Saturday, October 6, 2007

The nature of faith

In his book Redemption Accomplished and Applied John Murray writes about the nature of faith as knowledge, as conviction, and as trust. I find what he says about faith as personal trust to be pretty sweet stuff:
Faith is knowledge passing into conviction, and it is conviction passing into confidence. Faith cannot stop short of self-commitment to Christ, a transference of reliance upon ourselves and all human resources to reliance upon Christ alone for salvation. It is a receiving and resting upon him. It is here that the most characteristic act of faith appears; it is engagement of person to person, the engagement of the sinner as lost to the person of the Saviour able and willing to save. Faith, after all, is not belief of propositions of truth respecting the Saviour, however essential an ingredient of faith such belief is. Faith is trust in a person, the person of Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of the lost. It is entrustment of ourselves to him. It is not simply believing him; it is believing in him and on him. (pp. 111-2)

Murray then goes on to emphasize that faith does not save, but we are saved by Jesus Christ, who is the Savior, by means of our faith. Our faith is a receptive vehicle, the open hand (as Luther calls it) that receives the work of Christ for us:
It is to be remembered that the efficacy of faith does not reside in itself. Faith is not something that merits the favour of God. All the efficacy unto salvation resides in the Saviour. . . . [S]trictly speaking, it is not even faith in Christ that saves but Christ that saves through faith. Faith unites us to Christ in the bonds of abiding attachment and entrustment and it is this union which insures that the saving power, grace, and virtue of the Saviour become operative in the believer. The specific character of faith is that it looks away from itself and finds its whole interest and object in Christ. He is the absorbing preoccupation of faith. (p. 112)


Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

beautifully said!

I just sent you an email too.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

just popped back by to see if you'd updated. neither have I - hope it's not for the same reason of overwhelmed busyness.

I remembered you were quoting Murray but couldn't remember which one. Have you ever read any Andrew Murray (Absolute Surrender)?

When you were a kid, did you have those glow in the dark stars in your room - the kind that light up after the room light is on for a while? You could put the whole solar system on a ceiling that way - and shooting stars,etc. So a faximile would perhaps evoke some good childhood memories, even for a mom.

Andrew said...

It was John Murray, not Andrew Murray, whom I quoted. I have, however, read Andrew Murray's gem With Christ in the School of Prayer.

Andrew said...

Oh, and as far as the glow-in-the-dark stars, no, I didn't have them on my ceiling. But I'm assuming the star chart arrived?

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I have an extra copy of Andrew Murray's Absolute Surrender - I'll try to set it aside for you.

Yes, it arrived and was received with joy - I emailed you about that and the other item which arrived as well. However, the letter I was supposed to mail today didn't make it into the post when it should have due to medical school disasters - bad mom!

Humm, you should have some glow in the dark stars too - they were such fun!