Faith is union with objective Christianity ? appropriation of the real contents of Christianity.? Dr. Samuel Hopkins, the great uncle, defined faith as ?an understanding, cordial receiving of the divine testimony concerning Jesus Christ and the way of salvation by him, in which the heart accords and conforms to the gospel.? Dr. Mark Hopkins, the great nephew, defined it as ?confidence in a personal being.? Horace Bushnell: ?Faith rests on a person. Faith is that act by which one person, a sinner, commits himself to another person, a Savior.? In <431125>John 11:25 ? ?I am the resurrection and the life? ? Martha is led to substitute belief in a person for belief in an abstract doctrine. Jesus is ?the resurrection.? because he is ?the life.? All doctrine and all miracle are significant and important only because they are the expression of the living Christ, the Revealer of God.
The object of faith is sometimes represented in the N. T., as being God the Father. <430524>John 5:24 ? ?He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life?; <450405>Romans 4:5 ? ?to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness.? We can explain these passages only when we remember that Christ is God ?manifested in the flesh? ( <540316>1 Timothy 3:16), and that ?he that hath seen me hath seen the Father? (John l4:9). Man may receive a gift, without knowing, who it comes from or how much it has cost. So the heathen, who casts himself as a sinner upon God?s mercy, may receive salvation from the Crucified One, without knowing who is the giver or that the gift was purchased by agony and blood. Denney, Studies in Theology, 154 ? ?No N. T. writer ever remembered Christ. They never thought of him as belonging to the past. Let us not preach about the Historical Christ but rather, about the living Christ; nay, let us preach him, present and omnipotent. Jesus could say: ?Whither I go, ye know the way? ( <431404>John 14:4); for they knew him and he was both the end and the way.?
Dr. Charles Hodge unduly restricts the operations of grace to the preaching of the Incarnate Christ: Systematic Theology, 2:648 ? ?There is no faith where the gospel is not heard and where there is no faith, there is no salvation. This is indeed an awful doctrine.? And yet, in 2:668 he says most inconsistently: ?As God is everywhere present in the material world, guiding its operations according to the laws of nature, so he is everywhere present with the minds of men. As the Spirit of truth and goodness, operating on them according to laws of their free moral agency, inclining them to good and restraining them from evil.? This presence and revelation of God we hold to be through Christ, the eternal Word. We interpret the prophecy of Caiaphas as referring to the work of the personal
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