(From Chapter 3 of The Christian’s Great Interest, by William Guthrie)
Guthrie continues with mistakes which can be made about faith. The second mistake is that one may believe that faith is too little a thing upon which to hang the great work of salvation. Surely God must demand something more than faith to grant justification and adoption.
Such people are the ones constantly hoping that enough good work can be loaded upon their faith to make their faith worth justification. They are children who hope to good enough so that their parent will finally be their parent. How ungrateful a thing! This is like insisting on paying for a present: No one gives me anything, I will earn my way!”
No, salvation is God’s gift and he can set the condition to receive the prize:
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:14–18 (ESV)
Finally, some think that faith simply cannot be known. Yet such a thought is simply not true. First, faith can be known: surely one’s desires are knowable. Second, God has granted his Spirit to testify to us concerning such saving faith. Third, it can be evidenced by considering the various elements of thought which fill out and give substance to faith. Guthrie provides a substantial list of such elements:
· I am lost
· I cannot work out my own salvation
· There is a satisfying fullness in Christ.
· I desire the dominion of Christ as king.
· I see Christ as the true prophet of God
· I “desire to resign myself wholly up to Him”.
· Evidence of actual change in my heart, my thoughts, my desires, my actions.