is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom...to another faith, in the same Spirit.? In this latter passage, it seems to be intimated that for special exigencies the Holy Spirit gives to his servants special faith, so that they are enabled to lay hold of the general promise of God and make special application of it. <450826>Romans 8:26, 27 ? ?the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity... maketh intercession for us...maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God? <620514>1 John 5:14, 15 ? ?And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: and if we knew that he heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.? Only when we begin to believe, do we appreciate our lack of faith, and the great need of its increase. The little beginning of light makes known the greatness of the surrounding darkness. <410924>Mark 9:24 ? ?I believe; help thou mine unbelief? was the utterance of one who recognized both the need of faith and the true source of supply.
On the general subject of Faith, see Kostlin, Die Lehre von dem Glauben. 13-85, 301-341, and in Jahrbuch f. d. Theol., 4:177 sq.; Romaine on Faith, 9-89; Bishop of Ossory Nature and Effects of Faith, 1-40; Venn, Characteristics of Belief, Introduction, Nitzsch, System of Christ Doct., 294.
By justification we mean that judicial act of God by which, on account of Christ, to whom the sinner is united by faith, he declares that sinner to be no longer exposed to the penalty of the law but to be restored to his favor. Or, to give an alternative definition from which all metaphor is excluded: Justification is the reversal of God?s attitude toward the sinner because of the sinner?s new relation to Christ. God did condemn; he now acquits. He did repel; he now admits to favor.
Justification, as thus defined, is therefore a declarative act, as distinguished from an efficient act, an act of God external to the sinner, as distinguished from an act within the sinner?s nature and changing that nature. It is a judicial act as distinguished from a sovereign act, an act based upon and logically presupposing the sinner?s union with Christ, as distinguished from an act, which causes and is followed by that union with Christ.
The word ?declarative? does not imply a ?spoken? word on God?s part, much less that the sinner hears God speak. That justification is sovereign
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