Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Christian Faith Saves Forever
Faithful Lutheran Christians say it this way: “We are not saved eternally by doing good works. We are saved by faith in Jesus alone.” That’s what the Bible teaches.
But sharp-thinking people ask, “Well, isn’t faith something that you do? No one else believes for you, so faith must be something you do. It must be a good work.” It’s easy to understand how people can draw that conclusion, but the logic is wrong.
All analogies limp. But consider this one: Suppose you fell off your cruise ship, and you were drowning in the ocean. Thankfully, one of your fellow passengers noticed your frantic splashing and quickly threw you a lifesaver. You grab hold, and he pulls you back onto the deck. Now, who gets the credit for saving your life: you or your fellow passenger? I suppose you could argue that you would’ve died had you not grabbed hold of the lifesaver, and you could pat yourself on the back for a job well done. But the truth is, all credit rightfully goes to the one who first provided the lifesaver and then pulled you on board. Your faith in the buoyancy of the lifesaver and the strength of your new-found friend saved you. It wasn’t your work; it was his.
That’s what the Old Testament believer Abram discovered about the salvation of his soul. Getting to heaven wasn’t about him or what he did. It was all about God’s promises and, most importantly, his fulfillment of those promises. Yes, Abram believed those promises, but he didn’t deserve the credit for that. God did. Amazingly, when the broken sinner Abram believed God, God declared him righteous, perfect, free from sin, and fit for heaven. It wasn’t Abram’s doing. It was God’s.
And the same is true for us. Christian faith does not save us from our sins because our faith is ever perfect. It saves us because the One in whom we are placing our trust is perfect, powerful, loving, and forgiving. We are saved by faith in Christ alone.
Jesus, help me see that you are the perfect one to trust forever. Amen.