E. G. Robinson: ?Campbellism makes intellectual belief to be saving faith. But saving faith is consent of the heart as well as assent of the intellect. On the one hand there is the intellectual element. Faith is belief upon the ground of evidence; faith without evidence is credulity. But on the other hand faith has an element of affection for the element of love is always wrapped up in it. So Abraham?s faith made Abraham like God for we always become like that which we trust.? Faith therefore is not chronologically subsequent to regeneration but is its accompaniment. As the soul?s appropriation of Christ and his salvation, it is not the result of an accomplished renewal but rather the medium through which that renewal is effected. Otherwise it would follow that one who had not yet believed ( i. e., received Christ) might still be regenerate, whereas the Scripture represents the privilege of son-ship as granted only to believers. See <430112>John 1:12, 13 ? ?But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God?; also 3:5, 6, 10-15; <480326>Galatians 3:26; <610103>2 Peter 1:3; cf. <620501>1 John 5:1.
(b) The object of saving faith is, in general, the whole truth of God, so far as it is objectively revealed or made known to the soul but in particular, the person and work of Jesus Christ, which constitutes the center and substance of God?s revelation. ( <441718>Acts 17:18; <460123>1 Corinthians 1:23; <510127> Colossians 1:27; Revelations 19:10).
Though they had no knowledge of a personal Christ and in so far as God had revealed himself to them, the patriarchs were saved by believing in God. In like manner, whoever among the heathen is saved must be saved by casting themselves as helpless sinners upon God?s plan of mercy, dimly shadowed forth in nature and providence. But such faith, even among the patriarchs and heathen, is implicitly a faith in Christ and would become explicit and conscious trust and submission, whenever Christ were made known to them. ( <400811>Matthew 8:11, 12; <431016>John 10:16; <440412>Acts 4:12; 10:31, 34, 35, 44; 16:31).
<441718> Acts 17:18 ? ?he preached Jesus and the resurrection?; <460123>1 Corinthians 1:23 ? ?we preach Christ crucified?; <510127>Colossians 1:27 ? ?this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we proclaim?; <661910>Revelation 19:10 ? ?the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.? Saving faith is not belief in a dogma but personal trust in a personal Christ. It is, therefore, possible to a child. Dorner: ?The object of faith is the Christian revelation ? God in Christ.
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?