Faith Is Not A Work Of Mankind (Law & Gospel In Laymen's Terms)

Thesis XIV Of Walther's Law and Gospel In Laymen's Terms

Two big mistake often occur when talking about Faith.

The first is that we can easily believe that faith is a work of mankind, that faith originates within man, that faith is something that mankind stirs up from within.  The error occurs when we believe that God does His part in salvation, but then it is up to mankind to actualize his/her faith to reach out and seal the salvation deal.  

The second mistake is that we can believe that God saves people in view of their faith, that the cause of salvation is due to the person's self-initiation of reaching out.

What is the harm in believing these previous two mistakes?  Well, the problem is quite simple to define and show.  Follow along in this simple equation.
If: Faith is a work of man   
If: God saves man in view of faith
Then: A person is saved on account of their faith
Therefore:  The cause of salvation is man
My friends, there are only two causes of salvation, namely the mercy of God and the merit of Christ.  Can we simply leave it at that?

Here is another way of thinking about this subject.  Suppose there is a bum on the street begging for money.  Suppose that you approach him to give money.  Suppose you say that you will give him money on one condition.  He asks you what that condition is and you tell him the condition is that he accepts your gift.  Would he not consider your condition a joke?  He would laugh and say, "Why, I will meet your condition most gladly-- and the more you give, the happier I will be to take it!"  My friends, the Gospel is horribly corrupted and made to be quite foolish when we make faith a cause and/or condition for salvation.  

So what is the right way of thinking about faith?  Check out the following.
Plan A:  God saves me in view of my faith; therefore, I am saved on account of my faith. 
Plan B:  God saves me in view of His mercy & the work of Christ; therefore, I am saved insofar as I receive by faith.   
More specifically check out the following verses:  Romans 8:29-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15; 2 Timothy 1:9, Romans 10:17, John 17:20; Philippians 1:29; 1 Corinthians 1:21 & Ephesians 1:3-6.  

Keep in mind that faith is not an active doing on man but a passive instrument that receives, like a hand into which someone places a dollar.  The person who receives the dollar does not have to do anything.  It is the he donar who is doing the essential part by placing the gift into the recipient's hand.

Salvation my friends is in view of God's mercy and Christ's work, we simply receive by faith.  


Emily Cook said…
Clear and simple, yet profound.
Great post.