For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8)
Faith is not a static moment of belief but an ongoing conversation with God. It is not a single point, a punctiliar moment of assent to some proposition about God. It is a personal relationship with God. And because it is personal, it is dynamic.
The nature of the faith through which we are saved in Ephesians 2:8 is that it is an ongoing and personal relationship with God. It is not an insulated or isolated moment. It may begin in a moment, but then it continues — an ongoing relationship with God in which we entrust ourselves (not just our “sweet by and by”) into His hands.
This does not require that our faith must reach some standard of perfection, however. Few, if any, have ever had such a perfect faith. Even the saints have plenty of moments of doubt and disappointment, and even disobedience. But even in all of that, faith remains and the relationship endures. And God brings us back to Himself.
Abraham dickered with God. Jacob wrestled with God. Moses argued with God. Jonah was angry with God. But it was all faith nonetheless, because they were bringing it to God and putting it all on Him.
The often-seen attempt to reduce faith down to a single saving moment usually makes it a matter of mental assent to some proposition about God, and all that matters is that split-second of belief. Some have protested that this is more than mental assent, that it is “believing God.” But no matter how they explain it, it always ends up sounding like mental assent to a proposition about God, that He did this or will do that.
However, faith is more than a moment of assent. And it is more than a moment of “believing God.” It is trust. The devils believe that there is a God (James 2:9), but that is not nearly the same thing as trusting Him. Faith, on the other hand, is entrusting ourselves — who we are, and our lives as well as our destinies — into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. And remaining there in relationship with Him.