. Jesus had come from God, but this alone did not mean that Nicodemus had saving faith, because he still had to put his faith in Jesus for salvation, he still has to believe in him (John 3:15-16). Another example would be King Agrippa who had knowledge and approval yet didn’t possess saving faith. He viewed and approved the Jewish Scriptures. During Paul’s trial he said ‘King Agrippa, do you believe in the prophets? I know you believe” (Acts 26:27). Yet the king did not have saving grace because he answered to Paul ‘In a short time you think you make me a Christian!’ (Acts 26:28).
So, faith is knowing, and that knowledge is based on evidence leading to confidence or conviction. But biblical faith is more than that. There’s another element. Faith is not just knowing. Faith is also acting. Biblical faith is a confidence so strong that it results in action. You’re willing to act based on that belief, that faith. Consider the example of marriage, you can believe in marriage for a very long time, but you can never exercise faith in marriage until you walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’. That’s when you put your life into something you believe to be true.
It’s the same way with biblical faith. It’s not just intellectual assent. It’s not just acknowledging that certain facts about Jesus, the Bible, the resurrection, happens to be true. It’s taking your life and putting it on the line based on your confidence in those facts. You must personally decide to depend on Jesus to save you personally. You must put your trust in Him. We will continue here tomorrow.