To Faith Or Through Faith

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Just have faith. Keep the faith. Faith is important. Everyone needs faith in something. These types of statements about faith can be found just about anywhere.

What does having faith actually do?

Faith gives hope. It is something to rely on in times of need. It gives comfort. But why? It is something outside of one’s self when self is not enough. However, if there is no object for faith to rely on then it points back to self. Or if the object is wrong faith ends up being useless.

Christians can fall into this wrong way of thinking about faith too. There are sects of Christianity that end up with a teaching of having faith in faith. They look to their faith rather than through it.

Faith is an instrument for which to rely on Christ Jesus. Jesus is where the Christians reliance upon and hope in lies through faith. Jesus work on the cross is an objective work of God that saves. The Christian’s faith waivers and is imperfect. It is not the ground on which salvation is secure. It is through faith in Christ upon which one is secure.

When one calls 911 in the case of an emergency, it is not the telephone call that offers help. The telephone is the instrument through which to reach help. The caller is not relying on the telephone, not matter how imperfect the connection or communication, but upon the responders. Michael Horton offers a good illustration below.

The more we hear and understand concerning the gospel, the more our faith grows and strengthens. Nevertheless, the weakest faith clings to a sufficient Savior. Faith itself does not save us from judgment any more than the quality of one’s confidence in the lifeguard is responsible for being rescued from drowning. It is the rescuer not the one rescued, who saves. In fact, it is in the very act of rescuing that a victim finds himself or herself clinging to the rescuer in confidence. I have yet to see a headline like, “Drowning Victim Rescued by Superior Clinging.” It is always the lifeguard who is credited with the rescue. It is on account of Christ that we are justified, through faith, and not on account of our faith itself. – Horton, Michael. The Gospel-Driven Life. 1st. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2009. 124. Print.

Remember, ground your salvation and hope for all of life through faith in Christ not in the faith itself.

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The above article was posted on November 23, 2009 by Mark Lamprecht.
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