Faith Does Not Save You

faithwithoutworksOctavius Winslow, Personal Declension

Be careful of not making a Savior of faith. There is a danger – and it cannot be too vigilantly guarded against – of substituting the work of the Spirit for the work of Christ; this mistake it is that leads so many of God’s saints to look within, instead of without, themselves for the evidences of their calling and acceptance; and thus, too, so many are kept all their spiritual course walking in a state of bondage and fear, the great question never fully and fairly settled, or, in other words, never quite sure of their sonship. The work of Christ is a great and finished work; it is so glorious that it can admit of no comparison, so complete that it can allow of no addition, and so essential that it can give place to no substitution. Precious as is the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart, and essential as it is to the salvation of the soul, yet he who places it where the work of Jesus ought only to be, deranges the order of the covenant, closes up the legitimate source of evidence, and will assuredly bring distress and uncertainty into his soul. ” Righteousness, peace, and joy,” are the fruit of a full belief in the Lord Jesus Christ; and he who looks for them away from the cross, will meet with disappointment: but they are found in Jesus. He who looks away from himself, from his vileness, guiltiness, emptiness, and poverty, fully and believingly unto Jesus, shall know what the forgiveness of sin is, and shall experience the love of God shed abroad in his heart.

If, then, your faith is feeble and tried, be not cast down; faith does not save you. Though it be an instrument of salvation, and as such, is of vast importance, it is but the instrument; the finished work of Immanuel is the ground of your salvation, yes, it is your salvation itself. Then make not a Savior of your faith; despise it not if it is feeble, exult not in it if it is strong, trample not on it if it is small, deify it not if it is great; such are the extremes to which every believer is exposed. If your faith is feeble and sharply tried, it is no evidence that you are not a believer; but the evidence of your acceptance in the Beloved, is to arise from Jesus alone; then let your constant motto be, “looking unto Jesus”; looking to him just as you are; looking unto him when faith is feeble; looking unto him when faith is tried; looking unto him when faith is declining, yes, looking unto him when you fear you have no faith. Look up, tried and tempted soul! Jesus is the Author, the Sustainer, and he will become the Finisher of your faith. All you want is in him. One glimpse, dim though it be, of his cross, – one touch, trembling though it be, of his garment, – will lift you from your lowest depths, lighten your heaviest burden, gild your darkest prospect, and when you arrive at Jordan’s brink, will bear you safely through its swellings, and land you on the sunny and verdant shores of Canaan. Let this be your prayer, urged unceasingly at the throne of grace until it is answered – “Lord, increase my faith “; and then, with holy Paul, you too shall be enabled with humble assurance to exclaim, ” I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day!”




  1. Andrew Suttles · December 14, 2013

    Reblogged this on Abraham's Seed and commented:
    Make no mistake about it, faith is the instrument through which we receive our salvation; but our confidence is not in the genuineness and strength of our faith, but rather our confidence, faith, and hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ and his redeeming work. When we put our eyes of faith on our own sincerity, we find shaky ground for our hope and we waver in disbelief and lack of assurance. When hope is grounded in that sure rock of our salvation, we find no room to waver.

    • Andrew Suttles · December 14, 2013

      I re-blogged this on AS. I wish it was titled “You Are Saved Through Faith, Not Because of It” or something to that affect. I think this is an important point, but I don’t want my (few) readers to misunderstand the point. The title, taken on it’s own, seems to deny ‘sola fide’.

      • jm · December 14, 2013

        I tend to lead with bombastic titles to draw in the heretic hunters. haha Sorry brother. I’ll will try hard to refrain from such controversial titles.

      • Andrew Suttles · December 15, 2013

        Have a good Lord’s Day, brother!

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