Mary was more blessed in accepting the faith of Christ than in conceiving the flesh of Christ. To someone who said, “Blessed is the womb that bore you,” [Jesus] replied, “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” Finally, for His brothers, His relatives according to the flesh who did not believe in Him, of what advantage was that relationship? Even her maternal relationship would have done Mary no good unless she had borne Christ more happily in her heart than in her flesh.
As the act of healing through the eyes of the Israelites and the brazen serpent went together; so, in the act of justifying, these two, faith and Christ, have a mutual relation, and must always concur- faith as the action which apprehendeth, Christ as the object which is apprehended; so that neither the passion of Christ saveth without faith, nor doth faith help unless it be in Christ, its object.
Faith is the instrument that God uses to save us through Christ.
Propitiation by Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence taken from It Is Well, by Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence, copyright 2010, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, page 126.
Trusting Christ will always show itself by following Him.
Jesus Christ is no princelet or kinglet, and not merely a king, but “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). Thus when you confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord” you at once confess His incarnation and His Messiahship and His lordship, sealed by His glorious resurrection as He now forever reigns.
“Believing” in Christ does not merely refer to intellectual assent to a proposition about Christ. Rather, the biblical concept of “belief” involves a personal response and commitment to Christ’s Person.
Faith, if it is to be sure and steadfast, must lay hold upon nothing else but Christ alone, and in the conflict and terrors of conscience it has nothing else to lean on but this precious pearl Christ Jesus. So, he who apprehends Christ by faith, although he be terrified with the law and oppressed with the weight of his sins, yet he may be bold to glory that he is righteous. How? Even by that precious jewel Christ Jesus, whom he possesses by faith.
The object of saving faith is not a creed, not a church, not a pastor, not a set of rituals or ceremonies. Jesus is the object of saving faith.
A full, true confession of Jesus Christ as Lord is only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit through exposure to the written revelation, the external Scripture which He authored and accompanied by the internal heart work by which He regenerates, illuminates and sanctifies.
Faith is only as reliable and helpful as the trustworthiness of its object; and Christian faith is powerful and effective because the object of faith, Jesus Christ, is infinitely powerful and absolutely dependable. Christian faith never fails, because the One in whom that faith is placed never fails.
Christ is…not primarily an example for faith but the object of faith.
Forgiveness is available for all sins, without exception. Forgiveness is received freely through trusting Christ. And trusting Christ involves confessing sin as sin and turning away from it to embrace the ways of God with joy.
It is impossible to separate faith in Christ from feelings for Christ…Faith fuels feeling. True intellectual knowledge of God naturally and necessarily involves deep emotional desire for God.
Faith is belief. Faith is trusting God for the forgiveness that He has offered us in Christ. Faith is believing this message that we can be saved from His judgment though the means He has provided. Faith is rejecting our own goodness and trusting in God’s goodness for salvation.
Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be, and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then to expect this of Him.
Do you believe? “I believe,” says one, and he begins to repeat what they call the “Apostles’ Creed.” Hold your tongue, sir! That matters not; the devil believes that, perhaps more intelligently than you do; he believes and trembles. That kind of believing saves no man. You may believe the most orthodox creed in Christendom, and perish. Do you trust – for that is the cream of the word “believe” – do you trust in Jesus? Do you lean your whole weight on Him? Have you that faith which the Puritans used to call “recumbency” or “leaning”? This is the faith that saves – faith that falls back into the arms of Jesus, a faith that drops from its own hanging-place into those mighty arms.
It is never on account of its formal nature as a psychic act that faith is conceived in Scripture to be saving. It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or nature of faith, but in the object of faith.