Faith is a gift of God (Gal 3:22; Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29); therefore, it is not generated by man, as a work that merits God’s acceptance, pleasure, and blessing. Faith is granted to God’s elect people when the Holy Spirit manifests it, as a fruit (Gal 5:22). It is implanted with the seed of God’s Word. Faith comes by hearing, and it is heard through the agency of the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17), which opens the ears of the spiritually deaf. The Word of Christ is the Word of faith, preached — and received — by the Holy Spirit (Rom 10:8).
The receipt of the Word of faith is by grace alone (Eph 2:8–9). It has small beginnings, like a mustard seed, but faith grows strong (Rom 4:20). Faith can never be lost because it is a product of the permanent, indwelling Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Gal 4:6; 2 Tim 1:14), who began the good work of faith and who will perfect it (Heb 12:2), saying, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you (Heb 13:5).”
Faith apprehends truth, as it is in Christ Jesus (Eph 4:21). As the Christian grows in grace, she also grows in the knowledge of the truth (2 Pet 3:18). Thus, faith puts no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:3), nor the world (1 Jn 2:15–17), nor the Law of God (Galatians), but faith trusts Christ. The reason is that God is true (Rom 3:4), and the Spirit of truth has full confidence in Jesus Christ, who is the truth (Jn 14:6). In other words, faith finds God faithful (Heb 11:11). It must do so because God is love (1 Jn 4:8), and love believes all things (1 Cor 13:7). Love, too, is a fruit of the Spirit of God (Gal 5:22).
Faith is a demonstration of the Spirit, that the one made faithful has been justified by Christ’s blood (Rom 3:28). The believer in Jesus is righteous because, like faith, right standing before God has been imputed to him (Rom 3:22). Freed from bondage to sin, condemnation, and death, the believer is a new creature, living a life of faith in the Son of God (Gal 2:20).
The promises of God in Christ are believed (Heb 11:13), even to the point of immovable conviction of unseen things (Heb 11:1), like a single, acceptable sacrifice or resurrection from the dead (1 Cor 15:14). Christians now live by faith, not by sight, and this pleases God (Heb 11:6), faith being a demonstration of God’s approval (Heb 11:39).
Faith acts because God is willing and doing His good pleasure (Phil 2:13), having created a royal priesthood in Christ Jesus, which has good works to do (Eph 2:10; Jas 2:17–26). Faith acts on the Word of God (Heb 11:7). It comprehends the truth of God, revealed in the Bible (Heb 11:3). As the Holy Spirit displays faith in the believer, it is recognized as His work of sanctification in Christ (Acts 26:18). In other words, Christians are set apart and made holy by faith. This is entirely a work of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Tim 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2).
Faith sees and knows the future, as it is revealed in God’s Word (Heb 11:17–20). This is why faith is fearless (Heb 11:27). Faith is the agency by which Christians become bold risk-takers (Heb 11:29–31), knowing that whatever is not of faith is sin (Rom 14:23).
In conclusion, when faith is manifested by God in His chosen people, it is faith itself that demonstrates God’s grace has been received by the will of God (Jn 1:12–13). This is why faith is a sure thing (Heb 11:1). It is not something found, but it is something realized in Christ alone, produced by Christ’s Spirit alone. It cannot be lost because it belongs to the Almighty, Sovereign Christ.
Faith does not change us, but rather, it is proof that we have been changed, are being changed, and that this transformation has a perfect end, controlled entirely by God, faith’s Author (Rom 8:30; Heb 12:2).
It is impossible for Christians to share their faith, but as Christ shines through them, the Word is preached and heard and believed as a work of the Spirit. Thus, it is the knowledge of the truth that is shared, and by which the captives are set free (Is 61:1; Jn 8:32).
As Christ gives faith to more and more of His beloved elect, the faithful rejoice in so great a salvation, seen only with the eyes of faith — opened by the grace of Christ. The same Spirit who produces joy in the believer is the exclusive agent of faith, and for this reason alone, we call it, “amazing faith.”
Spokane Valley, Washington
March 29, 2022