Sunday, April 10, 2011

Faith in the gospel, faith on Christ

Here is an excerpt-line breaks, bullets, and emphasis mine-from the fourth direction in Walter Marshall's classic work on sanctification entitled The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification:

A hearty affectionate trusting on Christ for all His salvation, as freely promised to us, has naturally enough in it to work in our souls a rational bent and inclination to, and ability for, the practice of holiness; because it comprehends in it a trusting that, through Christ,
  • we are dead to sin and alive to God;
  • that our old man is crucified (Rom. 6:2-4);
  • and that we live by the Spirit (Gal. 5:25);
  • and that we have forgiveness of sin;
  • and that God is our God (Ps. 48:14);
  • and that we have in the Lord righteousness and strength, by which we are able to do all things (Isa. 45:24; Phil. 4:13);
  • and that we shall be gloriously happy in the enjoyment of Christ to all eternity (Phil. 3:20, 21).

I'd like to note two things, two glorious things, about this passage. First, the inclination and ability to grow and perform godliness is inherent in faith. The trusting and treasuring of Christ, a gift of grace from God, which believes in the gospel and on Christ, comes with the things necessary for growth in Christ-likeness. This is contrary to any type of legalism which suggests we can please God through our self-centered working and striving. It is all by grace.

Secondly, consider-no, rather, feast-on the list of the benefits of faith. If that does not stir you, what will?

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