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Chap. XVII. — Of Faith.

Q. 1. By what means do we become actual members of this church of God?

A. By a lively justifying faith,7474   Of this faith the Holy Spirit is the efficient cause, the Word, the instrumental; — the Law indirectly, by discovering our misery; the Gospel immediately, by holding forth a Saviour. whereby we are united unto Christ, 486the head thereof.
Acts ii. 47, xiii. 48; Heb. xi. 6, xii. 22, 23, iv. 2; Rom. v. 1, 2; Eph. ii. 13, 14.

Q. 2. What is a justifying faith?

A. A agracious resting upon7575   Faith is in the understanding, in respect of its being and subsistence, — in the will and heart, in respect of its effectual working. the free promises of God in Jesus Christ for mercy, bwith a firm persuasion of heart that God is a reconciled Father unto us in the Son of his love.
a1 Tim. i. 16; Job xiii. 15, xix. 25; Rom. iv. 5. bHeb. iv. 16; Rom. viii. 38, 39; Gal. ii. 20; 2 Cor. v. 20, 21.

Q. 3. Have all this faith?

A. None but the elect of God.
Tit. i. 1; John x. 26; Matt. xiii. 11; Acts xiii. 48; Rom. viii. 30.

Q. 4. Do not, then, others believe that make profession?

A. Yes; with, first, historical faith, or a persuasion that the things written in the Word are true, James ii. 19; secondly, temporary faith, which hath some joy of the affections, upon unspiritual grounds, in the things believed.
Matt. xiii. 20; Mark vi. 20; John ii. 23, 24; Acts viii. 13.


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