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Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith

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Chapter 14

14.1 The grace of faith (by which the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls) is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts. It is normally brought into being by the ministry of the Word.1 It is increased and strengthened by the ministry of the Word, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, prayer, and other means appointed by God.2

(1) John 6:37,44; Acts 11:21,24; 13:48; 14:27; 15:9; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 1:29; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2
(2) Romans 10:14,17; Luke 17:5; Acts 20:32; Romans 4:11; 1 Peter 2:2

14.2 By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatever is revealed in the Word for it is the authority of God Himself. We also perceive an excellency in the Word above all other writings and everything else in the world, because it shows forth the glory of God and His attributes, the excellency of Christ and His nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in His works and operations. So believers are enabled to trust implicitly the truth they have believed,1 and to respond appropriately to each particular passage in Scripture, yielding obedience to the commands,2 trembling at the threatenings,3 and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come.4 But the principal acts of saving faith are those directly to do with Christ—accepting, receiving, and resting on Him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.5

(1) Acts 24:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:72
(2) John 15:14; Romans 16:26
(3) Isaiah 66:2
(4) 1 Timothy 4:8; Hebrews 11:13
(5) John 1:12; Acts 15:11; 16:31; Galatians 2:20

14.3 This faith may differ in degree, and may be weak or strong,1 yet even at its weakest it is different in kind and nature (as is all saving grace) from the faith and common grace of temporary believers.2 Therefore, though it may be frequently attacked and weakened, it gains the victory,3 and develops in many until they attain full assurance4 through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.5

(1) Matthew 6:30; 8:10,26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20; Hebrews 5:13-14; Romans 4:19-20
(2) James 2:14; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:4
(3) Luke 22:31-32; Ephesians 6:16; 1 John 5:4-5
(4) Psalms 119:114; Hebrews 6:11-12; 10:22-23
(5) Hebrews 12:2