Paul’s Footsteps #42

Footsteps #42

It’s important to remember that faith itself doesn’t add to justification, as if faith were meritorious in and of itself. Faith is, instead, the hand by which we take hold of Christ and His works on our behalf. We are not justified on the basis of our faith but on the basis of Christ’s faithfulness for us, which we claim for ourselves through faith.

The condition of eternal life has never changed. Perfect obedience to the law of God and perfect righteousness. But our natures are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous – we have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. Christ’s character stands in place of our character and we are accepted before God just as if we had not sinned! Declared righteous!

Christ did what every individual has failed to do, and that is: He alone was faithful to God in everything He did. Our hope is in Christ’s faithfulness, not our own. We believe in Christ, not that we might be justified by that belief, but that we might be justified by His faithfulness to God. Yes – we are saved by works! His works not ours!

Genuine biblical faith is always a response to God. True faith originates in a heart touched with a sense of gratitude and love for God’s goodness. Paul says that faith is ultimately rooted in our realization of what Christ did for us on the cross.

Faith(noun) and belief(verb) are the same word in the Greek. A careful examination of Scripture reveals that faith involves not only intellectual knowledge about God but a mental consent or acceptance of that knowledge. This is one reason why having an accurate picture of God is so important. Distorted ideas about the character of God actually can make it more difficult to have faith. True faith affects the whole of a person’s life, not just the mind. It involves commitment to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as opposed to just a list of rules. Faith is as much what we do and how we live and in whom we trust, as it is what we believe.

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