Lesson 13: A Humanitarian by Giving Us Saving Faith

Go Deeper

Study Guide Pages 100-107

Faith Illustrated

The relationship between faith and salvation can be illustrated in the following way. 

Think of sin as a terrible disease that, if left untreated, always results in death. Think of God’s gracious gift of Jesus Christ and his righteousness as the antidote to our sing. Think of faith as the way God gives you the antidote to sin—the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection.

When you received the injection of that antidote and your life was saved, you probably wouldn’t sing the praises of that beautiful hypodermic needle. You’d sing the praises of the cure. The hypodermic needle had to be there, or you wouldn’t have received the antidote. But you know that the needle isn’t what saved you.  In a similar way, faith has to be there if someone is going to be saved (cf. John 3:16 or Acts 16:30,31).  However, we know faith isn’t the cause of salvation. Salvation is the result of the object of our faith, Jesus Christ. Through faith, we receive the benefits of his work.

More Key Bible Verses

Read John 11:1-57.

In chapter 11 of his Gospel, John records at length the account of the raising of Lazarus. Take note of how John tells and draws out the story in detail. He does this to emphasize that Lazarus was dead, not just asleep but buried in the grave and unable to save himself.

Read and study the following quotes from “A Humanitarian by Giving Us Saving Faith,” chapter 13 of God—The Ultimate Humanitarian.

Jesus had done everything to bring us back to God. God had credited us with Jesus’ death, wiping away our debt of sin. He also attributed Jesus’ perfect obedience to us. One obstacle remained. We needed to believe in Jesus in order to enjoy the benefits of his perfect life and sacrificial death. “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).

God—The Ultimate Humanitarian, 89

Nobody has the capability in and of themselves to trust in Jesus. Sin has so corrupted humanity that “there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away” (Romans 3:11-12). No one seeks God! By nature, everyone is spiritually blind (2 Corinthians 4:436) and spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:137). Because of the havoc sin has inflicted on the human race, no one, by themselves, can see the light and believe in Jesus. Once again God had to step in and help us. 1 Corinthians 2:14 succinctly describes not only the problem but also the solution. “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” The faith we couldn’t generate ourselves is created in us by the Holy Spirit. “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3).

God—The Ultimate Humanitarian, 90-91

More Questions to Consider

  1. Write out a list of ways we can see the corruption of humanity and humankind’s spiritual blindness. How does your list help you understand the state of man before conversion?
  2. Agree/Disagree: We will go to heaven if we believe in Jesus and try to live according to our faith. What is a better way of explaining faith?

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