“And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”
Some men preach as if they are scared to death one of the non-elect might get saved! They throw up barbed wire, razor fences all around the gospel, doing everything they can to keep sinners from believing on the Son of God.
I never cease to be amazed that the heads of sinful men often swell with such dizziness, under the intoxication of heart-pride, that they imagine themselves smarter than God and presume to assert that the very language of Holy Scripture is heretical and blasphemous, if not qualified by their own “explanations.” Recently, an imaginary theologian who thinks he has come to “new light” has vehemently asserted that anyone who uses the terms “saving faith” and “effectual faith” is a blaspheming heretic. Were his assertions not so serious and deluding, they would be laughable.
“When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (Matt. 8:10). “Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour” (Matt. 15:28). “But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour” (Mark 9:22). “And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:34). “And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way” (Mark 10:52). “And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:50). “And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (Luke 8:48). “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith…And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17:5, 19). “And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee” (Luke 18:42). “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Phile. 1:6).
We recognize and rejoice in the fact that faith in Christ is the gift and operation of God the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:8-9; Col. 1:12). No sinner can or will believe on the Son of God, except God the Holy Spirit graciously causes him to do so by omnipotent, effectual grace (John 5:40; 6:37, 44; Ps. 65:4; 110:3). Every gospel preacher proclaims, and every saved sinner knows, that it is Christ (the solitary object of our faith) who has redeemed, justified, and saved us by free grace alone. He has reconciled us to our God.
Yet the Word of God plainly declares that we receive the atonement by faith in Christ (Rom. 5:10-11). We have the peace of complete justification and reconciliation to our God, by faith in Christ. Yes, faith in Christ is effectual and saving in the experience of it. — “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
Faith in Christ is not a notion, or a doctrine, or a principle. It is the heart confidence of every needy sinner who looks to Christ as his only Savior that causes him to confess, “My Lord, and my God” (John 20:28). Yes, it is God’s gift and God’s operation in us. Faith is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:23). Yet, it is our faith. If God gave it to me, that makes it mine.
The breath in my lungs is God’s gift. He enables me to breathe. Yet, it is my breath and my breathing that is the evidence that God still gives me life. And the breathing of my body is as necessary to my living as God’s gift of life. The two cannot be separated. If you doubt that, try putting a plastic bag over your face and see if you can live without breathing!
So it is with faith. We “are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). The Holy Spirit tells us plainly that the faith you have by his grace is “your faith in Christ” (Eph. 1:15; 1 Cor. 1:4; 2:5). It is God’s gift; and because God gave it to you, it is “your faith.”
And “your faith in Christ” is just as necessary, just as vital to your everlasting salvation, and just as precious (2 Pet. 1:1), as God’s decree of election, Christ’s accomplished redemption, and the Holy Spirit’s effectual call. — “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
Do you, like the Philippian jailer of old, ask, “What must I do to be saved?” I do not hesitate to answer with Paul and Silas, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). Do not allow anyone to put you looking to yourself, and your experience. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” and salvation is yours.
Do you ask, “How can I know that I am saved?” Answer this one question — “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (John 9:35) It does not matter whether you can answer “What did you know when you first professed faith in Christ?” or “Was the man preaching a sound gospel preacher?” or “When did you believe?” Those questions are totally irrelevant. This is the only question to be answered — “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” If you now trust the Lord Jesus Christ, salvation is yours.
As for those imaginary theologians who are offended by these things, as far as I am concerned, if men find the language of Holy Scripture offensive, I do not hesitate to offend them. As Bro. Gary Shepard put it, “It is not blasphemy to say what God has said. It is blasphemy to replace what God has said with the words and wisdom of man. What He says plainly is what He means and all else is blasphemy!” Be assured, that which men call “new light” is old satanic darkness!