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Titus iii. 7. That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternat life.
54th Q.--What is understood by living faith?
A.-A firm trust in the power of Christ alone for righteousness and salvation ; and a confidential hope in the promises of God in Christ : it is indeed, as the Apostle describes it, “ the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,"
See the Proofs to the following Answer.
55th Q.-Is not faith then essential to a. Christian ?
A.-Certainly, “ for without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Mark ix. 23. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Luke vii. 48. And he [Jesus] said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 50. Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Rom, i. 17. For therein sin the Gospel] is the righ. teousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Rom. iv. 20. He [Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God: 21. And being fully per. suaded that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23. Now it was not written for, his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24. But for
us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.
Heb. x. 35. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36. For ye have need of patience; that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 38. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb. xi. 1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. 5. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him.
i Peter i. 5. Who (you) are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. 6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness, through manifold temptations:' 7. That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8. Whom having not seen, ye love: in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
56th Q.-To what is man indebted for this living faith? .
A.-To the grace or Spirit of God, which brings salvation, redeems from the corrupt fallen nature, and forms in man a new birth: or life unto holiness.
· Gal. v. 22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, goodness, faith, &c.
Eph. ii. 8. By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
Heb. xii. 1. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,
2 Peter i. 1. Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
John i. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
1 Peter i. 21. Who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God. 22. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit: 23. Being born again, not of corruptible secd, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever.
57th Q.-Can any man be saved without experiencing this new birth?
A.-No, for as we could not partake of . the nature of the first Adam but by a natural birth from him, so we cannot partake of the heavenly nature and righteousness of Christ as the second Adam, but by being born again of the Spirit.*
* " Do not the means and manner of redemption show the nature of the fall? By disobedience, man died to his Immanuel or first state; by a new birth produced by the operation of the Holy Spirit, this state is regained.” Hints on Regeneration by Richard Phillips, 2d edit. p. 15.
John iii. 3. Jesus answered and said unto bing [Nicodemus], Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5. Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.
Rom. viii. 13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14. For as many as are lcd by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
1 Cor. xv. 49. And as we have borne the image of the carthy, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly.
2 Cor. v. 17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become now.
Gal. vi. 15. Forin Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth' any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
§. III. 58th Q.—How does the Spirit of Christ effect this change?
A.-It produces repentance, hy convincing the soul of the sinfulness of sin ; and the sinner being hereby made sensible that, by nature, he “is corrupt, fallen, and unregenerate,*” and totally unable to take a single step towards his own salvation, feels the necessity he 'has of a Redeemer, and is enabled to pray to God for deliverance from the thraldom and guilt of sin. +
* Barclay's Apology, Prop. iv. §. 2.
+ As it is through divine mercy and goodness that the mind is awakened to a sense of the importance of its eternal interests, so
, Mark i. 14. Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Acts iií. 19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord..
Luke xviii. 13. And the publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14. I [Jesus] tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other [the selfrighteous pharisce.]
John xvi. 8. And when he [the Comforter] is come, he will reprove (or convince*] the world of sin.
2 Cor. vii. 9. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner. 10. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.
59th Q.-Does the soul always obtain an immediate answer to its prayer?
A.-The prayer of the sincere is always heard, though it may consist with divine wisdom to withhold immediate relief; but if the soul persevere in prayer and faint not,
it sometimes occurs, especially at an early age, that the soul, is in the first instance, tendered and melted down under a lively impression of the extension of the love of God towards it; thus such are allured into the paths of holiness; whilst others are powerfully wrought upon by strong convictions of sin, and of the wrath of God upon sin: but however various these first impressions may be on different persons, as they are the operations of the same divine power of Love, so they will ultimately produce the same conviction upon the mind of the unworthiness and nothingness of the creature, “that God may be all in all.”
* The marginal reading has convince, which is adopted by Newcome.