Friday, February 10, 2012

Grounds of Saving Faith 3

Having dispensed with what are not the grounds of justifying faith we must not ask: What then are the grounds of true justifying faith? This is what we now propose to answer.

The Covenant of Grace, or the gracious call of God in the Gospel - as it is held out in Scripture - is the only, adequate ground of faith. In this call, or offer of the Gospel there are six particulars to be considered which are the special grounds of believing:

A. The Gospel call declares that there is a sufficient Savior. This Savior is Jesus Christ. There is no other way. As the Heidelberg Catechism says, “either Jesus is not a complete Saviour; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Saviour, must find all things in him necessary to their salvation (Lord’s Day 11, Question 30).

B. Christ’s good-will and desire to confer the all-sufficient remedy. God gave His only Son, and the Son came to do the Father’s will. Not only is Christ a sufficient Savior, He is full of good-will and tender-heartedness toward the elect sinners for whom He atoned.

C. There is God’s promise of the all-sufficient remedy Christ’s satisfaction obtained. It is not just that we were dead in sin and in need of a Savior. We actually have the promise of God that all things we need for our salvation are to be found in Christ.

D. This promise is amply accomplished in that Christ both fulfilled the Law for His people and suffered the punishment their sins deserved. Christ perfectly obeyed God in our place, thus establishing the necessary righteous, perfect obedience to the Law of God, which Adam forfeited when He broke the Covenant of Works. Moreover, Christ paid the price of death which our transgressions incurred. So the two-fold requirement was met.

E. Furthermore, we have the explicit command of God to believe in Christ and to freely embrace the offer of salvation through His merits. More than merely being offered to poor sinners, the Gospel is actually commanded to be believed.

F We must also consider God’s faithfulness. Christ asserted that He would not drive away those who in saving faith came to Him (John 6:37).

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