True faith is fighting faith. This faith fights not for perfection but for belief. We fight to believe that Jesus is more precious, satisfying, and thrilling than anything else this world has to offer. We must fight for this faith every moment of every day. We fight from salvation, not for salvation. This is the faith that works through love (Galatians 5:6). It is faith that works, not faith in works. It is faith in the gospel – the grand announcement that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil, and is making all things new – which includes us. It is faith that God truly is BIGGER and BETTER than anything this world has to offer us. True faith is a faith that fights.
REPENTANCE AND FAITH
In order to receive the redemptive benefits of the gospel, we must repent from trusting in false gods and exercise faith in the ONE TRUE GOD. We repent through faith. Believing that God really is who he says he is, has done what he says he has done and can do what he says he can do. We repent then, when we turn back to worship our Creator God and we will do this when we have faith that He is better than our idols. I used to think that repentance was an add on work: we’re not really saved by faith alone, but by faith plus this repentance thing. BUT THIS ISN’T TRUE AT ALL. Turning to God in faith and turning from sin in repentance just so happen to be the same movement. A person will repent (turn from idolatry), when they have faith that God is better than their idol. Therefore, repentance is not a work we tack onto our faith; it is an expression of faith.
FIGHTING WITH GOD'S PROMISES
Repentance can be described as giving up our sinful behaviors and turning our affections away from false gods. God wants our hearts, not just our morality. Repentance is a stepping-stone to true joy. Faith, then, is trust in the one, true, great, glorious, good, gracious, dying, and rising-from-the-dead God. It is relying on the person of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by the promises of God, The Father. It is not a blind faith but perceptive faith. Biblical faith sees the truth, goodness, grandeur and reliability of God's promises and chooses to trust them over the fleeting, false, and bad promises of the world.
Repentance, then, is letting go of your false gods and lies, both with our affections and actions. Faith is then grabbing onto the one true God and his promises with our affections and actions. Faith is not merely belief in the theoretical facts of the gospel message, but it is also trusting and treasuring the culmination of the gospel – Jesus Christ our Lord, functionally. Repentance and faith form the bridge that leads us away from the lies of this world and union with false gods to the truth and into the promise of joyful union with the one true God. This is a gospel that motivates and that stimulates the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ!