Of Saving Faith.
Chapter 14, Paragraph 1.
“The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.”
2 Corinthians 4:13
1 Peter 2:2
Faith is a grace.
It is not drummed up from deep within ourselves by our own effort. It is not living your life according to a set of beliefs. It is not taking that first step and coming to Jesus.
Faith is a grace because it is a gift, given by God, that we do not deserve.
Notice what the Confession says about saving faith: the grace of faith is “wrought by the Spirit of Christ in their hearts”. While the Christian does come to believe and trust in Jesus for her salvation through her own will, she is enabled to do so only because she was granted that faith. In order for you to have faith, the Spirit has to have already indwelt you and wrought a change in your heart.The Lord provides for all our needs, and salvation is no exception.
This saving faith is ordinarily obtained through the “ministry of the Word.” Do we receive this ember of faith, and then keep it burning on our own? Of course not. God once again provides. The Word is used to continue to fortify our faith, and it is joined by baptism, the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other such God-given means of grace to strengthen and increase our faith.
This is why being part of a church that extols the preaching of the word and the other means of grace is vital. Your faith is not increased in skits about moral teachings; it is not strengthened by dazzling lights and sound. God has given us all that is necessary for all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience in His word. Why neglect His good gifts for anything else?
Questions to Consider
- Is there anything the Lord does not graciously provide in salvation?