What Faith is Not
Faith is not our physician. Faith simply brings us to Christ our great Physician. It is not even our medicine. It only takes the medicine, divinely prepared by Christ who "healeth all our diseases." Our faith is but our touching the Son of God, which, in reality, is but him touching us.
Faith is not our Savior. It was not faith that was born at Bethlehem and died at Calvary for us. It was not faith that loved us, and gave itself for us; that bore our sins in its own body on the tree; that died and rose again for our sins. Faith is one thing. Our Savior is another. Faith is one thing. The cross is another. We must never confound them. We must never ascribe to our poor, imperfect faith that which belongs exclusively to the Son of God.
Faith is not perfection. Yet “it must be perfect to be accepted.” We can only be saved by perfection, our own or another's. That which is not perfect cannot justify. An imperfect faith could not in any sense be considered righteousness. If our faith is to justify us, it must be perfect. It must be like "the lamb, without blemish and without spot." An imperfect faith may (and most certainly does) connect us with the perfection of another; but it cannot of itself do anything for us. An imperfect faith cannot protect us from the wrath of the Almighty. Neither can an imperfect faith secure for us the forgiveness of sins. Our faith is, at best, terribly imperfect. Our best, strongest faith is marred by horrid unbelief.
Faith is not our security. Our security is not in our faith in Christ, but in Christ himself, the Object of our faith. It matters not how poor, weak and imperfect our faith maybe, if it touches the perfect One, all is well. It is the touch of faith that draws virtue from him; but it is his virtue that saves us, not the virtue of our faith. “The slightest imperfection in our faith, if faith were our righteousness, would be fatal to every hope. But the imperfection of our faith, however great, … is no hindrance to our participation of His (Christ’s) righteousness.” (Horatius Bonar).
God demands and God himself, and himself alone, has provided perfect righteousness for chosen sinners in his darling Son. He neither demands nor expects perfect faith. A clay pitcher can bring water to thirsty lips as well as one made of pure gold. Our faith, be it ever so feeble, faith which can but cry, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief,” suffices to connect us with the Lord Jesus Christ, “who of God is made unto us Righteousness.” AMEN.