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saving faith
crookedfingers
It is now 11:15 AM Tuesday morning here in West Michigan. I want to quote something I read yesterday in a book titled, "The Christian's Only Comfort In Life And Death: An Exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism" Volume 1: Lord's Days 1-26.

"Thus one and the same divine gospel is to the true believer "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16) and a "savour of life unto life," whereas to others it is a "savour of death unto death," culminating in eternal death and condemnation (2 Cor.2:16). These others will come to such an end because they never hear or receive that divine gospel with a true, active, living, and contrite faith, but merely with a faith that is dead, imaginary, and feigned. Therefore, to them the gospel is as a snare in which they are held captive by the devil, culminating in their eternal perdition.

It is absolutely essential that by way of clear and sound instruction from God's Holy Word, we engage a poor and blind world that so readily entrusts its eternal salvation to such a vain deceit, and give to it a clear exposition of the truth regarding saving faith. May it please the Lord in His infinite mercy to render this instruction useful and that it would function as eye salve in order that sinners might see.

The instructor therefore asks such a question, responding briefly and to the point by saying, "No," and thereby is as much as saying that though all men hear the gospel of God's grace and presume Christ to be their redeemer and savior, not all who are "perished in Adam" will be saved by Him. Only they will be saved "who are ingrafted into Him, and receive all His benefits by a true faith."

The instructor here sets before us two essential requirements to be met by all who are to be delivered from their sins by the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus be saved by Him.

They must be "ingrafted into Him. . .by a true faith," and by the Spirit they must be most intimately united to Him, so that they are in Christ, and Christ, in return, dwells in their hearts by faith (Eph. 3:17). The Scriptures teach this truth very clearly, as, for instance, in Romans 11:24. There the apostle says regarding the believing Romans that they were "cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature," this being the state of sin and death in Adam, and that they were grafted "contrary to nature into a good olive tree," that is, Christ. In Romans 6:5, he teaches how believers by the ingrafting of faith "have been planted together" with Christ.

The Lord Jesus Himself teaches this truth emphatically in John 15:1-4, saying that He is the true Vine and that believers are His branches, having been ingrafted into Him by faith. For them to bear fruit by the active and spiritual exercise of their faith, they must continually abide in Him who is their vine, stem, and root.

This grafting of believers into Christ consists essentially in an internal and intimate spiritual union of the hearts of all true believers to the Lord Jesus, their precious head and savior. This union, established from the very outset, continually grows and will endure eternally by the power of true faith-a faith that the Holy Spirit works and strengthens in their hearts through the gospel. Faith causes a poor and lost sinner to look completely outside of himself, forsaking all that is of himself, and to turn to the Lord Jesus to find in Him, out of free grace, his entire deliverance and salvation. By faith, a poor sinner surrenders himself with body and soul into the hands of Christ and continues to rest upon Him and to rely upon Him alone. In so doing, he wholeheartedly and willingly, so to speak, is incorporated into the Lord Jesus and is thereby eternally grafted into Him.

A believing sinner no longer exists independently, living his own life. Instead, he entirely, internally, and with his whole heart is now dependent upon the Lord Jesus, just as a member of the body is dependent upon the head. He now lives only "by the faith of the Son of God" (Gal.2:20) and finds his entire life in Christ. By faith, he continually clings to Him in the inner man, and thereby becomes spiritually one with Him, for "he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor.6:17).

Oh, blessed ingrafting into the Lord Jesus! A poor sinner cannot be elevated to a higher state of glory and happiness than to be united to Christ by faith and to be betrothed unto Him forever (Hos.2:19)! This is then the first requisite for all who are truly delivered from their sins by the Lord Jesus, and thus have been delivered from their damnable state in Adam." pg.90-92 Theodorus VanderGroe

Jonny
crookedfingers
Jonny

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