Friday, February 3, 2012
Deep personal reflection on his own salvation (Part 3)
If it be said that I have faith (for many such things have I heard, from many miserable comforters), I answer, So have the devils—a sort of faith; but still they are strangers to the covenant of promise. So the apostles had even at Cana in Galilee, when Jesus first ‘manifested forth his glory’; even then they, in a sort, ‘believed on him’; but they had not then ‘the faith that overcometh the world’. The faith I want is, ‘a sure trust and confidence in God, that through the merits of Christ my sins are forgiven, and I reconciled to the favour of God’. I want that faith which St. Paul recommends to all the world, especially in his Epistle to the Romans; that faith which enables everyone that hath it to cry out, ‘I live not, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ I want that faith which none can have without knowing that he hath it (though many imagine they have it who have it not). For whosoever hath it is ‘freed from sin’; ‘the whole body of sin is destroyed’ in him. He is freed from fear, ‘having peace with God through Christ, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God’. And he is freed from doubt, ‘having the love of God shed abroad in his heart through the Holy Ghost which is given unto him’; which ‘Spirit itself beareth witness with his spirit, that he is a child of God’.