Chapter 14

 

OF SAVING FAITH

 

Paragraph 1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,1 and is ordinarily* wrought by the ministry of the Word;2 by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.3

1 2 Cor. 4:13; Eph. 2:8

2 Rom. 10:14,17

3 Luke 17:5;  1 Pet. 2:2;  Acts 20:32

 

Paragraph 2. By this faith a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God himself,4 and also apprehends an excellency therein above all other writings and all things in the world,5 as it bears forth the glory of God in his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in his workings and operations: and so is enabled to cast his soul upon the truth consequently believed;6 and also acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands,7 trembling at the threatenings,8 and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come;9 but the principle acts of saving faith have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.10

4 Acts 24:14

5 Ps. 19:7-10; Ps. 119:72

6 2 Tim. 1:12

7 John 15:14

8 Isa. 66:2

9 Heb. 11:13

10 John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Gal 2:20; Acts 15:11

 

Paragraph 3. This faith, although it be in different stages, and may be weak or strong,11 yet it is in the least degree of it different in the kind or nature of it, as is all other saving grace, from the faith and common grace of temporary believers;12 and therefore, though it may be many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory,13 growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ,14 who is both the author and finisher of our faith.15

11 Heb. 5:13,14; Matthew 6:30; Rom. 4:19,20

122 Pet. 1:1

13 Eph. 6:16;  1 John 5:4,5

14 Heb. 6:11,12; Colossians 2:2

15 Heb. 12:2

 


 

*Editor’s Notes:

 

Chapter 14 and paragraph 1, speaks of the Holy Spirit’s work of enabling the Elect to have faith and that it is “ordinarily wrought by the Ministry of the Word”.

Romans 10 reads:

 

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

If there is some other way, by which the Lord saves His people, other than through the Ministry of the Word, He hasn’t told us about it. He has every right to save His people any way He desires. We, on the other hand, do not have the right to start assuming things about Him that He has not revealed to us.

There is no proof text for the word “ordinarily”; therefore it should not be included.

 

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