(c) nor because faith is the germ from which obedience may spring hereafter, for it is not the faith which accepts, but the Christ who is accepted, that renders such obedience possible, but
(d) because faith, and not repentance or love or hope is the medium or instrument by which we receive Christ and are united to him. Hence we are never said to be justified dia< pi>stin , = on account of faith, but only dia< pi>stewv , = through faith, or ejk pi>stewv , = by faith. Or, to express the same truth in other words, while the grace of God is the efficient cause of justification and the obedience and sufferings of Christ are the meritorious or procuring cause, faith is the mediate or instrumental cause.
Edwards, Works, 4:69-73 ? ?Faith justifies, because faith includes the whole act of union to Christ as a Savior. It is not the nature of any other graces or virtues directly to close with Christ as a mediator any further than they enter into the constitution ofjustifying faith and do belong to its nature.? Observations on Trinity 64-67 ? ?Salvation is not offered to us upon any condition but freely and for nothing. We are to do nothing for it; we are only to take it. This taking and receiving is faith.? H. B. Smith, System, 524 ? ?An internal change is a sine qua non ofjustification but not its meritorious ground.? Give a man a gold mine. It is his. He has not to work for it; he has only to work it. Working for life is one thing; working from life is quite another. The marriage of a poor girl to a wealthy proprietor makes her possessor of his riches despite her former poverty. Yet her acceptance has not purchased wealth. It is hers, not because of what she is or has done, but because of what her husband is and has done. So faith is the condition of justification, only because through it Christ becomes ours, and with him his atonement and righteousness. Salvation comes not because our faith saves us, but because it links us to the Christ who saves and believing is only the link. There is no more merit in it than in the beggar?s stretching forth his hand to receive the offered purse or the drowning man?s grasping the rope that is thrown to him.
The Wesleyan scheme is inclined to make faith a work. See Dabney, Theology, 637. This is to make faith the cause and ground or at least to add it to Christ?s work as a joint cause and ground of justification as if justification were dia< pi>stin , instead of dia< pi>stewv or ejk pi>stewv . Since faith is never perfect, this is to go back to the Roman Catholic uncertainty of salvation. See Dorner, Glaubenslehre, 2:744, 745 (Syst. Doct. 4:206, 207). C. H. M. on Gen. 3:7 ? ?They made themselves aprons of fig leaves, before God made them coats of skin. Man ever tries
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?