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§ 41. I. Faith.

After reconciliation with God has been brought about through Christ, inasmuch as, in man’s stead, He fulfilled the Law and made satisfaction for the sins of the world, thence-forward this new salvation is preached unto men, and through it the forgiveness of sin is offered to them (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18). To become a partaker of it, there is now no need of any meritorious work on the part of man, for Christ has done everything that was necessary to secure it; but this alone is necessary, that man receive the salvation that is offered him, and that he appropriate to himself the promise that is given; and this is done alone by faith. [1] Man cannot, however, attain this faith unless, after the redemption purchased by Christ has been preached and offered to him, he recognize the existence of this salvation, and the truth of this promise, as well as the comfort it contains for him, and can have the confidence that this salvation is designed, not for this or that one alone, but also for himself; for a joyful message can benefit a man only when he has no doubt of its truth, but can convince himself that he, too, is meant by it. [2]

Faith, considered with reference to its individual elements, consists accordingly of —

1. “Knowledge, and that explicit, of things to be believed, especially concerning Christ and His merit, concerning the grace of God, or the remission of sins, and concerning the salvation to be obtained thereby from God.” BR. (503). [3]

2. “Assent, i.e., an approving judgment of the intellect, by which we believe that those things which the Scriptures say concerning Christ and His merit and atonement for our sins, and concerning the grace of God and the promises of the free forgiveness of our sins for Christ’s sake, are certainly and indubitably true, and by which we absolutely acquiesce in them.” [4] QUEN. (IV, 283).

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3. “Confidence, an act by which the will rests in Christ, the Mediator, both as our present good and as the cause of another good, namely, the remission of sins and the attainment of eternal life.” BR. (506). [5]

None of these elements dare be wanting and no one of them alone constitutes the faith of which we here speak. [6] A real knowledge of the promises is essential to faith. A mere informal or implicit faith (such as says that it believes what the Church believes) is not sufficient, but there must be an explicit faith. [7] Faith consist, further, not in the mere recognition and crediting of that which is promised, while the person may be inwardly indifferent towards it (fides historica); it is therefore not sufficient simply to regard as true the preaching of salvation. Therefore is neither a general assent sufficient (a belief, in general, that God is just and merciful, and has sent His Son into the world as Redeemer, but without any specific application of these truths, James 2:19); but the assent must be special (in which the sinner decides that these general promises apply to himself individually). [8] Finally, salvation becomes really one’s own when he truly and with confidence embraces it and appropriates it to himself; and this last mentioned is, therefore, to be regarded as the most essential element of faith. [9]

Faith is, accordingly, the firm confidence which any one has attained that he dare trust in the salvation of Christ. [10] As such it is called special, also saving or justifying faith, [11] and it is the only means whereby we become partakers of salvation. [12] But this faith man cannot beget within himself, in any manner, by his own power: for man’s natural want of confidence in God can be overcome only by God Himself. If, therefore, a man believe, this faith is to be regarded as a work of God in him, [13] and the Word and Sacraments are the means which God employs for this purpose. [14]

But where such faith is wrought by God in man, there also, along with it, there has occurred a moral transformation; for he who has not recognized the comfort that is embraced in the offered salvation would not think of embracing it. But this comfort presupposes knowledge of sin and abhorrence of it. Where, therefore, this faith exists, there is always along with 412it a disposition towards that which is good; [15] and this so necessarily, that where this is wanting we may assume that the faith is not of the right kind, and that the offered salvation has not really been appropriated. (Saving faith is true and living, not false or dead.) [16] But it must here be carefully noted, that, although we cannot conceive of faith unaccompanied by a moral disposition, yet the latter is only something that in the very nature of things accompanies faith; salvation itself can be attained only through hearty confidence. The moral disposition is, therefore, in no sense the ground upon which salvation through Christ is imparted to men. [17] As, finally, there is no lack of indications whereby a man can recognize the existence of faith in himself, he may thoroughly satisfy himself whether the true faith that justifies has been wrought in him; [18] and this is designated as stronger or weaker, just in proportion to the strength or weakness of the confidence with which he embraces the offered salvation. [19]

[1] BR. (502): “Although through the passion and death of Christ there was truly offered whatever of satisfaction could be demanded from all the men in the world for the extinction of the debt incurred through their offences, and thus to appease God and reconcile them to Himself; nevertheless, God wished that sinners should acknowledge the satisfaction offered to Him for them by the Son of God, and make it their own by faith; and so He wished that whoever embraces the Saviour by faith may enjoy His merit.” Faith, in this sense, is “subjective, or that by which one believes (faith, properly so-called, which dwells in a believing man as a subject), and, as such, is distinguished from objective faith, or that which is believed (which is the doctrine of faith, and which is figuratively called faith, because it is the object of faith. Acts 6:7; 13:8; 16:5; Rom. 12:7).”

[2] AP. CONF. (II, 48): “The faith which justifies is not merely historical knowledge, but assent to the promise of God, in which remission of sins and justification are freely offered through Christ. Lest any one should suppose that it is mere knowledge, we add further: it is to wish to receive the proffered remission of sins and justification. — 81. Thus we are reconciled to the Father and receive the forgiveness of sins when we exercise confidence in the mercy promised in Christ.”

CHMN. (Loc. c. Th., II, 270): 1. “The Scripture calls faith 413knowledge2121[Notitiam et scientiam.] (γνωσις), Luke 1:77; Col. 2:3; Eph. 3:19. To faith must be presented, and upon it enforced, from the Word of God, the decree and history of redemption, the gratuitous and universal promise that God, on account of that victim, desires to receive sinners who betake themselves by faith to the Mediators. 2. Because many who hear these things and understand and know them, either neglect, or doubt, or resist, turn away from and oppose, it is necessary that assent should be united to this knowledge: not merely a general assent, but that by which each one determines with firm persuasion, which Paul calls assurance (πληροφορια, Heb. 10:22), that the universal promise belongs privately, individually, and specifically to him, and that he also is included in the general promise. 3. Then, after this knowledge and assent (which are in the mind), the heart or the will, under the Spirit’s influence, experiences such an inward groaning or desire, that, because it feels grievously the burden of its sins and of the anger of God, it wills, seeks, and asks that those blessings which are offered in the promise of the Gospel may be granted . . . . 4. When, in this way, thou turnest thyself, with mind, will and heart, from the contemplation of sin, and the consciousness of the wrath of God, and lookest unto the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, i.e., when, from the sentence of damnation, which is denounced against thee by the Law, thou fleest to the throne of grace and to the propitiation which our Heavenly Father offered in the blood of Christ, it is necessary to superadd confidence, which, with full assurance, determines from the Word of God, that God then gives, communicates, and applies to thee the benefits of the promise of grace, and that thou thus truly apprehendest and receivest, unto justification, salvation, and eternal life, those things which the gratuitous promise of the Gospel offers.”

[3] BR. (503): “Belief can take place only in regard to those things which are mentally conceived or embraced in simple apprehension. Hence, knowledge is commonly regarded as the first step of faith, or the first part or the beginning of faith. That knowledge is necessary to faith in Christ, is proved by John 6:69; 17:3; Luke 1:77; Acts 17:23, 30; Eph. 4:18; Gal. 4:9.”

[4] QUEN (IV, 283): “The second act of faith, (viz., assent) is more distinctive than the first (viz., knowledge), for even heretics may have knowledge and yet not yield assent to the Word known. But this assent is not superficial, doubting, vacillating, but should be decided and strong, on which account it is called the evidence of 414things not seen, Heb. 11:1. This act of faith does not depend upon the evidence of things, or upon the knowledge of causes and properties, but upon the infallible authority of God’s Word.”

[5] HOLL. (1178): “Confidence is an act of the will, by which the sinner, converted and regenerate, earnestly desires and seeks the mercy of God, secured by Christ’s merit, and embraces Him both as his own present good, and as the cause of the forgiveness of sins and of eternal salvation, relies upon Him against all terrors, and securely reclines and rests upon Him.”

QUEN. (IV, 284): “This confidence is nothing else than the acceptance or apprehension of the merit of the God-man, appropriating it to ourselves individually. The following passages indicate the apprehension: John 1:5, 12; 17:8; Rom. 5:17; Gal. 3:14; Luke 8:13; Acts 8:14; James 1:21; Acts 10:43; 1 Tim. 1:15. Appropriation is indicated by the applicative and possessive pronouns my, me, mine, as is evident from Job 19:25; Is. 45:24; John 20:28; Gal. 2:20 sq. It belongs, therefore, to confidence, to seek Christ, Is. 55:6; Amos 5:4; earnestly to seek, Ps. 42:1, 2; to apprehend Him with His righteousness, Rom. 9:30; to embrace Him with all acceptation, 1 Tim. 1:15; to appropriate His merit to one’s self, Gal. 3:26; Phil. 1:21; and sweetly to rest in Him, Rom. 4:21; Heb. 10:22. This apprehension belongs to the will and is practical; it involves the reclining of the whole heart and will upon the merit of Christ; it denotes desire for and access to Christ, and the application and confident appropriation of His merit: and this is truly confidence.”

[6] BR. (508): “This, therefore, is the faith which is said to apprehend Christ or His merit, particularly as it is assent joined with confidence, or confidence joined with assent, consisting of these acts united, and is designated now by the name of the former, and then by that of the latter, the other always being implied. Whence it appears how faith exists in different faculties; in the understanding and will, namely, as something compounded and united in divers acts directed to the same object, and preserving a certain order amongst themselves and towards that one and the same object.”

HOLL. (1166): “Faith is in the intellect with respect to knowledge; and assent, in the will with respect to confidence.” QUEN. (IV, 282): “These three parts of faith are expressed by John 14:10, 11, 12, where verse ten speaks of knowledge, verse eleven of assent, and verse twelve of confidence.” The three constituents of faith are conveyed in the phrases credere Deum, credere Deo and credere in Deum. “Credere Deum signifies, to believe that 415God exists; credere Deo signifies, to believe that those things which He speaks are true; credere in Deum signifies, by believing to love Him, by believing to go to Him, by believing to cling to Him and to be incorporated into His members. Heretics can have the first, the second the orthodox alone, the third the regenerate; and therefore the latter always include the former, but this order cannot be reversed. The former two pertain to the intellect, the third to the will; the first and second have respect to the entire Word of God, the third to the promise of grace and the merit of Christ.” (QUEN., ib.)

[7] BR. (503): “Explicit faith is that by which the thing to be believed, although it be not clearly known, or although all the things in it that are cognizable be not intelligibly apprehended, yet is in itself known distinctly, or in such a manner that it can be distinguished from other objects. With this is contrasted an implicit knowledge by which any one, e.g., is said to believe that Christ is the Redeemer, when he believes that those things are true which the Church believes, although he has no knowledge whatever as to what those things are which the Church believes.”

[8] HOLL. (1178): “By general assent, the universal promises of the grace of God and the merit of Christ are regarded as true. By special assent, the converted, regenerate sinner regards these general promises as pertaining to him individually. In 1 Tim. 1:15, the general and special assent of faith are united. By the general assent it is admitted as true that Christ Jesus came into the world to save all sinners. From this universal proposition the apostle descends to himself in particular, and believes that he has on Christ’s account obtained the mercy of God to salvation. From this it appears that Christ’s merit is universal, and the promises concerning the gratuitous remission of sins to be obtained through Christ are indeterminate. But that they may become actually profitable to one or another individual, it is necessary that the universal merit of Christ, and the indeterminate promises, should be applied and determined by special assent to this or that penitent sinner.”

[9] QUEN. (IV, 284, from CHMN., ex.): “It may be proved that confidence is the principal part of faith. (1) From etymology. Faith and confidence (fides and fiducia, πιστις and πεποιθησις) have one and the same origin; both come from a Greek word (πειθω), which means I persuade, I convince, cf. John 2:24.” (“From a comparison of passages in the Old and New Testaments, what in the Old Testament is attributed to those exercising trust, and to confidence, in the New Testament is applied to those believing, and to 416faith.” HOLL. (1182).) (2) From synonymics. Faith, Heb. 11:1, is called substance (υποστασις), which denotes a confidence of the heart subsisting firmly and immovably. (Comp. Ps. 39:4; 2 Cor. 9:4; 11:17; Heb. 3:14.) Faith is also called confidence (πεποιθησις), 2 Cor. 3:4; Eph. 3:12; a sure and immovable persuasion (πληροφορια), Rom. 4:20, 21; Col. 2:2; Heb. 10:22; boldness (παρρησια), Eph. 3:12; 1 John 3:21; 4:17. (3) From explanatory declarations. Faith is represented by the reception of Christ, John 1:12; by the apprehension of the merit of Christ, Rom. 3:30; by confidence, 1 John 5:13; Matt. 9:22; 15:28; 1 John 5:4. (4) From explicit declarations, in which faith must be regarded as confidence, as in Matt. 9:22; 15:28; 1 John 5:4. (5) From what are represented as its opposites. To faith is opposed hesitation, Rom. 4:20; James 1:6; Luke 8:50; Mark 5:34; Matt. 8:26; 14:31. (6) From reason. For that by which justifying faith is constituted and distinguished from other species of faith, is its essential element. But, by the confidential reception of Christ and His merit, justifying faith is constituted, John 1:12; Rom. 3:25, and is distinguished from an historical faith, James 2:19, and a miraculous faith, which regards another kind of promise, Mark 16:16. Therefore, “etc.

[CHEMNITZ, Examen (Preuss’ ed. I:192), much fuller: “1. From the nature and property of a gratuitous promise. For my confidence in my salvation does not depend upon the fact that the perspicacity of my understanding, by its acuteness, can penetrate the heaven of heavens, and scrutinize what is decreed concerning me in the secret counsel of the Trinity, but that God coming forth from His secret light, has revealed His will to us in His Word, as Paul, in 2 Cor. 2:16, does not hesitate to affirm that ‘we have the mind of Christ.’ If eternal life were to be apprehended by doubt, no promise would be more fitting than that of the Law, for because of the condition of perfect fulfilment attached, it leaves consciences in perpetual doubt. But since it is not doubt, but faith which justifies, and not he who doubts, but he who believes, has eternal life; God has set forth the gratuitous promise of the Gospel, which depends not on our works, but on the mercy of God, because of the obedience of His Son, our Mediator. Why this promise was set forth, Paul shows: ‘To the end that the promise might be sure,’ Rom. 4:16. But does he mean that it should be sure only in general, and of itself? In no wise, but, as he says, that it might be sure to all the seed. But how? It was written, he says, to us, to whom it shall be imputed if we believe, v.24. For the promise of the Law is in general, and of itself, sure. But in order 417that it might be sure to us, it is according to grace, and of faith. So in Heb. 6, we have that most comforting declaration, that God added an oath to His gratuitous promise, ‘that by two immutable things,’ etc., ‘that we who have fled for refuge might have a strong consolations.’ From such foundation, John derives his argument, 1 John 5:10; and that by this he does not mean mere general assent is clear from v.13; ‘That ye may know that ye have,’ etc. For if I believe in the Son of God, and yet doubt whether I have eternal life, I do not believe the promise: ‘He that believeth in the Son of God hath everlasting life.’

“2. From the peculiar office of Justifying Faith. John had a special purpose in saying of faith (1 John 3:14). ‘We know that we have passed,’ etc. (5:13): ‘That ye may know that ye have.’ In Heb. 6, there occurs the most beautiful metaphor of the anchor. For when an anchor falls upon treacherous ground, it cannot hold the ship securely; but when upon a firm foundation, it holds it against all waves. So, he says, the anchor of our hope has been cast into heaven itself, where Christ our High Priest is, who grasps, holds and supports it, as he says in John 10:28; Phil. 3:13 . . . . A most firm argument also against doubt is that of 2 Cor. 13:5. Notice that every one is to prove himself whether he be in the faith, and that they who do not acknowledge that Christ is in them, are reprobates.

“3. The doctrine concerning the use of the Sacraments furnishes the most consoling arguments concerning the certainty of the salvation of believers. For it is certain that the Son of God has added, by His own institution, to His promise of grace, the seals which are called sacraments; viz., that the promise of the Gospel be presented not only in general, but that, in the sacramental action, the general promise is offered, applied, and sealed to every one using it in faith; and that too, so that the weakness of faith which can feebly sustain itself by a general and naked promise, may be sustained and comforted by the efficacy of the Sacraments. Thus, Rom. 4, circumcision is called a seal of the righteousness of faith. Gal. 3:27: ‘As many of you as have been baptized into Christ,’ etc. 1 Pet. 3:21: ‘Baptism is the answer of a good conscience,’ etc. In the use of the Lord’s Supper, the Son of God applies: ‘Take, eat,’ etc. Of absolution, how precious the promise: ‘Whosoever sins,’ etc. Christ says, Luke 7:30: ‘Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace,’ Matt. 9:2.

“4. From the testimonies of Scripture concerning the sealing of believers by the Holy Ghost, Eph. 1:13; 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 4:30. For sealing is without controversy applied to those objects which 418we want to be held without doubt by those to whom they belong . . . . Nor is the sealing only a general persuasion, but that each one may determine that the promise is firm and certain unto himself, and that, too, in opposition to the doubt which naturally inheres in our minds.”

Another term is arrhabo, a word of Hebrew origin, signifying a pledge whereby suretyship is ratified and confirmed, not certainly that there may be doubt concerning it, but that faith in it may be undoubted . . . . For, since we are saved, but as yet only by hope, Rom. 8, and meantime faith is agitated by various temptations; in order, therefore, that we may not doubt concerning God’s good will towards us, the forgiveness of sins, adoption, salvation, and eternal life, He has given us as a pledge, not an angel, nor any creature, but the Holy Spirit Himself, con-substantial with Father and Son, so that, against every doubt, we may rest in the confidence of that salvation which shall be revealed in us. These metaphors are explained elsewhere in manifest declarations, 1 John 5:10; Rom. 8:16; Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 2:12; Eph. 1:18.

“5. From the examples of the saints: Abraham, Rom. 4:20; David, Ps. 23:4; 27:1; 31:1; Paul, Rom. 8:33 sqq.

“6. Doubt, conflicting with confidence, is reproved in Scripture, in explicit terms, Matt. 6:30; 14:31; Luke 12:29; James 1:5. In Rom. 14: ‘Whatsoever is not of faith,’ and ‘Whatever is of a doubtful conscience,’ are synonyms.”]

[10] Faith can therefore equally well be defined as “Confidence in mercy for Christ’s sake, or assent to the promise of grace through Christ, or apprehension of Christ or of His merit, or the confident and individual application of the doctrines of salvation, rightly learned from the Word of God, and approved with a firm consent, made in order to obtain forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation through and on account of Christ’s merit.” (Cf. note 1.)

HOLL. (1163): “Faith in Christ is the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which the converted and regenerated sinner savingly recognizes, with firm assent approves, and with unwavering confidence applies to himself, the Gospel promise of the grace of God and of the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation, to be obtained through the atonement and merit of Christ, so that he may be justified and eternally saved.”

The object of special faith is, accordingly, HOLL. (1166), “Christ the Mediator, so far as He is offered to us in the promise of the Gospel as the meritorious cause of the grace of God and of the remission of sins (1 John 2:2; Rom. 3:25; Acts 16:31); or, what is the same thing, the grace of God, on account of the satisfaction 419of Christ, remitting sin, and promised in the Gospel (Rom. 3:24); or, what is of similar import, the Gospel promise concerning the grace of God, and the remission of sins to be obtained through the satisfaction of Christ (Rom. 4:16; Gal. 3:22; 1 Tim. 1:15).” HOLL. (1167) remarks further: “The object of confidence is the same in substance, whether you represent it as Christ the Mediator, or as grace bestowed on account of Christ the Mediator. The difference lies only in the mode of conception and expression.”

[11] Special faith distinguished from general. HOLL. (1164): “General faith is that by which man, who needs salvation, believes all things to be true which are revealed in the Word of God. Of this species of faith we are not now speaking, because we are treating of faith as the means of salvation, and therefore in reference to a special or peculiar object, which has the power of recovering salvation lost by sin, and in consideration of which, faith may be considered among the means of salvation. Special faith is therefore that by which the sinner, converted and regenerated, applies to himself individually the universal promises in reference to Christ, the Mediator, and the grace of God accessible through Him, and believes that God desires to be propitious to him and to pardon his sins, on account of the satisfaction of Christ, made for his and all men’s sins. It is therefore called special faith, not because it has any special promise as its object, which is made specially to the believer, but on account of the application by which, under the universal promise of the grace of God and the merit of Christ, it reaches him individually. AP. CONF. II, 44: “This special faith, therefore, by which an individual believes that for Christ’s sake, his sins are remitted him, and that for Christ’s sake, God is reconciled and propitious, obtains remission of sins and justifies us.” On the relation of general and special faith, CHMN. (Loc. c. Th., II, 268): “Justifying faith (special) presupposes and includes general faith, which, with a firm persuasion, determines that those things are most certainly true which are disclosed in the Word of God. For when this general foundation totters, then a firm confidence in the evangelical promise cannot be conceived, nor can it be retained in time of trouble. Justifying faith has thus many properties in common with general.” Against the objections of Catholicism, he says: “The Papists constantly traduce our doctrine, as if we invented a partial faith which is not Catholic, because it may be detached from the other articles of belief and the entire Word of God, and restricted to the single item of Christ, the Mediator; as if the assent to other parts of the Word of God were not necessary, but arbitrary. To 420refute this calumny, therefore, at the very beginning of the definition, the declaration is made, that we do not exclude the other parts of the heavenly doctrine when we say that the promise of grace is the proper object of justifying faith. But as the sum, end, scope, and goal of the entire Scriptures is Christ in His mediatorial office, so faith, when it assents to the entire Word of God, regards the scope of the entire Scriptures, and refers all the other articles to the promise of grace.”

[12] FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., III, 38): “It is faith alone, and nothing else whatever, which is the means and instrument by which the grace of God and the merit of Christ in the promise of the Gospel are embraced, received, and applied to us.”

HOLL. (1173): “For justifying faith is the receptive organ and, as it were, the hand of the poor sinner, by which he applies and takes to himself, lays hold of, and possesses those things which are proffered in the free promise of the Gospel. God, the supreme Monarch, extends from heaven the hand of grace, obtained by the merit of Christ, and in it offers salvation. The sinner, in the abyss of misery, receives, as a beggar, in his hand of faith, what is thus offered to him. The offer and the reception are correlatives. Therefore the hand of faith, which seizes and appropriates the offered treasure, corresponds to the hand of grace which offers the treasure of righteousness and salvation.”

[13] FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., III, 10): “Faith is the gift of God, by which we apprehend aright Christ, our Redeemer, in the Gospel.” GRH. (VII, 162): “We are so corrupted and depraved by sin, that we not only need redemption, the pardon of sins, the gift of salvation and eternal life, but that we also cannot of ourselves and from our own power produce even faith through which to become partakers of divine grace and heavenly blessings. God, therefore, pitying us, acted as a faithful physician, who not only carries medicine to the patient to cure him, but in addition, if there be occasion, and the invalid cannot do it, attends to the administration of it himself.”

QUEN. (IV, 281): “God is the principal efficient cause of saving faith. John 6:29; Phil. 1:29. Hence faith is called the gift of God, Eph. 2:8, and it is said to be of the operation of God, Col. 2:12. This shows that faith proceeds from God, who regenerates, and is not the product of our own will; it is not meritorious. It has its origin in grace, not in nature; it is adventitious, not hereditary; supernatural, not natural. That which, in respect to its commencement, its increase, and its completion, is from God, cannot depend upon our will and powers of nature. But faith 421is of God in its commencement, Phil. 2:13; 1:6; in its increase, Mark 9:24; Luke 17:5; and in its completion, Phil. 1:6; 2 Thess. 1:11. Therefore, etc.” Br. (721): “The moving internal cause is the goodness of God, or His mercy and gratuitous favor (Phil. 1:29); the external is the merit of Christ.”

[14] AP. CONF., II, 73: “We do not exclude the Word or the Sacraments. We have said above that faith is conceived from the Word, and we honor the ministry of the Word in the highest degree.”

GRH. (VII, 163): “He does not wish to produce faith in the hearts of men immediately, or by enthusiastic raptures of the Holy Spirit, but mediately by the preaching, hearing, and reading of the Word, and meditation upon it. Therefore the instrumental cause of faith is the preaching of the Word. The Holy Spirit not only offers in the Gospel the vast benefits procured by the passion and death of Christ; but operates also through the Word upon the hearts of men, and kindles in them faith by which they embrace and apply to themselves the proffered mercies.” The difference in regard to the order in which the Word and Sacraments influence adults and children is thus laid down by QUEN. (IV, 282): “The conferring means in adults are, first, the Word preached, heard, read, and devoutly considered. John 17:20; Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21; 2 Cor. 4:6; and afterwards the Sacraments. In infants, however, Baptism is first as a source generating faith.”

Agreeably to this, HOLL. (1186) distinguishes “faith (which essentially and absolutely considered is one), in relation to the mode of knowledge, as direct, which directly leads to Christ and the grace of God afforded in Him (for example, infants believe, but they cannot yet prove their faith [explorare fidem suam] for want of ripened judgment), and as reflex and discursive, by which a man regenerated believes and perceives that he believes, so that he can say with Paul, 2 Tim. 1:12: ‘I know whom I have believed.’”

[15] AP. CONF. (II, 45): “Because faith comforts and lifts up the heart in repentance, i.e., in its distresses, renews us, and brings the Holy Spirit, enabling us to obey the Law of God.”

Ib. (64): “But when we say of such faith, that it is not mere idle thinking but that it delivers us from death and begets new life in our hearts, and is a work of the Holy Spirit, it does not co-exist with mortal sin, but produces good fruits only so long as it is really present.”

FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., IV, 10): “As Luther writes in the introduction to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: ‘Faith is a divine work in us which changes us, divinely regenerates, mortifies 422the old Adam, makes of us altogether different men (in heart, soul, and in all our powers), and confers the Holy Spirit upon us. Oh, it is a living, efficacious, energetic power that we have in faith, so that it cannot exist without always producing good works! It does not inquire whether good works are to be performed, but, before any such inquiry, has already performed many, and is always busy in the performance of them.” BR. (518): “Confidence is always attended with love. For, when our will has respect to Christ as a present good, and to God as appeased for Christ’s sake and rendered propitious to us, it renders to Him a love not only of complacency, but likewise of benevolence; its impulses are good will to Him, a desire to perform what will be good and grateful to Him.”

[16] HOLL. (1163): “A false, or vain and dead, faith is equivocally called faith, as it is only an empty persuasion and boasting of faith, or a bold presumption upon the mercy and grace of God on account of the merit of Christ, in an impenitent man, indulging himself in sin. Concerning this, see James 2:20. We speak of true and living faith, which receives its vitality from Christ, and when it justifies the converted sinner exerts and displays its vital energy in love and good works.” AP. CONF. (III, 128): “(James says) that (faith) is dead which does not produce good works; living, that which does produce them. (III, 21 and 22.) The faith of which we speak exists in repentance, that is, it is conceived amid the terrors of conscience, which perceives the wrath of God against our sins and seeks their remission and to be liberated from sin. Faith ought to increase and be confirmed amid such terrors and other distresses. It can not therefore exist in those who live after the flesh, who delight in carnal lusts and obey them.”

[17] AP. CONF. (II, 56): “Faith does not justify or save because it is a meritorious work, but only because it accepts the proffered mercy.” Ibid. (74): “Love, also, and good works ought to follow faith; wherefore, they are not so excluded that they should not follow it, but confidence in the meritoriousness of love or works is excluded in justification.” FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., III, 41): “That which Luther has well said remains true, ‘Faith and works agree well and are inseparably connected, but it is faith alone which receives the blessing without works, and yet it is never alone.’” 42. “In regard to the question, how faith justifies, this is Paul’s doctrine on this point, that faith alone without works justifies, inasmuch as it applies and communicates to us the merit of Christ. But when it is asked how and by what indication a Christian man can recognize and distinguish either in 423himself or in other men a true and living faith, and likewise a feigned and dead faith, since, in place of faith, many torpid and secure Christians indulge in a vain opinion without having true faith, the APOL. answers: ‘James calls that a dead faith which is not followed by good works of every description and the fruits of the Spirit.’” The distinction of HOLL. (1172) is very striking: “The power and energy of faith are twofold, receptive, or apprehensive, and operative. The former is that by which faith passively receives Christ and everything obtained by His merit (John 1:12; 17:8; Col. 2:6; 1 Tim. 1:15; Rom. 5:17; Acts 10:43; James 1:12; Gal. 3:14). The latter is that by which faith manifests itself actively by works of love and practice of other virtues. Gal. 5:6. Note: ‘The epithet, working by love (in Gal. 5:6), is an attribute of a faith which has justified, not of one which will in the future justify, much less the form or essence of justifying faith so far as it justifies. For the Apostle does not describe the office of justifying faith, so far as it justifies, but another office, to wit, its operation by love;” and the passage from Brentz (Apology of Würt. Conf.): “Faith, so to speak, has two hands. One, which it extends upwards to embrace Christ with all His benefits, and by this we are justified; the other, which it reaches downwards to perform the works of love and of the other virtues, and by this we prove the reality of faith, but are not thereby justified.”

QUEN. (IV, 281) thus combines the various statements in regard to faith; “If you inquire after the origin of justifying faith, it is heaven-derived; if in regard to the means by which it is proffered, it is begotten by the Word of God and the Sacraments; if in regard to the effects, it attains the pardon of sins; if in regard to the consequences, they are shown through the holy works of love; if in regard to the reward, it is recompensed in eternal salvation; if in regard to the relation to virtues, it is the root and foundation of the rest.”

[18] HOLL. (1187): “Certainty belongs to faith in Christ, (a) on the part of the object believed, in which there can be no falsehood. For the Word of God, which is received by the assent of faith, is most true, on account of the authority of God who reveals it; (b) on the part of the subject, or of him who believes, and who most firmly adheres to and depends upon the divine promises. For faith is the evidence of things not seen, Heb. 11:1; a firm assent and a full confidence, Rom. 4:21; Col. 2:2; Heb. 6:11; a firm persuasion, Eph. 3:12; 1 Cor. 6:17.” Id. (1188): “Converted and regenerated men can and do know with an infallible certainty that they truly believe, both from the συμμαρτυρια, 424or the concurring testimony of the Holy Ghost with the testimony of their own spirit, or of their soul enlightened and renewed (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 5:9), and likewise from the examination and proof of faith (2 Cor. 13:5).”

[19] HOLL. (1186): “Faith is weak or infirm, when either a feeble light of the knowledge of Christ glimmers in the intellect, or the promise of grace is received with a languid and weak assent, or confidence struggles with an alarmed conscience. So Mark 9:24. But yet a weak faith may be true; as a spark concealed under the ashes is true fire, and a tender infant is a true human being. A strong or firm faith is a clear knowledge of the divine mercy, offered in Christ, a solid assent, an intrepid confidence overcoming all terrors. Comp. Rom. 4:18.” CHMN. (Loc. c. Th., II, 270): “The essentials should be marked. For we are justified by faith not because it is a virtue so firm, robust, and perfect; but on account of the object, because faith apprehends Christ. When then faith does not err in its object, but apprehends that true object, although with a languid faith, or at least endeavors and desires to apprehend it, it is genuine and justifies.”


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