Skip to main content

Salvation - Faith


Cairns defines faith “as the work of the Holy Spirit, His gift to God’s elect, enabling them to believe as true whatever God has revealed in His Word and to accept, receive, and rest upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life. It is never alone, being always accompanied by repentance and producing good works.”[1]
Charles Ryrie states, “Faith means ‘confidence, trust, holding something as true.’ Certainly, faith must have some content. There must be confidence about something or in someone. To believe in Christ for salvation means to have confidence that He can remove the guilt of sin and give eternal life. It means to believe that He can solve the problem of sin which is what keeps a person out of heaven.”[2]
When writing about faith in relation to salvation, Charles Hodge states, “That faith, therefore, which is connected with salvation, includes knowledge, that is a perception of the truth and its qualities; assent, or the persuasion of the truth of the object of faith; and trust, or reliance. The exercise, or state of mind expressed by the word faith, as used in the Scriptures, is not mere assent, or mere trust; it is the intelligent perception, reception, and reliance on the truth, as revealed in the Gospel.”[3]

Critical to understanding the biblical definition of faith in connection with salvation is, understanding the three elements that are part of that definition:
(1) Faith is knowledge. By this we mean that faith knows the facts about something or someone, it rests upon evidence rather than it being a blind act taken because of a lack of knowledge (Ps. 9:10; Rom. 10:17).
(2) Faith is assent. In other words, knowledge of the facts results in believing those facts. Knowledge becomes conviction; knowledge goes from being mental to being heartfelt.
(3) Faith is trust. This means we appropriate those convictions and completely surrender and submit to the object of our faith. Trust is giving consent to the will to take action, to move, embrace, and receive (John 1:12) without reservation the Christ it believes. Faith takes us from knowledge about Christ to belief in Christ.

The Bible is very clear in teaching that God is the source of faith, faith is a gift (Rom. 12:3; Phil. 1:29), and it is given to those who do not resist the Holy Spirit who creates it in the hearts of men, leading them to repentance and enabling them to trust. The result of faith is salvation (John 1:12; Rom. 5:1; Gal. 3:26).


[1] Alan CairnsDictionary of Theological Terms, expanded third edition (Greenville: Ambassador Emerald International, 2002), p. 175.
[2] Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation (Wheaton: Victor, 1989), pp. 118, 119.
[3] Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), p. 29.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On Affirmations of Faith

The dictionary defines affirmation as, “The assertion that something exists or is true. Something that is affirmed; a statement or proposition that is declared to be true.” Affirmations imply knowledge, understanding, certainty, and conviction. Affirmations mean very little unless they reach to the point of identification and involvement. Knowing what one believes and why is a must for every genuine Christian, in fact, it is a biblical mandate. An Affirmation of Faith is no affirmation at all unless God and His truth have become experiential and they have utterly gripped you. Superficiality and confusion as to what we believe are at the root of moral and spiritual calamity in Christian experience, and of weakness and worldliness in the life and witness of the church. I know, what is true of many is not representative of the entire Christian community. Knowing where we ought to be (we learn that in Scripture) and getting there requires us to first take stock of where we currently are. Trut…

The Existence of God - Naturalistic & Biblical Arguments

Charles Ryrie states that traditionally there have been two lines of argument used to demonstrate the existence of God, the naturalistic and the biblical arguments.[1] Here I will evaluate those that fall within both the naturalistic as well as the biblical arguments.
Naturalistic Arguments
Dan Story contends that “it doesn’t take much reflection for us to realize that we exist, and we did not create ourselves. And since that’s true, it’s easy to figure out that something or someone besides ourselves brought us to be. And with a little more reflection, we can also see that the entire universe came to be in one of three possible ways: (1) it created itself; (2) it has always existed, and therefore had no Creator; or (3) it was created by something or someone outside of itself.”[2]
Cosmological Argument A well-established philosophical principle is ex nihilo nihil fit (Latin meaning, “from nothing, nothing comes”). The idea or point of the principle is that you cannot get something out of n…

The Doctrine of the Trinity

Benjamin Warfield defines the Trinity as follows, “There is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence.”[1]
Chafer states, “The Trinity is composed of three united Persons without separate existence—so completely united as to form one God. The divine nature subsists in three distinctions—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”[2] Geisler, in giving the meaning of Trinity, he states, “It means that God is a triunity: He is a plurality within unity. God has a plurality of persons and a unity of essence; God is three persons in one nature. There is only one ‘What’ (essence) in God, but there are three ‘Whos’ (persons) in that one What. God has three ‘I’s’ in His one ‘It’—there are three Subjects in one Object.”[3]
The Athanasian Creed clearly sets forth the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, “That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividin…