Friday, June 11, 2010

The Importance of Understanding Faith

Calvin justifies a 50-page section on faith in his Institutes along these lines: Since the only hope of salvation we have is found in Christ, and since our only hope of obtaining this salvation is through faith, we must understand what exactly faith is. If we exercise something that is not faith in order to receive Christ’s salvation, then we will still be lost, even if we mistakenly believe the something we exercised was faith.

Calvin’s definition of faith goes like this: “a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Book 3, Chapter 2, Section 7).

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