Saving Faith – verb or noun?
Much confusion concerning “faith” and salvation and works; so then, what is saving faith?
Mankind’s inability to please our Heavenly Father by the works of his hands, works of deceptive self-righteousness, was first made evident by Elohim’s rejection of Adam’s futile attempt to cover or conceal his sin and shame (nakedness) with fig-leaves in Eden (Genesis 3:21). Elohim demonstrated to Adam and all of humanity that He Himself would shed innocent blood and He HIMSELF would clothe fallen humanity in an imputed robe of righteousness (demonstrated by animal skins) and this eschatological prophecy manifest 4000-years later at Golgotha with the words of Messiah “It is finished” (John 19:30). The Father imputes the righteousness of Jesus into the life of the one who sincerely believes by faith (noun) that Jesus is Lord and they are clothed with this imputed righteousness manifesting in the covenant promise of forgiveness of sin, forever (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 8:12).
Mankind’s propensity to exercise faith as a verb,
Subsequent Genesis 3:21, mankind has repeatedly attempted to find favor with Elohim via self-righteousness; that is, working and striving to be sufficiently “good” to please God while Elohim has clearly warned that on our best day our works of self-righteousness are interpreted by Him as a “filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6); that is, a bloody menstrual cloth in His nose when interpreted properly from the Hebrew text (ed: filthy -עֵד) ; therefore, what is man to “do” to earn God’s favor? Truth is, there is nothing you and I can “do” to be sufficiently “good” to earn our redemption from sin and escape the “second death” in Hell but as demonstrated in Genesis 3:21 by Elohim, Elohim HIMSELF provides a Way of escape through the shedding of innocent blood HIMSELF in Messiah Jesus and offers salvation, eternal life, forgiveness of sin, to the one who “believes” by “faith-noun” that the Son, Jesus Christ, is Lord and that He died to provide mankind forgiveness of sin and covenant relationship with the Father by “faith-noun.”
What is saving “faith”…a noun or a verb? Both?
Saving faith is a noun as salvation cannot be earned, worked for, but saving faith is simple “belief” and “trust” that our God is true and that He will do exactly as He has promised in His words. Once simple faith (noun) is manifest by believing in Jesus as Lord and Messiah, the redeemed receive the promise of the Holy Spirit who takes up residence within them and begins a good “work” in their life through the daily process of sanctification (Ephesians 1:13-14); this, where the Spirit incrementally transforms the redeemed in Christ into the obedient image of Jesus as the Spirit prepares the redeemed for service in the New Jerusalem (Galatians 5:16).
It is during the process of sanctification, subsequent saving faith (noun), that saving faith (noun) becomes a “verb” where good works are performed by the Spirit through the redeemed as the Holy Spirit does a good work in and through the “new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17); most importantly, it is ONLY the works of the Spirit performed through the redeemed in Christ that are considered honorable and worthy by the Father; in fact, the works performed by the redeemed in Jesus will be judged by Jesus at the BEMA Judgment for their authenticity and rewards given or denied contingent upon whether or not those works were done in self-righteousness or through the Holy Spirit.
Saving faith that initiates covenant relationship with the Father is a “noun” as salvation cannot be earned but is a Gift of Grace (unmerited favor) (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Faith (noun) in Jesus that has resulted in covenant relationship with the Father then becomes enduring faith (verb) as the Holy Spirit begins a good work in the redeemed in Christ via the new nature and those works (verb) verify, validate, substantiate, the reality, veracity, of saving faith (noun). It is the one who believes (faith-noun) that is righteous before our Heavenly Father and that belief-faith (noun) manifests in good works (verb) done through the Spirit given by faith (noun) in Messiah Jesus.