Manual Saving Faith: Beginning of The Acquisition

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Table of contents

The manner in which we are made partakers of it, namely, by the gracious and sovereign disposal of heaven. That the weakest real believers share the blessing together with the strongest apostles themselves, greatly magnifieth our idea of its worth. In believing the soul is persuaded of the power of Christ to save it, guilty and wretched as it is; for God hath laid help upon One that is mighty to save.

In saving faith the soul gives full credit to this great gospel truth, that the mercy of Christ is equal to His power to save. In believing the heart fully confides in the faithfulness of Christ to perform His promise of eternal life to all those who believe on Him. Take notice of the light or evidence by which true believers discern, and yield their assent to the truths of the gospel.

Now this is wholly supernatural. The full credit given by the heart to the testimony of the Spirit in His Word, is peculiar to saving faith; there is therefore an essential difference between this and the assent of mere common professors. This difference chiefly consists in three things. The difference is as real and as great as that of seeing an object and hearing of it only. In them they perceive everything for their entertainment and profit.

The impressions the objects of faith make upon the mind of temporary believers, are as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away, leaving their hearts still unchanged. But sincere believers with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. This act of faith is called a receiving Christ, embracing Him, accepting Him, coming to Him, leaning upon Him, and resting on Him for salvation.

It implies a hearty approbation of the scheme of redemption in the blood of Christ, as originating from, and infinitely worthy of, the wisdom, mercy, and love of God. Trust in Christ more specifically consists in the hearty acquiescence of the soul in Him for salvation.

Its leading exercise is a rest in His propitiation for pardon, and then, being accepted in the Beloved for grace, for glory, and for every mercy. He is all in all to believers. The necessity of biblical faith is also observed in the accomplishments of faith.

Where does faith come from?

The scriptures teach that the saved are justified, purified, and sanctified by faith Rom. Paul succinctly stated that men become children of God by faith. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" Gal. Hence, our time and energy are well justified in carefully examining the faith that saves. How faith is produced. Many believe and teach that faith is supernaturally produced, independent of man. Not only is this false doctrine, but it convinces man that he has no part in the acquisition of faith.

Hence, those so influenced do not acquire faith.

Saving Faith -

This is one reason the word is called the "seed of the kingdom" Luke 8: Reading of Jesus' teaching and miracles produces faith in a good and honest heart John Allow me to suggest that faith in the scriptures when viewed in the context and circumstance of salvation consists of four parts or elements. There is the essential element of "knowledge," "assent," "confidence," and "obedience" see Addendum 3. The early church realized such a practical treatment of faith, but early on change began to occur. The apostate church Roman Catholicism, I Tim.

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Such reformers also emphasized "trust" or "confidence" as a constituent of saving faith. It was in the context of Roman concept and teaching of faith works which Catholicism defined and Roman indulgences that Luther originally supplied "only" to Romans 3: Let us now examine "faith" as seen in the scriptures to determine if we are correct in submitting that saving faith consists of "knowledge," "assent," "confidence," and "obedience" and whether or not these elements are static or always present.

The basic nature of faith involved some degree of understanding. Learning of God and his word are involved and necessary in order for faith to even exist cp. Hence, we are correct in saying that "knowledge" is always present in the circumstance of faith that saves. It is important that we point out, though, that more than mere knowledge is required. The matter of "assent" in the scenario of faith.

God does not deny man of free moral agency or freedom of choice and thus force or coerce man to accept him.

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Faith or belief is viewed as having been completed in the circumstance of the jailor or, put another way, faith is seen as used not as an initial act of concurrence, but comprehensively used to include all that was necessary in the situation see Acts Saving faith involving "assent" most certainly is seen in the scriptures as involving more than simple assent. As seen, even the demons believe or realize God is in the matter of assent Jas.

Confidence or trust viewed as an element of faith.

Saving Faith: Beginning of The Acquisition

Early on, the false system of Gnosticism Greek, to know had exerted enough influence to take away in the minds of many "trust" in the case of faith. To them, it all became intellectual or "knowing. Paul declared, "For the which cause I also suffer these things: Such trust, though, must stem out of a true understanding and experience of salvation and not simply "trust only.

The presence of obedience in the case of faith that saves. This is precisely the truth James is presenting in James 2: In one sense, "obedience" and "faith" are tantamount or the same.

Two matters are set forth as antithetical or opposites, "believeth" and "believeth not. Many translate apisthon, "obeyeth not" see American Standard Version. Hence, Jesus is teaching that belief and obedience are equal terms, if you will, and disbelief and disobedience as equivalent. The writer of Hebrews does precisely the same.

And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief" Heb. Notice how "disobedient" and "unbelief" are synonymous.

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Hence, it would follow that "obedience" and "belief" are equal. It is understood, however, that more is involved in faith that saves than simply mechanical conformity cp. An examination of all pertinent verses relative to teaching about faith and the recorded examples in Acts of people having saving faith harmoniously teach and exhibit faith as being necessarily and always consisting of knowledge, assent, confidence, and obedience.