It is not difficult to believe in God but to have a general kind of belief does not lead to true reconciliation with Him. ‘Saving faith’ is the vital key. Why should this be essential? What is it and how is it expressed?
For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
And this is a remarkable and very well-known verse in Ephesians chapter 2, and it’s often called one of the ‘big texts’ of the New Testament which sets out so clearly the way of salvation. But our subject tonight is this ‘through faith’: Why faith is the key to conversion. Why should it be faith that appropriates the salvation of God? That reaches out to him? That calls upon him for new life and pardon and reconciliation with himself? Why should the appropriating key be faith? That’s our subject: by grace are you saved through faith. Through faith.
Without faith, the kind of faith that is spoken of here, you can never find God. You can never be changed by him. You can never come to know him. Through faith. It’s by grace well we’ll begin there just to set the scene: for by grace are you saved. Now faith. To believe in God is easy. To believe in God, even in an atheistic society, is relatively easy.
Belief in God is the majority position of human beings throughout the world. And ever has been. It doesn’t matter what kind of God they may invent for themselves, what the varieties are of religion. Just the basic idea of belief in God is universal. It just strides across history and it applies to every land and nation.