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“The just shall live by faith”—

Faith and Salvation in All Its Apects

            Faith is associated in Scripture with the receipt of salvation in all its aspects—justification, progressive sanctification, and ultimate glorification are connected to faith. The specific character of the connection between faith and salvific blessings is of tremendous value to the understanding of both the character of Christian conversion and Christian growth in grace.

            The first reference to belief in the Old Testament—which is also the first reference to reckoning, crediting, or imputation, and the first reference to the adjective righteousness,[1] is Genesis 15:6, the paradigmatic statement concerning the father of faith, Abraham: “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”[2] Genesis 15, in which the gospel was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8), records the patriarch’s faith[3] in that God[4] who promised the Seed of the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 15:2-5), the Christ.[5] Although Abraham failed to perfectly keep the law, as is evident in the rest of Genesis, he was nonetheless accounted righteous because of the work of the Messiah. Genesis 15:6 thus sets a pattern that by faith alone in God and His Messiah sinful men are counted righteous by Jehovah, whether at the moment of initial conversion as those without any inward righteousness at all, as Abram was when an ungodly idolator in Ur of the Chaldees,[6] or at the highest point of sanctification possible to the people of God on earth.[7] While Abraham’s earthly pilgrimage evidenced that true faith results in a life characterized by faithfulness and obedience, nonetheless the patriarch was judicially righteous before God only through imputed righteousness received by faith alone. The verb employed, to believe,[8] signifies to trust in, to believe in in the Hebrew form employed in Genesis 15:6,[9] and signifies to be firm, trustworthy in its foundational idea and to prove to be firm, reliable, faithful, trustworthy in a different, frequently passive verb form.[10] Faithfulness and trustworthiness arise from faith, and are impossible without it, so that faith, through the initial exercise of which justification was received, may, by continued acts of faith that are a product of a believing new nature,[11] evidence the saint’s inward faith and faithfulness in outward fidelity. Thus, the Old Testament teaches that one who believes in God,[12] another person,[13] an event,[14] or a thing,[15] reckons the thing in question, or the person, as one who will continue or endure the same,[16] as trustworthy[17] or faithful,[18] or sure,[19] or confirmed or established,[20] and therefore worthy of assured confidence.[21] Those descendents of Jacob who believe in Jehovah, those who believe and consequently become the faithful, of whom Abraham is the paradigm,[22] are those who are redeemed and counted as righteous[23] and will in the last days receive the Promised Land,[24] along with believing Gentiles (Jonah 3:5, 10) who will similarly inherit the Millennial earth and the eternal kingdom. Because of Abraham’s faith in the Christ set forth in the Abrahamic covenant, as expressed in Genesis 15:6, God formally ratified that covenant with the patriarch (Genesis 15:7-22) and promised him that his seed would inherit the land. Life in the Promised Land (Genesis 15:18-22) is specified as given, by grace and for Christ’s sake,[25] to both Abraham personally and to his seed for ever, and ultimately to Christ as head over them all, as Abraham and his corporate and Messianic seed[26] will possess the Land in the resurrection during the Millennial kingdom and eternal state.[27] This promise of life was given to Abraham because he believed in Jehovah, not because of any works that he did, setting a pattern for all those who are of Abraham—for Abraham is the father of believing Jews and Gentiles—to also receive life in the kingdom, spiritual life now and eschatological life, through faith, through which they are accouted righteous (Romans 4). Thus, believers are those who receive salvation,[28] those who are established and prosper, both in having Jehovah bless them and protect them in the Land and in general by having all things work together for good to them (2 Chronicles 20:20). They believe in Jehovah alone and reject any confidence in other gods (Isaiah 43:10). They will be secure and protected by the virgin-born yet Divine Messiah from the temporal and eternal judgments that fall on the wicked.[29] They are the faithful who are saints or holy ones (Hosea 11:12), having been converted and having in this manner become the righteous (Hosea 14:1-9). On the other hand, those who do not believe are those who are the objects of God’s wrath and judgment, those who do not inherit the Promised Land[30] but are killed by plagues or the sword, or suffer exile from it as they turn to idolatry and are the objects of the Lord’s great anger.[31] They are those who are removed from the Land in their lifetime (cf. Psalm 78) and will not inherit it in the Millennium or the eternal state, but are eternally cut off from true Israel,[32] having not set their hope[33] in God, but rejected His covenant, and been rebellious and faithless.[34] They are those who are not established in time or in eternity in the Land because they do not believe in Jehovah and Immanuel, the Posessor and Protector of the promised country,[35] the Stone and sure foundation of Israel,[36] the Servant who would justify many by the offering of Himself.[37] There are no texts where true believers are lost or cast off because of a lack of circumcision, obedience to various commandments, or anything else; in continuity with the New Testament, the Old Testament teaches that all believers receive salvation and all unbelievers receive condemnation.[38] Thus, following the pattern set in Genesis 15:6, believers are those who receive salvation in its temporal and eternal aspects, and unbelievers are those who receive temporal and eternal judgment.

            Habakkuk 2:4, the heart of the entire book of Habakkuk, referring back to the statement of Genesis 15:6,[39] and in light of other Old Testament texts that promise salvation to believers,[40] states: “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”[41] The great fact that the just shall live by faith was to be engraven plainly upon tablets.[42] The ungodly, whether unbelieving Israelites[43] or idolatrous Babylonians,[44] are proud, their souls lifted up; in contrast, the people of God, those who are just, shall live by faith.[45] Habakkuk sets before Israel the example of Abraham—the patriarch was justified by faith alone, and his faith, because of its saving character, produced a life of persevering obedience (cf. Genesis 22). In such a manner, Habakkuk affirms, the people in his day needed to experience true conversion by faith and evidence the reality of that conversion in a life of faithfulness. A life of open rebellion was unacceptable, but one of mere outward rigorism or moralism would also not suffice, for without a root of faith and a renewed heart, all religious and moral actings were vain (Isaiah 1:10-15; Hebrews 11:6). The word faith[46] in the verse, a noun related to the verb believe in Genesis 15:6, means in Habakkuk 2:4 a steadfast trust which results in faithfulness,[47] combining the ideas of faith and of the faithfulness that flows from it.[48] It is used for stedfastness and steadiness,[49] God’s truthful faithfulness,[50] human faith, truthfulness, and faithfulness,[51] and what is true and faithful in itself.[52] Other words in the ‘aman word group, that of belief/faith/faithfulness,[53] mean faithfulness,[54] verily, truly, indeed,[55] trusting, faithfulness,[56] faith, support,[57] constant,[58] and firmness, faithfulness, truth.[59] Thus, as Genesis 15:6 indicates that believers are righteous, Habakkuk 2:4 indicates that those who are just are those who live by faith—and faithfulness is impossible without faith, for those who have, through the instrumentality of faith, embraced Jehovah as their own God and trusted in His promise of redemption through the Seed, will also characteristically trust in God and live their lives as the people of God out of the faith that is the fundamental or radical root of their spiritual life. Righteousness, life, and faith, in both their earthly “already” and their eschatological “not yet,” are indissoluably connected.

            Those who came to believe in Jehovah and His Messiah, and consequently lived by faith in Him, were those who “trusted[60] in the LORD God of Israel”[61] and in His Word (Psalm 119:42). Such a trust manifested itself in obedience to His Law in the trials of this life,[62] and brought both temporal[63] and eternal deliverance (Psalm 125:1). Trust also led to an acknowledgment of Jehovah in one’s practical life (Proverbs 3:5-6). All the nation was called to such a trust (Psalm 115:8-11). The Lord saves and preserves those who trust in Him (Psalm 86:2), so that true Israel can say: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation,”[64] while the ungodly trust in evil deeds or plans,[65] men,[66] false gods (Isaiah 42:17), external ritual (Jeremiah 7:4), or their own righteousness (Ezekiel 33:13) instead of in Jehovah only (Zephaniah 3:2). Those that truly know the Lord trust in Him, and He will not forsake them,[67] nor allow them to be confounded, but deliver them,[68] and surround them with mercies (Psalm 32:10), since they trust in His mercy[69] for ever and ever (Psalm 52:8), and they will dwell in the Land (Psalm 37:3, 5). The Bible contrasts those who trust in Jehovah with those who “believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation . . . a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God . . . [that] kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law . . . [that] sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.”[70] In short, trust in the Lord marked the true Israelite,[71] he who was blessed[72] with temporal and eternal salvation.

            Other Hebrew forms related to the verb trust[73] similarly indicate that temporal and eternal salvation was received by those who trust in Jehovah. Those would be “saved” who placed their “confidence” in Him.[74] Those who “hope” in the Lord rather than placing their “confidence” in any other source are blessed, without any limitation to either this life or that to come.[75] The Old Testament consequently declares: “Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust” (Psalm 40:4), for He is the only fit object of “confidence” (Psalm 65:5) or “trust” (Psalm 71:5)—all other objects of “trust” are like a “spider’s web.”[76] “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint,”[77] while those whose “trust” is “in the LORD” find in Him “strong confidence” and a “place of refuge.”[78]

            Thus, Jehovah is Himself the salvation for the “righteous,” those who take refuge or trust[79] in Him (Psalm 64:10). Believers can say: “God . . . in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour.”[80] To “all them that trust in him” He is a shield and place of safety.[81] “[A]ll those that put their trust in [Him] rejoice . . . because [He] defend[s] them” (Psalm 5:11). They are blessed, now and forever (Psalm 34:8), receiving of the great goodness He has stored up for them (Psalm 31:19). The believer, one who forsakes confidence in men to trust in Jehovah only (Psalm 118:8-9),[82] can say: “O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me,”[83] while those who trust in false gods (Deuteronomy 32:37), evil men (Judges 9:15), or pagan nations (Isaiah 30:2) are destroyed. Because of His “lovingkindness,” believers will “never be ashamed” or “desolate” or “destitute” or “put to confusion” because they “trust in” Him, being rather “deliver[ed]” in His “righteousness” and having their souls “redeemed.”[84] The “LORD . . . knoweth them that trust in him” (Nahum 1:7), so those “afflicted and poor people” who “shall trust in the name of the LORD” (Zephaniah 3:12) receive His promise: “he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain” (Isaiah 57:13). They will “abide” in His presence “for ever” (Psalm 61:4), and have a refuge and sure hope in death (Proverbs 14:32). Those who “come to trust . . . the LORD God of Israel” will receive a “full reward” (Ruth 2:12), for He will “save them, because they put their trust in him” (Psalm 37:40). Trust in Jehovah is connected with trust in His Son (Proverbs 30:4), the Messiah; all those who repent and trust in the Son of God receive temporal and eternal blessing, while those who do not will perish under Messianic wrath: “Kiss[85] the Son,[86] lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).[87]

            In Genesis 15:6, Abraham was counted righteous. The verb employed[88] specifies that the patriarch was accounted or reckoned as righteous; the imputation of righteousness, rather than an infusion of righteousness, is in view. Many texts with the word clearly speak of imputation or accounting,[89] in many others the idea of making, transforming, or infusing is evidently impossible,[90] and no passages with the verb in question clearly speak of any kind of infusion. When Phinehas’ stand for Jehovah and against Baalpeor was reckoned to him as righteousness (Psalm 106:31),[91] the Divine act was certainly an accounting of Phinehas’ act as righteous, rather than infusing goodness into or transforming his act into a good one. Likewise, when Nehemiah made men treasurers because they were “counted faithful” (Nehemiah 13:13),[92] the accounting did not make the men faithful or infuse faithfulness into them, but was an accounting that they were indeed faithful men. Thus, Genesis 15:6 speaks of the legal[93] reckoning of Abraham as righteous. He was reckoned righteous at the judgment bar of God, rather than in the eyes of men, or in some other way, for Jehovah was the One who accounted the patriarch righteous. The opposite of a man having righteousness accounted to him, as in Genesis 15:6, is to have iniquity imputed (2 Samuel 19:19). One who has blood imputed to him is reckoned as being guilty of shedding blood (Leviticus 17:4), while the benefit of sacrificial offering in expiation is imputed when received in the proper manner, but not otherwise (Leviticus 7:18); by imputation one is reckoned as and treated as the possessor of whatever is imputed. Thus, when Abraham was reckoned as righteous in Genesis 15:6, his being accounted righteous, rather than his personal acquisition of inward holiness, is in view. Abraham, and all the righteous from the time of the first announcement of the gospel in Genesis 3:15, acknowledged their need for gratuiously imputed righteousness, and the Divine provision of such in the Messiah, through their offering of animal sacrifices, as ordained by God from the beginning (Genesis 3:20-21; 4:4); the blessed substitution that merited the imputation of an alien righteousness, historically accomplished on the cross, not salvation by personal merit, was manifestly set forth in the sacrifical types. Similarly, David records: “Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity,”[94] the man to whom, although sinful in himself, righteousness instead of iniquity is Divinely imputed, whose “transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” This man is he who has received David’s call to all nations to faith in God’s “Son,” for “blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12), even as all are blessed who hope (Psalm 146:5) or trust in Jehovah.[95] Thus, “faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness” (Romans 4:9)[96] in a legal or judicial sense. Genesis 15:6 refers solely to an imputed righteousness. The outward righteousness of those imputed righteous, the outward evidential just character manifested in them, is a consequent that follows from the receipt of imputed righteousness, and faith, not as a meritorious instrument, but because it embraces God and receives all freely from Him, is the root of spiritual life in all the people of God.

            Abraham had faith accounted to him for righteousness.[97] Jehovah testifies concerning the “servants of the LORD” that “their righteousness is of me,”[98] for, rather than having as their judicial standing the filthy rags of their own righteousness (Isaiah 64:6), they can testify: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,[99] as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). With Abraham, believing Israel can testify that the Messiah, the “king” who is the “righteous Branch” from “David,” is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,”[100] by whom they are “saved” (Jeremiah 23:5-6), for this righteousness of the Messiah who is both Jehovah and the truly human Son of David is imputed to them (Jeremiah 33:16), and they are justified, legally declared righteous, not through their own deeds, or on the ground of faith, faith being only the instrument for the receipt of Divine righteousness,[101] but rather on the ground or basis of the imputation of the righteousness of the Messiah alone. Every animal sacrificed by the people of God in the Old Testament, in its foreshadowing of the shedding of Messianic blood (Isaiah 52:15), testified to the fact that neither personal merit, including any alleged merit in the act of faith itself, could be a satisfactory ground for the acceptance of the saint; rather, “it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11), for “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Thus, “in the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory” (Isaiah 45:25), as they look to Him and are saved (Isaiah 45:22) through the merit of Jehovah’s “righteous servant” who will “justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”[102] While it is certain that the people of God in the Old Testament were inwardly transformed because of their relationship to Jehovah (Psalm 1),[103] nonetheless the foundational reason why they were frequently denominated as “just” or “righteous”[104] was imputed righteousness, based on the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah they anticipated in expectation, as typified and exhibited in the sacrificial system.

            Those who are in this manner[105] the just—those who have been received imputed Messianic righteousness as the sole judicial and legal basis for their justification, and at the same moment also been given a principle of holiness that results in obedience in life—receive the promise in Habakkuk 2:4 that they shall not die (Habakkuk 1:12), but live.[106] The verb to live is used[107] most commonly of life in this world,[108] but it is also used of living forever,[109] of life through the future resurrection (Isaiah 26:19), and of spiritual life in the walk of the people of God in their current earthly pilgrimage (Deuteronomy 8:3). The noun for life[110] possesses a similar range of usage, referring to physical life,[111] spiritual life (Deuteronomy 30:6), resurrected life (Daniel 12:2), and eternal life (Genesis 2:9; 3:22). All these senses of life are, in any case, related,[112] as spiritual, physical, and eschatological death are related.[113] Those who will receive life in the resurrection of the just, and will inherit the Millennial kingdom and the new heavens and earth, are those who receive the spiritual blessing of eternal life (Ezekiel 37). Those only of the descendants of Jacob who will rise in the resurrection of the just, enjoy life in the Promised Land in the Millennium, and eternal life forever, are those who are true Israel, those who are united to the ultimate Prince of God, the Messiah who rose to new life on the third day.[114] Those who seek Jehovah rather than idols live[115] long in the land and receive eschatological life, rather than being cast out of the land in Divine judgment in this life and being cast out of the Lord’s presence eschatologically to experience everlasting torment. Spiritual life before God, which includes both fellowship with God on earth through the resurrection and in all future ages to eternity, was generally associated in Israel with a long and prosperous physical life and the promise of life in the Millennial kingdom.[116] True Israel, rather than being eschatologically “cut off” from the people of God under Divine judgment,[117] received life in all of its physical, spiritual, and eschatological blessings. The just partake of physical blessings in this age, spiritual life now, life in the resurrection of the righteous, and life in the Millennial and eternal states.

            The New Testament confirms the Old Testament doctrine that, as evidenced in the paradigmatic example of Abraham,[118] the “just shall live by faith.”[119] The quotations of Genesis 15:6 and Habakkuk 2:4 in the New Testament emphasize different aspects of the truth taught in the Old Testament text.[120] Before the specific New Testament texts are examined, a general overview of New Testament teaching about the just, about life, and about faith will be conducted.[121]

            The New Testament confirms that it is the just[122] or righteous man who will live by faith. The just are so for two reasons. First, arising out of the decree of the Father, they have been accounted perfectly righteous legally[123] on the sole basis of the imputed righteousness of the perfectly righteous Christ,[124] who has the very righteousness of God.[125] Second, the just have also been made inwardly righteous—although imperfectly in this life (Romans 3:10), since they will not be completely “made perfect” until their departure from this world (Hebrews 12:23)—through regeneration and progessive sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Before their regeneration, the just were entirely abominable sinners without any righteousness,[126] but after being born again they possess both inward and outward righteousness rather than inward wickedness and a hypocritical or even a sincere but merely outward righteousness.[127] The just man characteristically acts in a righteous way, a way that is in accord with the righteousness that God has placed within his heart in regeneration and strengthens in progressive sanctification (Matthew 1:19). At times the just are specified as righteous without distinguishing between their perfect judicial justifying and imperfect but still real inward righteousness,[128] for both are necessarily conjoined; all the righteous possess both imputed righteousness and imparted inward holiness,[129] for without both (1 John 3:7) men are cast into hell fire,[130] the place of those who are “disobedient”[131] and “unjust,”[132] those who practice evil (1 Peter 3:12), the “filthy,”[133] the “ungodly”[134] and the “sinner,”[135] rather than the righteous. Just men are characteristically “good,”[136] “devout,”[137] and “holy” (Mark 6:20), “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6) as “doers of the law” (Romans 2:13), who characteristically practice righteousness (1 John 2:29), for they have been inwardly renewed in regeneration and are being transformed into Christ’s image by sanctification. These men—those perfectly righteous by justification solely on the basis of Christ’s imputed righteousness, and characteristically growing progressively more inwardly holy through sanctification by the Spirit—are the just who shall live.

            As in Genesis 15:6 the reckoning or accounting of Abraham as righteous was a reference to a legal or judicial imputation of righteousness, not to an infusion or inner impartation of holiness, so when the New Testament speaks of righteousness being counted, accounted, or imputed[138] to Abraham or to believers in general, reference is made to a legal reckoning of righteousness, not an infusion or a making inwardly just. While inner transformation in progressive sanctification is the necessary and certain result of the receipt of Divine imputed righteousness through justification, the root and fundament of the designation of the people of God as just or righteous is the legal accounting of their persons as righteous on the basis of Christ’s substitutionary atonement. Many references to the verb to account or impute[139] are very clear instances of a declarative or an accounting idea, and no reference in the New Testament with the verb speaks of a transformation or infusion of new personal qualities by means of imputation. Similarly, the verb to justify[140] always refers to a reckoning or declaration of righteousness, and never to a transformation into an inwardly righteous state. Consequently, in line with the truth affirmed in Genesis 15:6, the New Testament references to Genesis 15:6 and Habakkuk 2:4 affirm that the righteousness of the just is fundamentally forensic and legal, a righteousness received by all the people of God through the imputation or crediting of Christ’s merit.

            Habakkuk 2:4, as quoted in the New Testament,[141] promises that the just shall live by faith. The verb to live[142] is employed for the essential life of the Triune God,[143] for physical life on earth in its different aspects,[144] for the life of individuals who have been raised from the dead through a miracle worked by Christ or the Apostles in the first century,[145] for the life of those who will be raised from the dead in the future resurrection of all men and for life possessed in the resurrected eschatological state,[146] for Christ’s life after His bodily resurrection,[147] for the Messianic theanthropic life,[148] for the life of the unconverted in bondage to their sinful nature,[149] for the believer’s spiritual life on earth,[150] for the believer’s enjoyment of life with God after his death but before his resurrection,[151] and for all aspects of eternal life, including both present and eschatological spiritual and resurrected eternal life—that is, for “life” in all senses associated with salvation.[152] Similarly, the noun life[153] is employed for physical life,[154] including life in the Millennial kingdom,[155] life in both its spiritual and physical aspects,[156] and the Theanthropic life of Christ,[157] but is used the large majority of the time for eternal life in all its aspects, from present spiritual life to eschatological resurrected life.[158] As in Habakkuk 2:4 the just would live—have life in its spiritual, physical, and eschatological blessings as a gift from their God and Redeemer with whom they had been brought into saving union, so in the New Testament the just receive life in the like manner. Eternal life—both spiritual life in this present age and eschatological life, which includes the life of the resurrected and glorified physical body—are promised to the just in the New Testament.

            The New Testament indicates that Abraham received life when he believed[159] God,[160] for the just shall live by faith.[161] The verb believe is used[162] of receiving revelation[163] and of the moment of saving belief in the gospel and in the Christ who is revealed therein, through which sinners become the people of God.[164] Such saving faith always leads to continuing faith[165] in God through Christ by means of the Word, for when God gives the lost saving faith, He will continue to give them faith.[166] That is, by means of the exercise of saving faith in Christ at the moment of conversion and regeneration, the lost become those who are believers, those who are believing ones.[167] They believe at a point in time, with the result that they continue to believe.[168] Their belief is not simply intellectual assent, but a whole-hearted committal, surrender, and entrusting of their entire persons to Christ as the Son of God and their own personal Savior,[169] being assured that He will keep His promise to save all those who in this manner come to Him.[170] In contrast, the unconverted are in a state of unbelief[171] in Christ.[172] While they can make superficially positive responses to Christ,[173] they refuse to entrust themselves to Him[174] and believe the gospel[175] because they reject the testimony to Him of the Word.[176]

            The adjective faithful/believing[177] illustrates the Biblical continuity between the initial act of faith in conversion and the continued believing of the regenerate and the related identity of those who have believed in Christ and those who are faithful to Him. God[178] and Christ[179] are faithful, many individual Christians[180] and groups of Christians[181] are specified as being faithful, and all those who believe[182] are the faithful.[183] While there are certainly degrees of faithfulness, and indwelling sin is present and ever active in the regenerate, nonetheless all Christians are specified as faithful, and no text indicates that any believer is unfaithful.[184] On the contrary, only those who are lost are specified by the adjective unfaithful or unbelieving.[185] The faithful are all those who have received spiritual grace, been adopted into God’s family, and consequently become church members, rather than only a subcategory of the church or a subclass of Christian.[186] The faithful are those who enter the everlasting kingdom rather than burning in hell,[187] and those who receive the crown of life and who will be with the Lamb rather than being separated from Him forever.[188] Those who come to believe in Christ are made, by supernatural grace, into those who will continue to entrust themselves to Him. God makes them into those who are characteristically faithful, rather than being unfaithful.

            As with the verb to believe, the noun faith[189] regularly refers to the faith exercised at the moment of conversion and regeneration, bringing immediate justification and all the blessings of union with Christ.[190] As seen with the adjective faithful/believing, Scripture does not draw a sharp distinction in its usage of the noun faith between the faith exercised at the moment of regeneration and the faith continually present in all true Christians—the believer’s continuing entrusting of himself to Christ for justification, sanctification, and eternal life is simply the continuation of the state into which he entered for the first time at the moment of his conversion.[191] Thus, all God’s people continually trust in Christ alone for their salvation;[192] even those in a state of severe backsliding are preserved from the loss of faith by the intercession of their High Priest (Luke 22:31-34; cf. 1 Peter 1:5). Those who receive spiritual and eternal life at the moment of their justification by faith never have their faith or spiritual life entirely eliminated. Consequently, in all the saints their union with Christ by faith produces visible results, so that their faith is never isolated from spiritual graces and never without works.[193] Saving faith always results in justification, but not justification only, but also sanctification and its endpoint, glorification, for the exercise of saving faith always results in the “obedience of faith.”[194]

            The specific object of faith is Christ the Mediator, and through Him the Triune God,[195] to whom one comes with an assured confidence[196] in His ability and willingness to save, without any additional human requirements of works (Romans 3:27-28), in accordance with His promise, but it also encompasses the entire revelation and body of truth contained in the Word of God, which is “the faith.”[197] “The faith in Christ”[198] includes, in addition to the direct act of faith in the Person of the Redeemer, the recognition of other Scriptural truths such as “righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come” (Acts 24:24). “The faith” includes the gospel (Philippians 1:27), all that Paul preached (Galatians 1:23), and all the propositional and practical affirmations of Christianity (Ephesians 4:5), for it consists of all that has been revealed by Christ,[199] the entirety of the Scripture, to which each true believer and church are commanded to conform and to which they will attain perfect conformity eschatologically (Ephesians 4:13-14). Loyalty to Christ and Christianity, to “the faith,” requires both justifying faith and faithfulness.[200] Thus, those who are born again are “obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7)[201] while an unconverted man who “turn[s] away . . . from the faith” rejects Christianity and refuses to come to conversion (Acts 13:8). Those who have Christ in them—which necessarily produces inward and outward holiness—are those who are “in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). The faith[202] includes both doctrinal propositions[203] and a holy lifestyle, including edifying speech (1 Timothy 1:4), care for one’s needy family members (1 Timothy 5:8), righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, patience, and meekness (1 Timothy 6:11), and both the avoidance of a love for money (1 Timothy 6:10) and profane babblings (1 Timothy 6:20-21). The propositional and practical elements of the faith are inextricably intertwined,[204] so that a sound or healthy faith includes both propositional and practical soundness.[205] Scriptural faith and faithfulness includes walking humbly with God.[206] Fighting the “good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) and earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 3) involves a grace-enabled battle for both the propositional and practical elements of the faith in the church and the world while holding to them oneself; the believer is to possess and contend for an unhypocritical or unfeigned faith.[207] The “faith of God’s elect” includes both “truth” and “godliness” (Titus 1:1); failure to tenaciously hold to faith and a good conscience leads to doctrinal and practical shipwreck concerning the faith.[208] Obedience to Scripture establishes Christians and churches in the faith (Acts 16:5), for those who are reconciled to God “continue in the faith grounded and settled,” and are not “moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Colossians 1:23).[209] Spiritual leaders and disciplers are to train others to faithful steadfastness in all the truths of the Word, acting as spiritual fathers who establish spiritual sons in the faith,[210] for sanctification includes being progressively built up upon the foundation of the faith.[211] Believers commit themselves to “the faith” at the moment of their conversion and grow in their knowledge of, practice of, and ability to practice, defend, and propagate the faith in its propositional and practical entirety in their progressive sanctification.

            The synoptic Gospels indicate that believing has an important role in the Christian life as a response to specific revelation from God and as an instrument for the receipt of specific blessings from God, particularly the receipt of answers to prayer. The disciple who disbelieves specific revealed truths or acts of God is blameworthy,[212] while disbelieving a counterfeit of the Word as proclaimed by false prophets is commanded.[213] On the other hand, answers to prayer are given to believers[214] who, recognizing the ability of God in Christ to meet their needs, petition and trust in Him to do so[215] and remain stedfast in faith,[216] as enabled by the Holy Spirit, although God in His mercy can answer the sincere prayer offered by one who groans under the burden of felt unbelief.[217] Thus, while God preserves perpetually a root of faith in all those to whom He has given it at the moment of their regeneration and conversion, faith is sometimes a grace that pertains to the believer’s particular acts of trust for specific situations.[218] A believer who wants certainty that God will answer his prayers must, enabled by grace, “have faith, and doubt not,” and then “whatsoever [h]e shall ask in prayer, believing, [h]e shall receive.”[219] Such answers to prayer are related to the genuineness, rather than the quantity, of the believer’s faith (Matthew 17:20); one either is trusting the Lord for an answer to prayer, or is lacking in faith (Luke 17:6).[220] Faith is consequently required in prayer for healing.[221] Likewise, one who lacks wisdom is commanded to “ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:5-7). Those who doubt in a particular situation, such as trusting God for safety and consequently being free from fear in a storm (Psalm 46:1-3; Isaiah 43:2), and are consequently wavering like the waves of the sea, have, in that particular situation “no faith,”[222] instead of having a steadfast faith (Colossians 2:7). For specific blessings, Christians must with assurance and confidence trust the Lord to meet specific needs, and, in prayer, ask with unwavering faith, for then God has promised to answer them.

As a grace[223] that pertains to the believer’s continual, lifelong level of entrusting himself to the Lord, some disciples have weak faith, some have strong faith, and faith can become weaker or grow stronger. When “the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase[224] our faith” (Luke 17:5), they asked for something very proper.[225] As regenerate persons, the Apostles already possessed faith, but they wished for their already extant faith to grow. They did not ask for a new type of faith, but for an increase and growth in what they already had from the time of their conversion—they want “furtherance . . . of faith,” faith progressing and passing into an ever more advanced state.[226] Faith does not experience a qualitative alteration from mistrust into trust, but in progressive sanctification it does undergo a quantitative increase and a qualitative increase in stedfastness and decrease in mutability.[227] Furthermore, faith is not an autonomous product of the human will, but a supernaturally imparted gift given by Christ. Indeed, God deals to believers different measures of faith, and they should think soberly of themselves and exercise their spiritual gifts in accordance with the measure of faith God has given them[228] through Christ by the Spirit.[229] They should not have weak faith,[230] or “little faith,”[231] but “great faith”[232] and “strong . . . faith.”[233] They are to seek, by means of exercise, to have their faith “increase,”[234] “grow exceedingly,”[235] and “abound,”[236] growing towards the goal of having “all faith” (1 Corinthians 13:2), possessing the highest possible quantity and quality of faith, just as they seek the highest degree of diligence, knowledge, and love (2 Corinthians 8:7). However, as long as indwelling sin remains in the believer, faith has “that which is lacking”[237] in it, and stands in need of being “perfect[ed]” (1 Thessalonians 3:10). Disciples should not let their faith become weak, but maintain a steadfast and strong faith.[238] They should fervently pray, night and day, and have others pray also, for the perfecting of that which is lacking in their faith,[239] and become those who are both “full of faith”[240] and yet growing ever the more full. While the New Testament emphasizes faith as either present or absent in regard to receiving spiritual blessings in specific situations, it also presents faith as a spiritual grace that, while present in all the regenerate, has degrees, and is Divinely strengthened, increases, and abounds, as believers exercise it.

            The Apostle Paul also taught that a believer’s continuing faith played a role in his sanctification, both as an instrument to enable specific ministry and as a conduit for receipt of Divine grace and transformation in general. As King David, in the Old Testament, spoke for the Lord despite trial and affliction (Psalm 116:1-9) because he believed (Psalm 116:10), so Paul and other preachers speak and preach the truth and endure persecution (2 Corinthians 4:8-12) because of their continuing faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:13) arising out of their conversion. That is, Christian ministry, specifically bold preaching of the gospel, even in the face of tremendous hostility and opposition, arises out of the continuing faith and confidence of the believer in the risen Christ, his Redeemer (2 Corinthians 4:14). Paul also taught that God fills believers with all joy and peace as they believe and by means of their faith (Romans 15:13);[241] faith is the human response through which God makes the believer holy, filling him with the holy attributes of hope, peace, and joy. The Apostle Paul taught that faith was the necessary foundation for boldness and perseverance in gospel ministry and the means through which God transforms believers into His image. Thus, as the verb believe illuminates the believer’s greater entrustment of himself to Christ in progressive sanctification, so the noun faith illuminates the role of faith in the spiritual life of the regenerate.[242] Faith prompts the believer to perform specific spiritual ministries, such as speaking for Christ (2 Corinthians 4:13), for power from the Holy Spirit arises out of the “hearing of faith.”[243] Faith prompts generous sharing of physical goods with other believers (Philemon 5-7). Saving faith will always result in good works (James 2).[244] Furthermore, faith is indeed essential for spiritual life and growth, because whatever does not proceed out of, whatever is not sourced in faith is sin (Romans 14:23).[245] A strong faith will trust in God and His promises despite human impossibilities, while a weak faith will stagger in such situations (Romans 4:19-20).[246] The degree of weakness or strength of faith leads the believer to its respective degree of proneness to wander and susceptability to fall or to stedfastness and faithfulness (Romans 14). Patience is produced by faith that is successfully tried and tested.[247] It is not surprising, then, that by “taking[248] the shield of faith” and the “breastplate of faith and love,” the Christian can “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked,” “stand,”[249] and “resist . . . the devil . . . steadfast in the faith”[250]—faith is key to resisting sin and Satan. Indeed, God continually keeps, preserves, and guards His people through faith, and so brings them to ultimate salvation.[251] Those with faith are the regenerate, and all such people definitively overcame the world at the moment of their conversion, are overcoming now, and will ultimately and finally overcome the world and enter the eternal kingdom.[252] Faith in both its initial bestowal and its increase in sanctification is not an autonomous product of man, but is initially created and subsequently strengthened by the supernatural efficacy of the Holy Spirit,[253] although not the Spirit alone, but also the Father and the Son, and therefore, the entire Trinity, give believers both initial faith and ever greater measures of faith, love, and other spiritual graces (2 Peter 1:1; Ephesians 6:23). Through the efficacious working of God, the believer’s faith is established, strengthened, and confirmed, with the result that it abounds[254] and “groweth exceedingly.”[255] God produces this increase of faith through the Scripture, for faith, while ultimately resting on God, proximately rests upon His revelation of Himself in the Word. While God produces faith, believers are responsible to “add to their faith” virtue, knowledge, and other holy graces, which develop out of the root of faith; believers are to diligently and industriously pursue the means to obtain what they desire God to bestow upon them,[256] and in this manner their faith, knowledge, godliness, charity, and other holy graces will be in them all the more, increasing and abounding, with the result that they bear spiritual fruit.[257] Sanctification takes place as one is “nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine,” inspired words that both produce faith and sound doctrine and which describe and delimit what such faith and doctrine are.[258] Believers are to “stand fast in the faith” (1 Corinthians 16:13), for Paul writes, “by faith ye stand” (2 Corinthians 1:24). Indeed, believers “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7),[259] so the spiritual life of the Christian is a walk of faith, specifically, faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20),[260] through whom believers are strengthened by the Spirit to employ their free, gracious, and confident access by faith to the Father.[261] Rather than Jewish ceremonial, faith that works by and is being energized by love is what matters (Galatians 5:6).[262] The believer’s faith can grow in quantity, resulting in his proper exercise of his spiritual giftedness and in holy living (Romans 12:3-21), for the more faith the believer has, the more spiritual joy and other holy graces he has, and the greater progress he makes in holiness (Philippians 1:25).[263] An increase of faith will result in an increase in good works, in the “work of faith.”[264] Indeed, while all believers already have Christ in them,[265] the Father grants that believers, as they are spiritually strengthened, have Christ dwelling[266] in their hearts by faith in an ever greater way, and as His special presence in them increases, they are rooted and grounded in love for their brethren, experientially know the love of Christ, and are filled with ever greater degrees of the fulness of God.[267]

            The peitho word group[268] supplies further light on the nature of Christian faith.[269] The verb means “to come to believe the certainty of something on the basis of being convinced—‘to be certain, to be sure, to be convinced,’” or “to believe in something or someone to the extent of placing reliance or trust in or on—‘to rely on, to trust in, to depend on, to have (complete) confidence in, confidence, trust.’”[270] Coming to saving faith, to believing, is to be persuaded[271] of the truth about Christ and the gospel, and consequently, turning from all false confidences,[272] to trust or place one’s confidence[273] in Him alone. Related words signify persuasive, convincing,[274] persuasion,[275] and confidence or trust.[276] Paul, as a pattern true for every Christian, testified: “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”[277] The saving faith of the Old Testament saints, set forth as a paradigm for those in the dispensation of grace, possessed, in addition to knowledge, persuasion of the truth concerning Christ and the promises about Him as a constituent element, which resulted in an embrace of the promises and He who was offered in them.[278] Persuasion, confidence, trust, and assurance that Christ will indeed save those who come to Him are elements of saving faith.[279] Since “[t]o be convinced and to believe is finally to obey,”[280] peitho consequently passes over from confidence and trust to obedience.[281] The idea obey is clearly present in the word group.[282] The people of God are those who believingly trust and consequently obey[283]—thus, the verb disbelieve or disobey[284] is never used of them, nor are its related noun[285] or adjective.[286] Saving faith is an entrusting of oneself to Christ which results in obedience.

            The specific quotations of Genesis 15:6[287] and Habakkuk 2:4 in the New Testament, both by Paul and by James, lie in clear continuity with both the grammatical-historical meaning of the Old Testament texts in their specific contexts and the wider Old and New Testament doctrines about the status and character of the just, the nature of the life that they possess, and the role of faith. The New Testament quotations will be examined in their chronological order—James, then Galatians, then Romans, and finally Hebrews.

            James, in his quotation from Genesis 15:6 in James 2:23, emphasizes the aspect of the Old Testament doctrine of faith that indicates that continuing faith, faithfulness, and obedience are the certain products of genuine conversion and justifying faith. His usage is clear from an examination of James 2:14-26. A man who says that he has faith, but does not have works, does not have the sort of faith that Abraham possessed, but a “faith” of a different and inferior character, a kind of mental assent that does not result in inward renewal and one that will not save he who possesses only it (James 2:14).[288] James 2:14a-d does not actually affirm that the speaker is a possessor of genuine faith; rather, he is one who only vocally testifies that he is a possessor of faith (cf. 1:25). Nor does James call him a “brother”; he is simply “a man,” a certain one who says[289] he has faith—indeed, he is but a “vain man” (2:20). While he does not affirm that this “vain man” has real faith, James does state that this man does not have works—while such a person says that he has faith, what is actually clear is that he does not have works.[290] His faith does not express itself in deeds, only in words—the only way that he can show that he has faith is by a confession of orthodox doctrine, for his deeds show nothing (2:18-19).[291] The absence of works is a clear distinguishing characteristic of his life.[292] James therefore asks, “can faith—the kind of faith[293] that does not produce works—save?” (James 2:14e). James’ answer to this question is “no.”[294] Such a profession of faith is as empty and worthless as are pleasant sounding words unaccompanied by genuine material assistance to a desperately needy, hungry, and naked Christian brother who is in danger of death by starvation or exposure (2:15-17; cf. Matthew 25:36, 43). A profession of compassion without deeds has no value in meeting physical needs, and an empty profession of faith that does not produce works similarly has no power to save spiritually. This kind of faith,[295] the kind that is characteristically or continually unaccompanied by works,[296] is dead, being alone or by itself[297] (2:17, 20, 26). There is as much of a difference between this professed but empty and dead “faith” and saving faith as there is between a dead body and a living man (2:26),[298] and such a dead faith will only save men as much as it will save devils (2:19).[299]

            James sets forth Abraham (2:21-24) as the paradigmatic example of the fact that saving faith is always accompanied with works. Abraham was justified by works[300]—shown to be righteous[301] in this world—when he offered Isaac his son, as recorded in Genesis 22.[302] Works did not transfer Abraham from the realm of those under Divine wrath and headed for damnation into the realm of the redeemed who possess the Divine favor and are headed for eternal glory. Such a transformation, as James indicates by his quotation of Genesis 15:6, took place when Abraham believed and was accounted righteous through the imputation of Messianic righteousness. Works do not transform a dead faith into a living faith, but they manifest the presence of living faith. James recognizes the teaching of Genesis that faith, not obedience, is the instrumentality through which men receive that perfect and sufficient righteousness that provides a sure everlasting hope in the sight of God, while he emphasizes the fact, also clearly taught in Genesis and the rest of the Old Testament, that the believing are the faithful, so that those who are declared righteous before God on the basis of imputed righteousness are also shown righteous in this life by their works. James refers to the “works” of Abraham, rather than to the single “work” of offering up Isaac, because Abraham’s faithfulness on Mount Moriah, in putting Jehovah’s command before his own beloved Isaac (Genesis 22), was the culminating work recorded in Genesis of the patriarch’s life of faithfulness, all of which sprung out of the transformation that took place in his life decades earlier through his being brought into union with God through faith in the land of Ur[303] as attested in Genesis 15:6. Abraham’s faith was “made perfect”[304] by his works (James 2:22) because Abraham’s receipt of a Divine imputed righteousness was not left alone, but led to progressive sanctification and ultimately to glorification. Justification, sanctification, and glorification are a continuum along which all the saints, but none but they, are brought. Abraham’s faith in response to the Divine call and revelation in Genesis 12 and 15 was brought to full measure, to completeness, by works, in that inward holiness and its outward fruit of good works are products of the union with Christ established through faith. The statement of Genesis 15:6 that Abraham believed God was “fulfilled” (James 2:23) by Abraham’s faithful obedience, culminating in the events of Genesis 22, because true faith, the faith that brings he who exercises it into union with Jehovah and results in imputed righteousness, also always results in faithfulness and obedience. Such obedience is so certain an issue of saving faith that James can regard the statement of Abraham’s exercise of saving faith in Genesis 15:6 as a prediction[305] of following obedience which was fulfilled in the patriarch’s works, culminating in Genesis 22. Abraham’s offering up his son was a fulfillment of his believing in God. One who believes will come to act like Abraham did in Genesis 22 and will be the friend of God[306] instead of being the friend of the world and the adulterous enemy of God (James 4:4). Had Abraham stayed in Ur of the Chaldees instead of rejecting idolatry and entrusting himself to and following Jehovah based on the Abrahamic covenant, he would not have been justified, as Rahab would likewise not have been justified had she sided with the idolatrous enemies of Jehovah in Jericho and had she refused to protect the spies (James 2:25; Joshua 2, 6), but they both would have been unjustified not because they had a true faith that just never produced anything, but because such a lack of works would have been indicative of an absence of true faith.[307] Since true faith always results in faithfulness,[308] the kind of faith that does not produce works is dead (James 2:20, 24, 26). James affirms, as does Paul (Romans 2:13) and the rest of the Old and New Testament, that one who possesses a dead “faith only”[309] that is without works, one who is a “hearer only” (James 1:22)[310] who does not obey the Word, is yet unregenerate.[311] Such a person must not allow himself to be deceived by his empty profession. Abraham’s life is clear—true faith results in faithfulness, and only the believing, who are the faithful, possess spiritual life now and eternal life in the eschaton. The just shall live by faith.

            In the book of Galatians, Paul quotes Genesis 15:6 and Habakkuk 2:4 to establish the fundamental soteriological doctrine of justification before God by faith alone. Genesis 15:6 is quoted in Galatians 3:6, while Habakkuk 2:4 is quoted in Galatians 3:11. Galatians 3:1-4:11 provides arguments in favor of the propositions Paul stated in Galatians 2:15-21. Galatians 3:1-18 proves that righteousness is received apart from the law. Within 3:1-18, 3:6-14 provides arguments from the Old Testament establishing the truth of justification by faith apart from the law.[312] Paul points out, first of all, that the truth that one is justified in the sight of God apart from the law (2:16) is established because Abraham was accounted righteous, receiving the imputed righteousness of the Messiah, through the sole instrumentality of faith (3:6).[313] Consequently, believers, “they which are of faith,” rather than law-keepers, “are the children of Abraham” spiritually (3:7). Those who believe as Abraham did become the recipients of the redemptive blessings associated with the patriarch. Indeed, the Old Testament had foreseen that God would justify Gentiles, non-lawkeepers, through faith, for God had promised Abraham all nations, not lawkeeping Jews only, blessing through his Seed, the Messiah.[314] Consequently, all those who are of faith receive the Abrahamic blessing (3:9). Indeed, none of the sons of Adam can receive salvation through obedience to the law, for the legal standard is continual, perfect, sinless obedience, but all have sinned and deserve God’s curse.[315] Furthermore, the explicit testimony that “the just shall live by faith”[316] elminates the possibility that life comes from the law, for the just are all those who are justified by faith (3:11).[317] The law sets a different and contrary standard—life for sinless obedience.[318] Christ took the curse of the law upon Himself on the cross so that the Gentiles could be accepted by God and receive salvation in all its aspects, inclusive of both justification and the promise of the Spirit, through faith.[319]

            Paul’s use of Genesis 15:6 and Habakkuk 2:4 in Galatians 3 emphasizes the receipt of justification through faith alone rather than the faithfulness and holiness that are the fruit of justifying faith. As the Apostle demonstrates, the Old Testament is clear—righteousness before God is the possession of all those who believe, rather than a possession of those who merit salvation by works. However, the faithfulness that is the fruit of the union with Christ entered into at the moment of justification is by no means excluded in Galatians. The promised Spirit, who sinners receive through faith alone at the moment of their justification (3:14), will produce His fruit (5:16-26; 4:6) in those who have received Him. Those justified by faith alone will be led by the Spirit (5:18) into a walk of holiness that is characterized by love, joy, peace, longsuffering, and other holy Spirit-produced acts, rather than the fleshly works that characterize those who will not enter the kingdom but suffer damnation (5:19-23). Faith will work by love (5:6). Indeed, the entire Christian life is lived by faith in the Son of God (2:20; cf. 5:5). The Christian dispensation itself is the coming of faith (3:23, 25). Justification by faith alone (2:16, 21) does not lead to a life of sin, because the believer is legally dead to the law, crucified with Christ, and alive to God (2:17-20). As is clear in Genesis and Habakkuk, Galatians affirms the twin truths that justification in the sight of God is by grace through faith alone, based on the imputed righteousness of Christ alone, and that faithfulness and holiness are the inevitable consequents springing from true faith. The just shall live by faith, as Abraham did.

            The affirmation of Habakkuk 2:4 that “the just shall live by faith,” the thesis statement of the Old Testament prophet,[320] is found in the thesis statement of the book of Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17).[321] Genesis 15:6 is also quoted in Romans 4:3 to prove that Abraham was justified by faith alone apart from works of the law. The significance of these two quotations in the context of the book of Romans, and their value in illuminating the character of Christian faith, will be examined in book order.

            Romans 1:16-17 reads: “I am not ashamed[322] of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”[323] Romans 1:16-17a illuminate what is involved in the affirmation of Habbakuk that “the just shall live by faith.”[324] First, Paul proves in 1:18-3:20 that all need the gracious justification of God through the gospel of Christ, because all, Jew and Gentile, are sinners devoid of righteousness. They stand in need of, by faith, becoming those who are just and shall live. Men are by nature and choice the enemies of God,[325] under His wrath, and separated from the spiritual and eternal life[326] that comes through faith.[327] Whether Jews (2:1-29) or Gentiles (1:18-32), all[328] stand condemned (3:1-20).[329] In 1:18-3:20, the righteous wrath of God is revealed (1:18), rather than His righteous manner of showing mercy in and by Christ (8:18),[330] for men are unrighteous,[331] while God is righteous.[332]

            Second, Paul proves in 3:21-5:21 that men are delivered from sin and justified apart from the law and through faith alone. Since, as Habakkuk affirms, those who have faith are those who have spiritual and eternal life, and are the just before God, clearly salvation is the possession of every believer, whether Jew or Gentile, rather than the prize only of those who perform meritorious works.

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:21-28)[333]

The just or righteous are all[334] those Jews and Gentiles[335] who have been declared righteous by the gracious God[336] on the basis of the imputed righteousness of the God-Man, Jesus Christ.[337] Works cannot earn righteous standing before God—on the contrary, imputed righteousness is received solely through the instrumentality of faith.[338] The imputation of righteousness brings salvation and spiritual and eternal life.[339]

            Third, Paul proves in 6:1-8:39 that those justified by faith receive a spiritual life that encompasses not justification only, but also progressive sanctification and glorification. Entrance into the realm of righteousness and the reign of grace makes certain the possession of life in all its justifying, sanctifying, and glorifying fulness (5:21). Indeed, all of life in its future and present aspects proceeds out of or from faith,[340] so that the Christian life is a life of faith. Since salvation in all its aspects arises from faith,[341] God justifies those who are of faith,[342] crediting righteousness to them.[343] The spiritual life of the Christian earthly pilgrimage that proceeds from the reception of life at the moment of regeneration and justification is likewise lived by faith,[344] as the believer by faith eagerly awaits his future inheritance[345] with a faith that is accompanied by holiness of life,[346] since “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”[347] In this manner those justified by faith shall live on earth by faith, and, as God gives to them increasing measures of faith,[348] their earthly sojourn is a life “from faith to faith,”[349] from one measure of faith to another and greater measure, and from one degree of holiness to the next, in contrast to the ungodly, whose life is a servitude to uncleanness and “to iniquity unto iniquity.”[350]

            Nonetheless, Paul’s focus in 6:1-8:39 is not the progressive growth of Christian faith,[351] but the sure possession and character of Christian life, specifically, the life “in Christ”[352] that is the product of union with Him at the moment of justification and regeneration—the just shall live by faith.[353] Eternal life is the present possession of the believer because of the reign of grace through Jesus Christ (5:17-21), and the possession of this life, in conjunction with its corollary, the believer’s judicial death to sin, and progressive death to sin’s practice and growth in practical righteousness, arising out of union with Christ in His death and resurrection and the receipt of judicial righteousness in justification, guarantees that the believer will not continue in sin (6:1-14). The “righteousness of God” is revealed in the salvation through the gospel of Christ in both judicial justifying and inward sanctifying righteousness, for the “just” or righteous are the heirs of both by grace (1:16-17).[354] The ability to obey is restored by the regenerating and sanctifying power of God, based on the work of Christ, through the application of the Holy Spirit—this is part of what is included in the gospel being “the power of God unto salvation” (1:16).[355] Paul asks, “Is it possible for the believer to continue in sin?” “Certainly not,” the Apostle answers, because the Christian is dead to it, and therefore cannot live in it any longer (6:1-2).[356] As pictured in his post-conversion immersion, the believer is identified with Christ’s death and resurrection and will therefore walk in newness of life (6:3-6), since he is judicially free from sin (6:7). He is free from the dominion of sin and lives spiritually to God, for he is alive with Christ (6:8-10). He is to reckon himself dead to sin and alive to God, as one who has risen from spiritual death to life, because sin will not have dominion over him, since he is under the reign of grace (6:11-14; 5:21). So will the believer sin, because he is under God’s grace? No, he will not, because he has been made free from sin when he was converted—he will, therefore, characteristically yield himself more and more to righteousness and holiness instead of to ever greater depths of iniquity (6:15-22). He will not receive the wages of sin in spiritual death, but the gift of God, eternal and spiritual life through Jesus Christ—life in growing measure through the course of his Christian walk, and everlasting life to the highest extent in the coming glory (6:23). He is dead to his old sinful servitude and the spiritual death associated with it and alive to a new master, Christ, in a manner comparable to that of a woman whose old husband has died and who now has a new lord (7:1-6). The law, which should have been the means of life, brought death because of the power of sin, with the result that sin came to be recognized as exceedingly sinful (7:7-13). Indeed, the contrast of the perfect standard of the law and even the believer’s obedience is very great, but Jesus Christ gives the victory and even now the believer no longer sins with his whole being, but serves God with his mind (7:14-25). Therefore, believers do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has made them free from the law of sin and death (8:1-2). Christ’s death has brought believers deliverance from the power of sin and death and the presence of the indwelling Spirit[357] with the result that the righteous requirements of the law are now partially fulfilled within and by the believer on earth as, by grace, he grows in holiness, and are totally and perfectly filled in the eschaton (8:3-4).[358] Christians now have life and peace because of their possession of a spiritual mind, instead of the fleshly and rebellious mind they had before their conversion, which brings spiritual death (8:5-8). They have spiritual life and the indwelling Holy Spirit (8:9-11). They are led by the Spirit of God to mortify their indwelling sin and receive eternal life (8:12-14), being freed from bondage into the glory of the adopted sons of God (8:15-17), a glory that will extend to the redemption of the whole creation—indeed, all things work together for good to them, and blessings from predestination in eternity past, to present justification, to future glorification, are certain to them (8:18-39). Judicial and practical righteousness, spiritual and eternal life, are all included in the life that believers, who are the just, receive by grace alone from their redeeming God.

            Romans 9-11 unfolds some of what is involved in the gospel being “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (1:16).[359] Israel received tremendous privileges (9:1-5, cf. 3:1-2), from the Scriptures to the covenants to the eternally blessed God over all, the Messiah. Nevertheless, only a Jewish remnant believed the gospel as Paul preached it in the dispensation of grace. This fact, however, was by no means a failure of the Word or promises of God, for under the old covenant also only a remnant was saved—despite Israel’s national election, only those who were and are of faith constituted the true seed of Abraham who received everlasting salvation (9:6-29). In fact, the Old Testament indicated that not Jews only, but all, including Gentiles, who would believe would be saved (9:24, 30-33), and that salvation by faith, which was universally and indiscriminately offered to all men, would indeed by received by many Gentiles but rejected by many of the physical seed of Israel (10:1-21). However, God had not cast Israel away, nor had His promises and Word failed, for a remnant would continue to come to faith throughout the dispensation of grace, and the entire Jewish nation will be converted in the future at the end of the Tribulation period as the Millennial kingdom is ushered in (11:1-36). Whether Jews or Gentiles, those who are of faith are the just who shall live.

            Romans 12:1-15:13 exhorts the Roman church to a myriad of practical duties that should adorn the life of those who by faith are just. In light of the “mercies of God”[360] set forth in Romans 1-11, Paul “therefore” exhorts the “brethren,” the just who live by faith, to serve God as living sacrifices (12:1ff.). Romans 15:13, which concludes the main body of Romans that began with the thesis statement of 1:16-17, indicates, as does the “from faith to faith” of 1:16-17, that God fills the saints with all joy and peace as they believe and by means of their faith;[361] faith is the human response through which God makes the believer holy, filling him with the holy attributes of hope, peace, and joy. The increase of the saint’s inward holiness consequently results in holy actions (15:14; cf. 12:1-15:13). The gospel of God, through the power[362] of the Holy Ghost, provides all the saints a judicial righteousness, practical righteousness, and a perfect ultimate righteousness, and, indeed, all spiritual blessings, as necessary concomitants of union with the Son (8:32). Paul’s preaching of the gospel was a priestly service[363] that led to formerly wicked Gentiles becoming an acceptable[364] sacrifice, “sanctified by the Holy Ghost” (15:16), obedient in word and deed because of the sanctifying efficacy of the Almighty Spirit of God (15:18-19).[365] Sanctification is an absolutely certain consequence of justification—Gentiles incorporated into the people of God become living and holy sacrifices[366] to the God whose mercy delivered them from the penalty and power of sin (12:1-2). Receipt of the gospel in faith leads both to justification and to the saints being established in holiness by the power of God, resulting in the “obedience of faith” (16:25-27).[367] Paul’s use of Habakkuk 2:4 in the thesis statement of his epistle to the Romans in 1:16-17 is exactly in line with the meaning of the Lord through the Old Testament prophet. Since the just shall live by faith, justification is a free gift received by grace alone through faith alone. Since the just shall live by faith, progressive sanctification and growth in spiritual life, faith, faithfulness, and holiness is certain for all the justified, for all those who possess faith, while faithfulness is impossible without saving faith. Since the just shall live by faith, ultimate glorification is also certain for all the justified (cf. 8:28-39)—every one of God’s precious just ones shall receive the consummation of eternal life in a blessed eternity. All believers continue to rely on Christ alone for the entirety of their justifying righteousness, and all believers live—they have spiritual life now, characteristically trust in Jehovah and grow in faith and other fruits of the Spirit, and will receive the consummation of the life they now enjoy in a blessed life in the eschaton.

            As in Romans 1:16-17 Paul’s interpretation of Habakkuk 2:4 is in complete harmony with the literal meaning of the Old Testament passage, so the Apostle’s quotation in Romans 4:3 of Genesis 15:6 is in full agreement with the literal meaning of Moses. Paul wrote: “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”[368] As in Genesis 15:6, so in Romans 4:3 faith is the instrument through which Christ’s righteousness is imputed, rather than faith itself being the ground or basis of the receipt of righteousness.[369] Paul makes it very clear that justification is by faith alone in Christ alone, through which the sinner receives the imputed righteousness of Christ and obtains a perfect legal standing before God. Abraham was not justified by works, but solely through faith, entirely by grace exclusive of all human merit or effort (4:1-5), a teaching to which David also testifed (4:6-8). Since Abraham was justified prior to his circumcision, it is apparent that ceremonies or rituals, even those ordained by God such as circumcision, are not the instrumentality through which sinners are justified (4:9-12).[370] Salvation is by grace through faith to all, whether Jew or Gentile, and not by the law or circumcision, for Abraham’s justification apart from circumcision and the law (4:12-22) is a pattern for Christian justification (4:23-25). In the book of Romans, Paul cogently and clearly demonstrates with his quotation from Genesis 15:6 that Abraham, and all, receive justification apart from works by grace through faith alone.

            While Paul’s main point in his argument of Romans four is justification, the transformed lifestyle that is the certain consequent of and companion of gratuitous justification is not absent from the chapter. Those who have ceased working to obtain justification and simply believe on Christ (4:5) are those whose lifestyle evidences a “walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham.”[371] Those justified by faith alone will also be the faithful, following the pattern of Abraham who not only received a free justification but also separated from the idolatry of Ur and obeyed, loved, and served Jehovah. God both declared that Abraham was righteous solely by faith and stated of the patriarch, “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (Genesis 26:5). Abraham not only entrusted himself to the Lord at a particular moment, but he also persevered in the faith (Romans 4:17-22). The continuity between justifying and persevering, sanctifying faith is clear in Romans 4-5—one and the same faith results in both salvific blessings. While the main emphasis of Romans 4 is the element of the Old Testament doctrine that “the just shall live by faith” that establishes justification by faith alone based on the righteousness of Christ alone, the corollary truth of the life of faithfulness of the justified is also apparent.

            Finally, Paul[372] also quotes Habakkuk 2:4 in the book of Hebrews. Based on the foundation of justification by faith, Paul’s quotation in Hebrews 10:38 emphasizes the perseverance that results from genuine saving faith.[373] Those who are truly just, Paul teaches, will live by faith: “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”[374] The just, those who believe to the saving[375] of their souls, all the people of God, are contrasted with those who apostatize instead of persevering, who “draw back unto perdition”[376] and are eternally damned. Paul sets forth this truth as an encouragement to the believing Hebrews to persevere in the faith despite persecution and as a warning to those who would apostatize from Christ and return to the shadows of Judaism that they will receive, not freedom from persecution only, but with it God’s eternal curse and everlasting damnation. Those who respond in faith to the gospel (Hebrews 4:2) have more than a bare faith in God (Hebrews 6:1, cf. v. 1-9), but a kind of faith that will be mixed with patience and therefore will receive an eternal inheritance (Hebrews 6:12), a kind of faith that brings with it the purified heart of the New Covenant (Hebrews 10:22; 8:8-12). The heroes of the Old Testament recalled in Hebrews 11 are the justified, those who obtained a good report and will be perfected in eternal glory with those of the first century who persevered in like manner (Hebrews 11:2, 39-40); they are the just who live by faith, those who believe to the saving of their souls, those just men made perfect who enter the New Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:23) and are a great cloud of witnesses to encourage the Hebrews in Paul’s day to persevere (Hebrews 12:1), even as the godly Christian preachers known to the recipients of Hebrews had a saving faith that led them to a blessed eternity with Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:7-8), in contrast with those in whom God has no pleasure (cf. Hebrews 10:38; 11:5-6), those who draw back to perdition (Hebrews 10:38-39).

            Thus, explicating Hebrews 10:38-39, Hebrews 11 supplies an extensive analysis of how genuine faith, that possessed by those that believe to the saving of the soul, appeared in the life of Old Testament believers. The “by faith”[377] refrain of chapter 11 indicates that the Old Testament worthies acted as they did both because of the presence of genuine faith in them and through the instrumentality of that faith. The chapter does not affirm that they were free from the effects of indwelling sin, or that they never experienced spiritual declensions, but it does teach that, as people of genuine faith, they possessed a graciously given predominant bent towards God that manifested itself in a life characterized by faithfulness and acts of faith. The servants of God in Hebrews 11, therefore, do not represent a second or higher class of Christian, but all those truly in the kingdom of God their recognized Creator (Hebrews 11:1-3), the just or righteous (Hebrews 10:38; 11:4) who please God (11:5-6), who are righteous by faith and receive salvation (11:7), who will, like Abraham and Sarah, enter the heavenly city (11:8-19), who look for future reward and therefore suffer affliction with the people of God instead of enjoying the temporary pleasures of sin (11:25-26, cf. 20-26), who forsake the heathen and are not destroyed with them (27-31), and who live by faith in whatever circumstances God places them in and enjoy the resurrection to life with an abundant reward (32-38), receiving the promise of eternal inheritance with the rest of those who possess true faith and consequently persevere (9:15; 11:39-40). That is, Hebrews 11 teaches both that justification is simply by faith and sets forth the pattern of the life of faith that will mark the justified.[378] Since the elders obtained a good report simply by faith (11:1-2), works do not justify; nevertheless, those who have such a good report will manifest that they are just or righteous by acts such as Abel’s worship of God even at the cost of martyrdom, and will, after their life by faith as just men, enter into eternal blessedness.[379] They will be resurrected with the just because in their lifetime they pleased God,[380] as did Enoch (11:5), by faith (11:6). Like all the righteous of chapter 11, their good report before God in justification will issue in sanctification (11:39).[381] Those who would inherit “the righteousness which is by faith” will stand for God against the opposition of the world like Noah did when he built the ark (11:7). Those with saving faith will follow the example of Abraham, who “by faith . . . obeyed” God’s call, even at the cost of separation from one’s kindred and way of life for a wandering existence as a stranger and foreigner (11:8-9), because enduring such earthly trials to inherit the New Jerusalem is worthwhile (11:10). Saving faith recognizes the validity of God’s promises, as Sarah did, even if they seem impossible (11:11-12). Saving faith not only intellectually apprehends and is persuaded of God’s promises, but embraces them, resulting in an open confession of and identification with Him, His ways, and His people (11:13), and an open declaration of a preference for His heavenly country (11:14, 16) because of an inward preference for such a holy land and for its holy King—one who truly inwardly prefers this world to God’s coming kingdom will find an occasion to turn back from the way of faith and spiritual and everlasting life (11:15). True believers are not ashamed of God, and He is not ashamed of them, but has prepared an eternal city for them.[382] They characteristically respond in faith to trials, as Abraham did when he put God’s command before his own son Isaac (11:17-19). They have respect to the promises of God and act in accordance with them, as did Isaac (11:20).[383] Saving faith has respect to the Divine promises even to the time of death and manifests itself in a true heart of worship, as seen in Jacob and Joseph (11:21-22). Saving faith fears God rather than man, and honors Him even if the government commands the contrary, as seen in Moses’ parents (11:23). Saving faith identifies with the people of God and their worship, esteems reproach for Christ greater riches than worldly treasures, forsakes the world, and endures, because it looks to the coming eternal reward, as Moses did (11:24-28). Faith exposes its possessors to what appear to be severe physical dangers if required by the command of God, as is evident in Israel’s passing through the Red Sea, whose waters could, were they not restrained by God, have drowned the whole nation as they did the Egyptian army (11:29). Faith will fight the spiritual warfare to which God has called His people in accordance with His commandment (11:30), as seen in Israel’s conquest of Jericho. Faith will lead believers to protect God’s servants even at great personal risk, so that those who possess it, as did Rahab, will not perish with those who are unbelievers (11:31).[384] Indeed, the Old Testament validates that faith is the cause and instrument for both obtaining spiritual victories and for possessing an overcoming endurance of extreme suffering, torture, and martyrdom for Christ’s sake (11:32-38). Since such Old Testament heroes received life and lived by faith, Paul concludes, so must the Hebrews endure and overcome by faith if they are to obtain the promise of eternal life (11:39-12:1)—indeed, they must look to and follow the greatest Pattern of all of overcoming endurance, Jesus Christ Himself (12:2-3). As they took up the cross to follow Christ at the moment of their conversion, so must they continue to follow Him. As Habakkuk made clear, the book of Hebrews affirms that the just not only enter into life by faith but also live by faith during their earthly pilgrimage and consequently enter into their promised eternal inheritance. The complete idea taught in Genesis 15:6 and Habakkuk 2:4 appears, although with differences of emphasis, in all the New Testament quotations of the Old Testament text in James, Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews.

            John’s Gospel teaches that believers have their faith strengthened and deepened through the believing reception of greater revelations through the Word (John 2:22)[385] of the Triune God in His ontology and economy,[386] particularly as seen in Christ the Mediator,[387] and through their response, enabled by grace, of fuller surrender to and entrusting of themselves to Him. Even the smallest degree of true confidence in, coming to, and cleaving to Christ will bring union with Him, and consequently justification, sanctification, and all the other blessings of salvation, but one can cleave to Christ more closely, grow in confidence in Him, surrender more fully to Him, and entrust oneself more fully to Him. Such a greater degree of trust in the Person of the Redeemer and in the Triune God, which is associated in Scripture with receipt of a fuller revelation of His nature and work through the Word, is growth in faith. Through such an increase of faith the saints partake of an increase of spiritual life and fellowship with God. Christ’s exercise of creative power in transforming water into the fruit of the vine in John 2 was a manifestation of His glory, in response to which His disciples, those who had already exercised saving faith, believed on Him in a deeper way (John 2:11).[388] His miracle, both an exercise of creative power such as pertained only to the eternal Jehovah and a manifestation of His grace and lovingkindness as the Provider for and Redeemer of His people, showed forth Christ’s glory as both the eternal Son of God and as the incarnate God-Man, and the faith of His disciples was directed towards Him[389] as all He was in Himself and on their behalf in a greater way as a consequence. Furthermore, through the display of the Divine glory manifested by the incarnate Christ through His raising of Lazarus from the dead, His disciples were led to believe in Him in a deeper way (John 11:15). Christ was revealed as One who, weeping over Lazarus’ death, could perfectly identify with human sorrow, and was filled to the fullest extent with perfect human love and sympathy (John 11:35-36), while He was also revealed as God the Word and the Father’s only begotten Son, as One who was Himself the Resurrection and the Life, and who, out of His infinite Divine love, could and would exercise the Almighty power of God to redeem His beloved ones from even that last enemy, death (John 11:25-27). While revelation of the glory of God in Christ leads His people to deeper faith (John 2:11; 11:15), at the same time their response of faith to His Word is a condition of and a means to a greater revelation of His glory (John 11:40).[390] Christ reveals Himself to His chosen ones, so that love that contemplates Him, faith that trusts in Him, and obedience that follows Him, is aroused the more in them. To such faith, love, and obedience, Christ in turn responds by revealing Himself in yet clearer and clearer ways. Christ also predicted His betrayal to strengthen His disciples’ faith in Him as the Messiah and as Jehovah, the I AM (John 13:19).[391] In John 14:1, Christ addressed His disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”[392] His disciples had already believed, and were believing, in God, and already had come to saving faith in Christ, but the Lord exhorts them to a deeper faith in Himself as the One who is going to go away and come again to receive them to Himself, to a faith that clearly respects His humiliation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and mediatorial office (John 14:6, 29[393]), to be added to their already extant justifying faith. The Lord Jesus exhorts His disciples to a deeper faith in His Person in John 14:1, but does not there exhort His disciples to a deeper faith in the Father in particular, because the first Person of the Trinity is not the One who they would see in such a radically different light or have difficulty recognizing in light of the cross.[394] Christ then proceeds to lead His disciples to a stronger faith in the Trinitarian perichoresis[395] (cf. John 10:30, 38) and to Himself as the One in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily on account of His Word and works (John 14:10-12).[396] As a result of the discourse of John 14-16, the disciples, who had already come to saving faith in Christ with all of its permanent results, and consequently loved Him and were loved by the Father (John 16:27),[397] declared that they were now believing in a deeper way in Christ (John 16:30),[398] although the Lord warned them that their faith was still weak enough that it would not keep them from forsaking Him when He was betrayed (John 16:31-32),[399] for stronger faith leads to a more decided stand for Christ against the world and to all other fruits of righteousness. Unbelievers are exhorted to trust in the crucified Christ, and believers exhorted to a closer embrace of Christ in faith,[400] because of the revelation of His saving work, as predicted in the Old Testament, grounded in His substitutionary death, and producing justification and sanctification for those in union with Him (John 19:34-37). Men should follow the pattern of a believing response to the Divine saving self-revelation in the crucifixion and resurrection by entrusting themselves to Christ as their own Lord and God (John 20:28-31) and becoming people who are believingly faithful (John 20:27). Such a response of faith appeared in the Apostle John when, in light of the empty tomb, he “saw, and believed” (John 20:8), and in the Apostle Thomas when he saw and believed (John 20:29)[401] and was consequently no longer on the path to faithlessness, but was believing (John 20:27, 25), although in truth “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).[402] All believers are in such a state of blessedness, for they have come to saving faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ[403] and have consequently become believing and faithful people. The record of Thomas’s response of faith to the crucified and resurrected Son of God as Redeemer, Lord, and God, contained as it is within the climax of the Gospel of John in chapter twenty,[404] is set forth as a pattern for all men—those who are unconverted need to make a comparable faith response in Christ to enter into life, and those who are already converted need to continue to embrace Christ in faith ever the more fully, that they might experientially possess spiritual life in an ever higher degree, such earthly spiritual life being a sweet foretaste of the blessed fulness of life in the coming eschatological glory. John’s Gospel is written “that ye might believe[405] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing[406] ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). The revelation of the glory and salvation of Christ and God through the signs recorded in the Gospel are written so that people might come to initial saving faith, and that those who are believers might through a continuing and ever deeper entrustment of themselves to Christ experientially possess a greater fulness of life in all its senses—that is, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)—for life is not bare existence, or simply a future state of joy instead of pain, but knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3). It is impossible for the unbeliever to possess any saving knowledge of God and Christ, while all believers possess such cognitive and experiential knowledge, but the believer’s knowledge, and thus his experience of spiritual and eternal life, can be deepened through repeated, stronger, and fuller responses to the revelation of his God and Savior in the Word.

            The Apostle John similarly taught in his first epistle that unbelievers are to come to faith in Christ and, through the receipt of a new nature, become people of love who also are to exercise particular acts of faith in Christ (1 John 3:23),[407] while believers, those who have exercised saving faith and become believing ones,[408] should, by obtaining assurance of their salvation, believe more deeply. Their growth in faith is associated with their disbelief in false teachers (1 John 4:1)[409] because of the failure of such teachers to fit the criteria set forth by the Apostolic faith in the Word (1 John 4:1-6). Concluding his epistle, John stated: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).[410] The verse indicates that John writes his epistle to those who are believers[411] in the Son of God. He wants them to enjoy the knowledge that they currently possess eternal life.[412] By possessing assurance, and growing in their assurance of their personal salvation, they will believe the more deeply and exercise ever greater faith in the Son of God,[413] resulting in full joy (1 John 1:4) and holy living (1 John 2:1).

            In agreement with the teaching of the Old Testament,[414] John makes it clear that communion with the Father and the Son by the Spirit through the revelation of the Triune God in His ontology and economy to His beloved people will result in ever greater degrees of Christ-conformity in the ever more deeply believing believer. The saints are the possessors of a real relationship with, sharing in, association and fellowship with[415] Jehovah; they can say: “truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). The saint who is right with God has Christ’s promise: “I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).[416] The Lord Jesus does not leave His purchased ones alone, but promises: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18).[417] They love Christ and keep His commandments, and are those whom the Son and His Father love, and to whom they manifest themselves in a manner of which the unconverted world can know nothing, so that the Divine Persons come to dwell in and with them, that their closeness and sweet fellowship might grow the more as the Triune Presence is the more manifest. The Lord Jesus explained:

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.[418]

As their Theanthropic Mediator, Christ makes known to His people by the Holy Spirit the revelation the Father gave Him for them.[419] Through the Spirit and mediated by the Son, they have the Father’s glory revealed to them, and are transformed by this vision of God’s glory and brought into ever closer union with the Triune God through the God-Man. Such a revelation of the Father was the eternal Divine purpose on the heart of God, as appears in the covenant of redemption among the Divine Persons and the covenant of grace[420] through which the Father would save the elect by the Son through the Spirit, for this revelation of God, which takes place through the Word, is at the heart of what is involved in the possession of eternal life:

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. . . . I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. . . . For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. . . . I have given them thy word . . . sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. . . . And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. [421]

The supernatural revelation and manifestation of God’s name, character, and glory through Christ by the Spirit in the Scriptures to the saints results in their sanctification, in a greater degree of God’s presence in and with them, and in their possession and manifestation of all the communicable Divine attributes, so that as they are filled with the Divine presence they are also filled with Divine love and all other holy attributes, including faith and faithfulness.

            Both the Old and New Testaments teach that the just—those who receive the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, and who consequently have lives characterized by justice—will live. They possess spiritual life and fellowship with God on earth and are certain of eternal life in Christ’s everlasting kingdom. This life came to them through the instrumentality of faith. At the moment they believingly embraced Christ, they were justified. Their Christian growth is associated with greater and stronger entrustings of themselves to the Lord Jesus in faith as He draws closer to them and they draw closer to Him. In this manner their spiritual life is carried on by faith until the completion of their earthly pilgrimage and their entry into that glorious realm of sight where faith and hope are done away and charity only remains.

Applications of the Truth that the Just Shall Live by Faith

            Do you have saving faith? If not, why, oh unbeliever, will you trust in anything or anyone other than the Triune Jehovah, who loved you and sent His Son to die for your sins? Is not hope in men in vain? Why will you perish? For you certainly will do so. There is not the slightest doubt that you will be eternally damned unless you repent of your sins and come to the Lord Jesus Christ in saving faith. Turn from any confidence in works, sacraments, self-righteousness, outward decisions such as the repetition of a “sinner’s prayer,” and all else, to trust only in the all-sufficient merit of the atoning death of the Son of God. Surrender to Christ as Lord. Roll your full persuasion and confidence upon Him and His gospel promises. He will not fail you, nor ever cast you out. He will effectually deliver you from the penalty, power, and presence of sin, and keep you eternally secure from the moment of your regeneration to all eternity future, if you will, enabled by His grace, come to Him.

            Saving faith is not just mental assent, but whole-souled entrustment of Christ as both Lord and Savior, a product of supernatural grace working in the heart. Consequently, all who have truly embraced Christ in faith will be faithful. Nobody without faithfulness has true saving faith. Saving faith always results in obedience, and faith without works is dead. If, after your professed conversion, you are still like the heathen who stayed in Jericho rather than Rahab, or still like the idolators of Ur rather than like Abraham, your eternal destiny will be the same fire and brimstone which those unconverted pagan wretches have been hopelessly enduring for the last three thousand years and more. Abraham was not a sinless man after his conversion (e. g., Genesis 12:10-13), but he was unquestionably a changed man. The new birth does not bring sinless perfection, but it always brings genuine spiritual life. The New Covenant includes both the Divine promise, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” and the equally sure Divine promise, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10-12). If you do not have the law written in your mind and heart, your sins have not been remitted. If you are still a proud and rebellious man (Habakkuk 2:4a), your problem is not that you have not entered into the Higher Life or into a Second Blessing, but that you have never become a just man by means of genuine faith (Habakkuk 2:4b). All the saints, not an elite minority of them only, are just, and not by imputed only, but also by imparted righteousness. The Bible never teachs that some Christians are entirely devoid of spiritual life because they have failed to make a post-conversion faith-decision to appropriate sanctification. Rather, Scripture teaches that all believers have spiritual life and the kernel from which all spiritual blessings, including not justification only, but also sanctification, progressively unfold themselves in ever-greater fulness and glory. There is no evidence in either the Old or New Testaments that some saved people do not live by faith.[422] Can the believer’s faith fail him in particular trials? Yes, certainly. Can he fall into spiritual declensions and periods in which his faith is growing weaker? Sadly, the answer is an unequivocal affirmative. However, notwithstanding all such concessions, it is nevertheless those only who are just who will live, and will do so because they exercised saving faith, entrusting themselves to Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, at the moment of their justification and regeneration. Have you truly come to Jesus Christ?

            Furthermore, one who does not manifest the obedience of faith should neither be self-assured, nor be assured by others, that he has indeed passed from death to life. Believers have the blessed possibility and privilege of being assured of their salvation (1 John 5:13), but only those who manifest the changes evident in 1 John are truly believers. Christian personal workers should follow the pattern of Jesus Christ, who told new converts, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:30-32). Someone who has newly professed conversion should not be given assurance because he has repeated a sinner’s prayer or made an outward profession. While it is most proper to rejoice that someone has made such a decision, personal workers should explain that true conversion results in a lifestyle of obedience to Jesus Christ, and explaining what Scripture sets forth as the faithfulness that pertains to the just, they should allow the Holy Spirit to give assurance. Indeed, neither one with a merely outward profession, nor a true Christian who is backslidden and spiritually decaying, should expect to have Biblical assurance of salvation. Also, before a backslidden Christian can possess Biblical assurance, he needs to repent and have an upright heart before the Lord restored.

On the other hand, believers who do manifest the obedience of faith should not doubt their salvation. God wants His faithful people to joyfully possess an assured salvation, and a lack of assurance is a great hinderance to the further growth of Christian faith and to holy living (1 John 1:4; 2:1; 5:13c). Believer, be assured of your salvation, so that you may more deeply believe in Christ! It is not a secondary or a little thing for you to have assurance. It is the will of God. God has changed you, and His Spirit testifies inwardly to you that you are a child of God. Will you supress and deny God’s testimony and His work in you? What sort of ingratitude and unreasonableness is this? God has specifically, and in love, “written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). Receive His promise—be assured of your salvation—and go on in your Christian walk from strength to strength.

            The exercise of saving faith is a definite, conscious, willful action that takes place at a particular moment of a person’s life. One who has, by grace, turned with all his heart and soul to Jesus Christ and been born again would in all but the most extraordinary of situations be able to clearly testify to and explain his conversion. The idea, often set forth by advocates of Reformed theology, that one can have “always believed,”[423] so that someone who has grown up under Christian influences, or who has had baptismal water applied to him in his infancy, need never consciously come to a point of conversion, is an extremely dangerous, indeed, a soul-damning heresy. Ephesians 2:1-3 states: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians was written to the Christian congregation at Ephesus (Ephesians 1:1), which, of course, included parents who had infants and children (6:1). The children of Christians, like everyone else, are dead in their sins, under the power of the devil, and fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, until they are made alive at the moment they are born again by grace through faith in Christ (2:8-9). Since infants have “no knowledge between good and evil,”[424] they do not conduct themselves “in the lusts of [their] flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” Since all those made alive in Christ at one time conducted themselves in the lusts of the flesh and of the mind, people—including those with Christian parents—are only born again after they have reached an age where they are able to so conduct themselves, and consciously repent and believe the gospel. Nobody has always been a Christian. The only people who are made alive in Christ are those who have been consciously lost, walking in sin, and have subsequently repented and believed.[425] Conversion is the most important event that can take place in the life of any individual. One does not repent by accident. A person who has experienced the stupendous change associated with conversion should be able to describe when and how it took place.

How truly “blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” How truly “blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Romans 4:7-8)! Oh Christian, marvel in the blessedness of the forgiveness of your sins. They were innumerable, and each of them an infinite evil, but now they are all gone. You were black, but Christ has made you white. You were pressing down to hell under an intolerable weight of transgression, but Jesus Christ has forever removed your load. You were in bondage, but Christ has made you free. You were certain of everlasting torment, but Christ endured all that torment for you, so that you might enter into inconceivable and eternal blessedness. And not only so, but the Lord Jesus has brought you into an intimate union with Himself, and with God through Him. Say to yourself, “How can it be that I have been brought into union with Jesus Christ—that infinitely lovely and precious One? Oh, what am I, that the God of glory, the Creator of the heaven and earth, God the Father, Son, and Spirit, would reveal Himself to me—to me, who would not, of myself, take even the smallest step towards Him! And not reveal Himself only, but in Christ suffer the shame, the bitterness, and the torment of the cross, to bring my wretched soul to Himself!” Yes, Christian, because of God’s mere grace alone—not of yourself, not of your works, not of your striving, not of your preparation for grace, not of anything you ever did, have done, or will do, you have been brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. How you ought to treasure the fact of this union and glory in Him with whom you have been united! How you ought to esteem and love Jesus Christ, the blessed and ever-overflowing fount of all spiritual treasures, graces, and blessings that you have ever received, or ever will receive, to all eternity! Do you do so?

Glory, then, not in your own righteousness, but in Christ and His righteousness. All your righteousnesses are filthy rags, and all holiness imparted to you in sanctification is only and entirely a product of God’s grace, power, and love. Indeed, you need Christ to sanctify the iniquity clinging to your very holiest things (Exodus 28:38). You have nothing to glory in yourself. The evidential just character of the redeemed is solely a product of Divine grace and power, and your faith is not a meritorious instrument, but simply the means through which you embrace God and receive all freely from Him. Indeed, the more inward holiness God creates within you, the more you will see how wretched, vile and hateful you really are, and with the greater strength you will cleave to Christ and His righteousness only as your perfect standing before God. Yet notwithstanding all your unworthiness, the Lord Jehovah says to you: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 54:17). Have you received His priceless righteousness “without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1)? Then hearken to the Scripture: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). Oh blessed imputed righteousness of Christ, the glory and the ground of exceedingly great rejoicing for the saints of all ages from the foundation of the world to today, the trust of all the spiritual sons of Abraham from the time of the conversion of that abominable idolator until today, when it becomes the perfect standing for such wretched sinners as you are!

You should earnestly strive to have God’s view of your own fleshly tendency towards self-righteousness—seek to see it as the abominable and detestable wickedness that God considers it. Also recognize the hateful and abominable character of all false religions of works-righteousness, whether Romanism, Quakerism, cults such as the Watchtower or Seventh Day Adventism, or all other systems of salvation by works and merit. Be astonished, be horribly afraid, be overwhelmed with indignation that any would dare to exalt his own righteousness against the righteousness of the infinite Jehovah. What rebellion, what blasphemy is this! And, alas, oh God, what is this tendency to such self-exaltation that I see within my own fleshly heart! Purge me, oh God, and I will be clean—wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Recognize that it is God’s blessed decree that you actually grow increasingly righteous over the course of your earthly pilgrimage, and the consummation of that creative work of righteousness is certain in the coming kingdom. He has covenanted to perform that work in you by His own Almighty power, the same power that created the world, raised Christ from the dead, and regenerated you. Both the initial bestowal of faith, and the increase of faith, are supernatural gifts from God, not autonomous products of your will, and the Lord has committed Himself to work in you both to will and do of His good pleasure until the day of Jesus Christ. Therefore, with confidence pursue the means of sanctification, recognizing that it is by such means that God will transform you. Passionately treasure the Word. Read it, study it, memorize it, meditate upon it, hear it preached, discuss it with others. Reject all theologies of sanctification that deny that God produces real inward holiness within His people. Indwelling sin is not merely to be counteracted, but progressively eradicated; inward holiness is not just to be maintained, but to grow. You are crucified with Christ—you are legally dead to sin, and its dominion has been shattered. Then reckon it to be so, and strengthened by the Spirit, put to death the remnants of indwelling sin. At the moment of your regeneration, you overcame the world—manifest that victory through ever greater conquests and desolations of your already defeated foe. Settle for nothing less than what God has promised. Recognize, nevertheless, that the fulness of perfect holiness will not be obtained short of your entrance into eternal rest. How this fact should make you treasure heaven! For the eternal dwelling of the redeemed is not just a place of peace, happiness, and freedom from pain, but of holiness—blessed, perfect, desirable, sweet, and glorious holiness—the dwelling of that Holy One who makes it so. There you will see your Jesus, and be like Him, seeing Him as He is. There you will be pure, even as He is pure. There you will be fully embraced by and enter into the fellowship of the eternal Trinitarian love. There you will enjoy, with all the purchased saints, fulness of communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for ever and ever and ever. Let your soul cry out, “Oh come, Lord Jesus—take me, and all thy purchased pilgrims, home to be with Thee! Or if it is not yet Thy appointed time to return, oh, how I long to be with Thee and see Thy face, not only by faith, but in full sight! When is it, oh my Father, oh my Redeemer, that I will be forever with Thee? Thou art all my hope, my joy, and the desire of my heart, now and for ever.”

Furthermore, the propositional and practical elements of the faith are inextricably intertwined—faithfulness includes fidelity to both. The devils know doctrine, and a natural man can have a kind of unspiritual pleasure through an intellectual apprehension of the theological system of Scripture—a system that he, nevertheless, refuses to practice. Mere nature can also lead others, who hate the beauty and glory of the theological system of the Bible—which to hate is to despise the mind of Christ and the Wisdom of God—to the practice of a kind of merely natural morality. The saints must avoid both errors, and passionately embrace both the totality of the propositional revelation of Himself that their Father has commanded them to love with all their minds and the totality of the practical duties that are the necessary concomitants of true submissive assent to the Scriptural revelation. Is your faith genuine—unfeigned, and unhypocritical? Do you both believe and do? Do you earnestly contend for both propositions and praxis?

            Since “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23), be sure that you can act out of faith in all that you do. Do not look for gray areas or take refuge in what is not clearly wrong, but “merely” doubtful. Take the higher ground. Practice only what is unquestionably right. Stay far away from any violation of Scripture, and consider very carefully the testimony of your conscience. You will, without any doubt, have to give an account to God one day. If you would, in the things that pertain merely to this life, take great pains that your gold, silver, and precious stones were not stolen and replaced with wood, hay, and stubble, how much the more ought you to take heed that you do not lose eternal treasures for the sake of some doubtful and fleeting temporal pleasure?

Do you believe? Then speak—open your mouth and preach the gospel! (2 Corinthians 4:8-13). Is not the Lamb who was slain worthy of a greater number casting their crowns before Him? If you believe, you will not keep silent. Those who believe in their hearts will confess Christ with their mouths. Does your testimony to your family, neighbors, and coworkers, evidence that you believe? Are you going house to house preaching repentance and faith, as the first century Christians were (Acts 20:20-21; 5:42)? Are you filling your local area with the gospel? What are you doing so that everyone in your area—and those even to the uttermost parts of the earth—hear the gospel of the Lord Jesus?

Do you speak, because of faith, against compromise, error, and false doctrine of all kinds, or do you allow leaven to spread unchecked and unwarned about? Do not deceive yourself into thinking that your silence, your refusal to follow the practice of Christ and the Apostles in specifically identifying, marking, warning about, and separating from all false teachers and false teaching is generosity, kindness, a friendly spirit, charitableness, or any other good thing. No, God’s view of your silence is very different. His view is that you are a faithless rebel and a coward. If you would follow the Apostolic example, you will speak, because you believe. You will boldly, unashamedly, and purely set forth all the truth, without adding or taking away anything. That is living by faith—and that is true love.

All Christian ministry and service must be grounded in faith. Faithlessness will eliminate the blessing of Jehovah. Furthermore, your spiritual enemies are not merely natural, but supernatural—you have the world, the flesh, and the devil to fight, and you cannot overcome them on your own. How will you slay the indwelling lusts that, before your regeneration, held you in an unbreakable grip, without the strength of the Lord through faith? Do you think you will defeat the devil and his vast hosts of demons without taking to yourself the “shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16)? How necessary it is to trust in the Lord your God in all situations—and also how sweet it is so to do! He is a sure and unfailing confidence. Do not fear, but place all your confidence in Him. He is a certain refuge, a strong rock, and a high tower. Men may, and will, fail, as will their devices, but the counsel of the Sovereign and Almighty One shall stand. Indeed, the righteous trust in the Lord—not in outward action only, in their inward disposition. Do you act like the righteous when times are easy, but abandon their Rock in times of trial? What, then, is this weakness of faith? Meditate upon the revelation of the character of God as the faithful God, as your own God in covenant with you, for He reveals Himself, and gives His people precious promises, to quicken and strengthen their trust in Him. He is a good Father, who gives abundantly to His own children out of His overflowing abundance. He will strengthen you in your weakness, strengthen your wavering faith, and fill you abundantly with His grace.

Trust, without doubting, that you have from your Father what you ask, and God will answer your prayers. His promises indicate His desire to hear and answer you: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). His character is such that He will certainly fulfill His promises. Therefore, meet the conditions for answered prayer: 1.) Ask! “Ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2). You will not receive if you do not ask; therefore “ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). 2.) Ask in faith. This is impossible unless you have an upright heart. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). You cannot ask in faith if you are wilfully cherishing sin. If you are right with God, then you can always ask in faith for anything that God has promised you in His Word, for you can know without a doubt that all such promises are as certain as God’s own self-testimony. Do you lack wisdom? “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Are you being tempted? “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Do you long for holiness? “[H]is divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Furthermore, you are encouraged to pray about everything, since God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). When it is His will (2 Corinthians 12:9) to fulfill your request, your Father can give you faith for that need (James 5:15). Christian, do you come to your Father with confidence, or are you vacillating and doubting when you cry to Him? Do you even cry? Do you seek the Lord in prayer in such a manner as befits your deep duty and astonishing privilege of coming to Him?

            Faith is the instrumentality through which God fills you with spiritual joy and peace, as well as other holy attributes (Romans 15:13). Saint of God, you have tasted that the Lord is good. You know that you possess a rich spiritual banquet that the world knows nothing of, and cannot even comprehend. Would you be filled with greater measures of this blessed joy and peace? Such sweet spiritual treasures are part of the glorious inheritance of life that those who are just receive by faith. Exercise your faith, so that it will grow! Moreover, do not just grit your teeth and seek to endure trials, but value them as occasions for the strengthening of faith. The “trial of your faith” is far more precious than “gold that perisheth,” and the fact that the successful passage of such trials will bring “praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” can bring you, believing, an anticipatory “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:3-9) even before the certainly coming final consummation of joy.

            Since life in all its blessed fulness comes to those who entrust themselves to the Lord, and greater measures of life are found in those who more closely trust their God, how essential it is that you entrust yourself to Him! The worldly pleasures that the wicked prefer to God, that keep them from trusting in Him, will not last. These rebellious ones are living on borrowed time; life, even in its physical sense, is not promised to them. The physical, as well as the incomparably glorious spiritual delights, that will be partaken of forever in the New Jerusalem are inconceivably superior to anything possessed in this present time, but they will be shut out from them all. They chose to go from iniquity to iniquity, and wrath will fall upon them to the uttermost. In contrast, in the regenerate, spiritual life increases as they go from faith to faith. Therefore, by God’s grace, grow in faith, for then you will receive greater measures of life from God. What a blessing that, instead of going, as by nature you would certainly have done, from iniquity to iniquity, you can go from faith to faith, receiving from the fulness of Christ grace for grace! What is there in this dying world that could be better than this? Eternal glory is but the consummation of that spiritual and eternal life you can possess, in growing measure, now. Do you treasure spiritual life as you ought? Are you increasing in your possession of this blessed life?

Do you wish for your faith to grow? John’s Gospel teaches that your faith is strengthened and deepened through the exercise of believing receipt of greater revelations through the Word of the Triune God in His ontology and economy and through your response, enabled by grace, of fuller surrender to and entrusting of yourself to Him. Therefore, while unbelievers refuse, to their eternal ruin, to see the Lord Jesus in the Word and entrust themselves to Him at all, you must seek to see more and more of Christ and the entire Triune Godhead in the Word, and entrust yourself to Him in an ever greater way as the revelation of Him in the Scripture is illuminated to your soul, through the supernatural grace decreed by the Father for your good by Christ the Mediator through the applicatory work of God the Holy Spirit. See ever the more of the glory of the Lord Jesus’ Divine Person. Wonder ever the more at the condescending love manifested in His incarnation. Meditate upon all the aspects of His glorious saving work. Think in amazement about His exercise of all the Divine attributes towards you for your good. Rejoice with exceeding joy at His exercise of all the attributes of His glorified human nature towards you for your good. Fill yourself up with these things. You will be worshipping and praising your Triune God through your precious Lord Jesus for them for all eternity.


1.) Passionately desire that God the Spirit will illumine to you the revelation of the Triune Jehovah, and of Christ the Blessed Mediator, in the Word. How necessary it is that God reveals Himself to you! Left to yourself, you are utterly unable to discover Him. You will not know whether to turn to the right hand or the left. Furthermore, your heart contains such corruption and wickedness within it that God would be perfectly just to immediately thrust you into the depths of hell, separated from His blessed face for all eternity. Is the infinite King of glory obliged to show Himself to such a worm? God forbid! Recognize that both the initial bestowal of faith upon you, and the increase of faith in its exercise in you, are supernatural gifts from God, not autonomous products of your fallen will, and look to the Lord to perform in you what you cannot perform yourself. Without the free, gracious, and sovereign work of the Spirit in revealing Christ to you, you will never find Him. How necessary it is, then, that God takes the initative and reveals Himself to your soul!

You certainly should have no such expectation of a gracious revelation, and you will not be looking to the Lord and seeking for God to reveal Himself to you in Christ, if you are not upright in heart—if you are wilfully choosing sin over Christ, you evidence that you do not desire a part in any of this glory, as you prefer your sinful abominations to that knowledge of and communion with God that is the greatest treasure of eternity.

2.) Diligently apply yourself to the reading, study, memorization of, and meditation on the Word, praying for the illumination of the Spirit, depending on His sovereign grace alone, hungering and thirsting after knowledge of God in Christ. The Bible is the very Word of God, the infallible, inerrant, revelatory speech of the Most High to man. It is a more sure Word than even the audible testimony of the Father to Christ as heard on the Mount of Transfiguration (2 Peter 1:16-21). It is the perfect, unbreakably authoritative revelation of the Father to you through Christ by the Spirit. Oh, the sureness, the power, the infinite value of the Scriptures! Here is a sure anchor for your faith. Here is pure knowledge of God. Here is a genuine revelation, each jot and tittle of which is more sure and more lasting than the heavens and the earth. Here is the spring from whence the waters of life flow. Here is the love-letter of the Most High to His blood-bought people. The Bible is the instrument that the Spirit uses to show God in Christ to those who cry out for knowledge of Him. Do you treat the Bible as the invaluable treasure that it is? Does your use of time reflect such a view of God’s Word? What is your attitude when you read and study it? “[T]o this man will I look . . . saith the LORD . . . even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). Furthermore, read, study, memorize, and meditate upon the Word with the expectation that God will work. He has promised that if you draw nigh to Him, He will draw nigh to you. He both supernaturally produces initial saving faith and supernaturally strengthens faith through the instrumentality of the Word (Romans 10:17). If you hunger and thirst after Him, He will certainly satisfy your longings for Him and will sup with you, and you with Him—for He Himself, in His gracious love, has placed those desires within you. He will shine in your heart the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Seek, then, oh Christian—seek your God in His Word!

3.) Indeed, the believer should seek for the highest intellectual knowledge of Christ’s Person, of his Triune God, and of the specific character of all their works. Careful, detailed, and taxing theological work and careful study contributes to, rather than detracts from, affective appreciation of God in Christ. Carelessness or disinterest in careful thought about God is not piety, but ungodliness. Do you love the truth represented by the Nicene homoousios? Do you love the truth represented by the Chalcedonian definition of Christ’s Person and natures? Throughout John’s Gospel, learning and understanding more about Christ led to greater faith in Him. Do you long to learn and understand more about the Lord Jesus Christ? While the intellectual apprehension of facts is not enough—commital to Him, based on those facts, must follow (John 2:23-3:3)—unknowing determinations of the will without knowledge are also insufficient (John 9:1-34 vs. 35-41).[426] The embrace of faith requires a properly known and apprehended object. Do you seek God with your mind, as well as your will and affections?

            Furthermore, since the Biblical Christ is a real Person—the Creator and Redeemer of the world, and the only begotten Son of God—believing fellowship with Jesus Christ is both a product of and a means to a greater knowledge of Him, and leads to a holy abhorrance of every counterfeit “Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4) set forth by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Love for the living Christ and views of His glory will lead to a love of holy and spiritual worship and a rejection of the fleshly worship of fleshly “Jesus”; a love for the Redeemer who boldly and plainly rebuked the false doctrines of the Pharisees and Saduccees will lead the Christian to reject the ecumenical “Jesus” that unites false doctrine with the true; knowledge of the true Christ will lead one to reject the fanaticism of the charismatic “Jesus,” the annihilationist “Jesus” of sundry cults, the Arian or Sabellian “Jesus” of others, the wafer “Jesus” of Romanism, and all other false Christs.

4.) Behold in the Word the glory of God in Christ.

            a.) Behold the glory of Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God. He has existed from eternity with His Father, rejoicing always before Him, participating in the ineffable communion of love and delight of the three Persons in the undivided Trinity. Before the beginning, now, and to all eternity, He possesses in full the undivided Divine essence. He is God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, eternally begotten of the Father. His throne, as God, is for ever and ever, and the scepter of His kingdom is a righteous sceptre. He is the I AM, who was, and is, and is to come, the Almighty. He is self-existent, immeasurable, and eternal. He is the Creator and Sovereign of the Universe—all things were made by Him, all things consist by Him, and all things are of Him, through Him, and unto Him. He fully possesses the infinite Divine glory, and will receive, with His Father and the Holy Spirit, the worship and adoration of the entire redeemed creation, for ever and ever.

            b.) Behold the glory of Jesus Christ in His Mediatorial office. Behold, in the eternal counsel of peace, the Father giving the elect to the Son, the Son agreeing to redeem them, and the Spirit determining to regenerate them. Behold, and wonder at the mystery of godliness: God manifest in the flesh. See the condescension of the Father’s express Image tabernacling among men, He who was always consubstantial with the Father as to His Godhead becoming consubstantial with humanity as to His manhood, uniting in His one Person the Divine nature and a true human nature. Behold the eternal Word conceived in the womb of Mary, being born in a manger. See the fulness of the Godhead embodied in a true Child who grew in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man. Behold Him in His human identification with the sinful and desperately needy race He came to redeem. See Him growing weary with a journey, and sitting on Jacob’s well to rest. See Him weeping at the grave of Lazarus—and raising his beloved friend from the dead. See His tender friendship with the Apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. See Him sorrowful and very heavy in light of His coming cross, agonizing in prayer to the Father, betrayed by a familiar friend and deserted and denied by the rest. See Him unjustly condemned, mocked, spat upon, whipped, and crucified. See Him saving the soul and bringing to Paradise the repentant thief crucified next to Him. See Him bearing the sins of the world in His body, perfectly satisfying the demands of Divine justice through His one offering. See Him rising from the dead and so destroying the power of death, and ascending to the right hand of His Father, being crowned with glory and honor, and having all power in heaven and earth given into His hand. See Him interceding for His people as their Priest and Advocate, and by His omnipotent power preserving every one of them to everlasting glory. See Him, with the Father, sending the Holy Spirit, reflecting the Spirit’s eternal procession from the Father and the Son in His temporal mission to indwell the church. See the union His elect have with Him in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. See Him completing the work of His humiliation, and uniting to His immutable Divine perfections the human perfections that make Him the perfect and all-sufficient Savior of all who will come to Him. See Him ruling over the church in the world, preparing mansions for His beloved people, and coming again to bring them to Himself. See Him sitting on the throne of David and manifesting the righteous rule of God over the earth in the Millennial kingdom. See Him as the Light of the New Jerusalem, and His people singing the praises of redeeming love and serving Him before the throne of God and the Lamb for ever and ever. See Christ’s glory in John’s Gospel as the bread of life, the light of the world, the door to eternal life, the good shepherd who gives His life for the sheep, the resurrection and the life, the way, the truth, and the life, and the true vine, the source of all grace, the font of spiritual and eternal life for all those brought into union with Him. See the glory of the Lord Jesus in all Scripture, in type and in antitype, in promise and in fulfillment, and embrace Him, cleave to Him ever the more in all that He is and in all that He does. The glory of God in Christ is an inexhaustible theme, the delight and glory of the saints to all eternity. A few lines of application certainly cannot even begin to compass it in its beauty and glory.[427] Oh Christian, set in motion the work of eternity now—through the Scripture, behold the glory of God in Christ! In so doing, He will reveal Himself to you, you will partake in ever greater levels of spiritual life, and you will be transformed into the moral likeness of your incarnate Head.

5.) Consider also that the more true intellectual and experiential knowledge of God in Christ the Christian has, the more he longs for more such knowledge, and the more he hates his fleshly feebleness in seeking after it. Does your heart and flesh, all the faculties of your whole renewed person, cry out for God, the living God, as your own God? What an awful evil is this faintness, this feebleness, in seeking after God your Father, His Son, and His Spirit? How does believing meditation on Gethsemane, and on the cross, affect the heart! For seeing the Lord Jesus in His glory enflames the believer’s soul with love for Him, with true sanctification as a result. And yet the disciples failed to watch and pray, but slept while the Lord wept His infinitely precious tears of blood, and forsook the Lord when He went to the cross. How often do I follow their faithless and criminal example, and fail to draw nigh to the Lord when He has come nigh to me? My God, oh for grace to love and know Thee more!

6.) Consider the great privilege believers, and in particular ministers, have, in proclaiming the mystery of God in Christ. Oh Christian, you have the privilege and the duty to give the gospel to the unconverted, and to set forth the Lord Jesus before believers in all His glory and grace to stir up their holy affections for Him. How much time do you spend proclaiming the gospel? How many doors have you knocked on this week? Is not Jesus Christ worthy of being known by all men? Furthermore, Hebrews 10:24-25 commands you to provoke others in the church to love and to good works. How better to do this than to set God in Christ before them? Do you talk of your Father, and of His Son your Redeemer, on the Lord’s Day? “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:16-18).

Furthermore, pastor, evangelist, and Christian preacher, you have the privilege and duty of setting forth the most stupendous of all truths in the proclamation of the Triune God and the incarnate, crucified, and risen Christ. Am I to proclaim the “mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh”? Who is sufficient for these things? Employ the great privileges that God has given you and set forth the truth, and all the truth, with nothing added or taken away, with holy boldness and passion, and with holy fear and trembling over the fact that the Lord has chosen and commanded you so to do. Earnestly contend for the faith, that nothing whatever of the glory of God revealed in Christ through the Scriptures, and committed to you for bold and public proclamation everywhere to all men, be lost.

7.) Do not turn aside from the full proclamation of God in Christ, as set forth from Genesis to Revelation, to any other and lesser message. Do not turn from Christ to a merely “practical” message or mere moralism. Doubtless the people of God must, and will, adorn their knowledge of God with good works. Indeed, the greater their true spiritual fellowship with Christ, the greater will be their outward manifestations of practical holiness. However, to take knowledge of the Lord Jesus away to focus exclusively upon what is “practical” is to rip out the soul from true religion and leave a lifeless corpse. Any “piety” that does not lead men to behold, believe on, receive, and know Jesus Christ is false, fleshly, and devilish.

            What is more, as you strive against specific sins, do not let the Lord Jesus be removed from your view. It is certainly proper to set yourself mightily against particular lusts and products of the old man and to strive to utterly put to death specific manifestations of indwelling sin (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5). But do not remove the glory of God in Christ from its central place in your heart and mind. Sweet fellowship with Him causes the vain allurements of sin to quickly fade. Yes, your specific sins are awful, and a terrible problem—fight them with all your might. But make sure that in your warfare you have the Captain of the hosts of the Lord with you—without Him you can do nothing. Closer communion with Christ will end many a seemingly intractable battle with besetting sins.

            Also, you should expect God’s blessing to the conversion of sinners and the spiritual strengthening of saints when Christ is preached and plainly set forth. Proper preaching of the Lord Jesus will have supernatural efficacy to produce spiritual results, while the employment of humanly devised marketing or salesmanship techniques will only detract from a real focus on the revealed glory of God in the incarnate Redeemer. What is the chaff to the wheat?

            Indeed, in the instituted services of the church, the worship of the Triune God through Christ must not be removed from its proper central place. Since God’s own instituted worship is the best means of His own revelation, the Regulative Principle of worship must be consistently practiced. What is more, in whatever music is employed, not only must all fleshly sounds be rejected, but even proper melody and harmony must not be allowed to overshadow the spiritual worship of God. He must always remain the focus—let not the elements of worship, and especially the circumstances, attract attention to themselves and become ends in themselves.

[1]           That is, to há∂q∂dVx; however, in continuity with the example of Abraham, Noah is mentioned as a “just man” (qyöî;dAx vy¶Ia) because Jehovah could say, “for thee have I seen righteous before me” (y™AnDpVl qyñî;dAx yIty¢Ia∂r ñÔKVtOa) earlier (Genesis 6:9; 7:1) in the first references to the qdx word group in the canon, where Noah was the recipient of undeserved and free grace (Genesis 6:8), was accounted a righteous man on that basis, and therefore became a holy man (Genesis 6:9).

[2]           :há∂q∂dVx wäø;l Dh¶RbVvVjÅ¥yÅw h¡DOwhyèA;b N™ImTaRh◊w

kai« e˙pi÷steusen Abram tw◊ˆ qew◊ˆ kai« e˙logi÷sqh aujtw◊ˆ ei˙ß dikaiosu/nhn “And Abram believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness” (LXX).

Credidit Abram Deo, et reputatum est illi ad justitiam. “Abram believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice.” (Vulgate)

:…wkÎzVl hyEl hAbvAj◊w ywyåd a∂rVmyEmVb NyEmyEh◊w “Then he believed in the Word of the Lord, and he reckoned it to him for merit.” (Targum Onkelos)

:wkzl hyl tbvjtaw yyyd armm Mvb Mrba Nmyyhw“Then Abram believed in the name of the Word of the Lord, and it was reckoned to him for merit.” (Targum Neofiti)

Nylymb hymql jfa ald wkzl hyl hbvjw yyyd armymb atwnmyh hyl twwhw “Then he had faith in the Word of the Lord, and he reckoned it to him for merit, because he did not speak rebellion before him with words.” (Targum Pseudo-Jonathan)

[3]           “[T]he believing of which Moses speaks, is not to be restricted to a single clause of the promise here referred to, but embraces the whole; secondly that Abram did not form his estimate of the promised seed from this oracle alone, but also from others, where a special benediction is added. Whence we infer that he did not expect some common or undefined seed, but that in which the world was to be blessed. . . . [T]his promise was not taken by him separately from others. . . . God does not promise to his servant this or the other thing only, as he sometimes grants special benefits to unbelievers, who are without the taste of his paternal love; but he declares, that He will be propitious to him, and confirms him in the confidence of safety, by relying upon His protection and His grace. For he who has God for his inheritance does not exult in fading joy; but, as one already elevated towards heaven, enjoys the solid happiness of eternal life. It is, indeed, to be maintained as an axiom, that all the promises of God, made to the faithful, flow from the free mercy of God, and are evidences of that paternal love, and of that gratuitous adoption, on which their salvation is founded. Therefore, we do not say that Abram was justified because he laid hold on a single word, respecting the offspring to be brought forth, but because he embraced God as his Father” (Calvin, Commentary on Genesis 15:6).

[4]           Consider that the One communicating with Abraham was Jehovah the Son, for He is the One who revealed the Father (John 1:18) in all the Old Testament theophanies.

[5]           John 8:56. Galatians 3:16 is very clear that Abraham’s faith had respect to the Christ, who was not only the representative, but the embodiment of the promised race—for this cause the people of Israel typified Christ (cf. Matthew 2:15; Hosea 11:1).

[6]           Romans 4:3-5 (Abram was “ungodly” until his conversion by faith in the land of Ur); Joshua 24:2-4; Genesis 15:7; Hebrews 11:8-10; Acts 7:2-4.

[7]           Calvin, in his Commentary on Genesis, fitly notes:

Abram was justified by faith many years after he had been called by God; after he had left his country a voluntary exile, rendering himself a remarkable example of patience and of continence; after he had entirely dedicated himself to sanctity and after he had, by exercising himself in the spiritual and external service of God, aspired to a life almost angelical. It therefore follows, that even to the end of life, we are led towards the eternal kingdom of God by the righteousness of faith. On which point many are too grossly deceived. For they grant, indeed, that the righteousness which is freely bestowed upon sinners and offered to the unworthy is received by faith alone; but they restrict this to a moment of time, so that he who at the first obtained justification by faith, may afterwards be justified by good works. By this method, faith is nothing else than the beginning of righteousness, whereas righteousness itself consists in a continual course of works. But they who thus trifle must be altogether insane. For if the angelical uprightness of Abram faithfully cultivated through so many years, in one uniform course, did not prevent him from fleeing to faith, for the sake of obtaining righteousness; where upon earth besides will such perfection be found, as may stand in God’s sight? Therefore, by a consideration of the time in which this was said to Abram, we certainly gather, that the righteousness of works is not to be substituted for the righteousness of faith, in any such way, that one should perfect what the other has begun; but that holy men are only justified by faith, as long as they live in the world. If any one object, that Abram previously believed God, when he followed Him at His call, and committed himself to His direction and guardianship, the solution is ready; that we are not here told when Abram first began to be justified, or to believe in God; but that in this one place it is declared, or related, how he had been justified through his whole life. For if Moses had spoken thus immediately on Abram’s first vocation, the cavil of which I have spoken would have been more specious; namely, that the righteousness of faith was only initial (so to speak) and not perpetual. But now since after such great progress, he is still said to be justified by faith, it thence easily appears that the saints are justified freely even unto death. I confess, indeed, that after the faithful are born again by the Spirit of God, the method of justifying differs, in some respect, from the former. For God reconciles to himself those who are born only of the flesh, and who are destitute of all good; and since he finds nothing in them except a dreadful mass of evils, he counts them just, by imputation. But those to whom he has imparted the Spirit of holiness and righteousness, he embraces with his gifts. Nevertheless, in order that their good works may please God, it is necessary that these works themselves should be justified by gratuitous imputation; [since] some evil is always [naturally] inherent in them. Meanwhile, however, this is a settled point, that men are justified before God by believing not by working; while they obtain grace by faith, because they are unable to deserve a reward by works. Paul also, in hence contending, that Abram did not merit by works the righteousness which he had received before his circumcision, does not impugn the above doctrine. The argument of Paul is of this kind: The circumcision of Abram was posterior to his justification in the order of time, and therefore could not be its cause, for of necessity the cause precedes its effect. . . . Both arguments are therefore of force; first, that the righteousness of Abram cannot be ascribed to the covenant of the law, because it preceded his circumcision; and, secondly, that the righteousness even of the most perfect characters perpetually consists in faith; since Abram, with all the excellency of his virtues, after his daily and even remarkable service of God, was, nevertheless, justified by faith. For this also is, in the last place, worthy of observation, that what is here related concerning one man, is applicable to all the sons of God. For since he was called the father of the faithful, not without reason; and since further, there is but one method of obtaining salvation; Paul properly teaches, that a real [imputed] and not personal righteousness is in this place described. (Commentary on Genesis, 15:6)

As, throughout life, justification is by faith alone, and Genesis 15:6 is an instance of this continuing faith in the patriarch’s life as the perpetual and sole instrumentality for his receipt of legal righteousness, something present in him by Divine grace from the point of his initial conversion in Ur of the Chaldees (cf. Hebrews 11:8-11), so one notes that the Hebrew structure of Genesis 15:6 validates that Abraham’s faith in Jehovah, as expressed in the verse, was not one that arose afresh at that moment, but had been in exercise in the past, from the moment of his conversion, up to that point in time. The waw + perfect form that begins the verse,N™ImTaRh◊w, has an “aspect of . . . repeated or durative action,” as opposed to the simple perfect or qatal form, which has an “aspect . . . of a single and instantaneous action” (pg. 375, 119x, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, Paul Joüon & Takamitsu Muraoka, rev. English ed. Leiden: Netherlands Institute of Near Eastern Studies, 2005), so that a “longer or constant continuance in a past state is . . . represented by the perfect with ◊w (as a variety of the frequentative perfect with ◊w), in Gn 15:6, 34:5, Nu 21:20, Jos 9:12; 22:3b, Is 22:14, Jer 3:9” (GKC, 112ss). Continuing belief, arising out of a moment where belief began in the past, is in view in the N™ImTaRh◊w of Genesis 15:6, as the same sort of aspectual force is conveyed in the “held his peace” (vñîrTjRh◊w) of Genesis 34:5, the “which looketh” (hDpä∂qVvˆn◊w) of Numbers 21:20, the “is mouldy” (Myáîdü;qˆn h™DyDh◊w) of Joshua 9:12, the “have kept” (M›R;t√rAmVv…w) of Joshua 22:3, the “was revealed” (h¶Dl◊gˆn◊w) of Isaiah 22:14, and the “came to pass” (‹hÎyDh◊w) of Jeremiah 3:9; compare also the “did eat” (…wôlVk`Da◊w) of Genesis 47:22. Furthermore, since the and he counted it of Genesis 15:6 (Dh¶RbVvVjÅ¥yÅw) continues with waw consecutive the sequence started by the and he believed (N™ImTaRh◊w), and thus continues the aspectual force of the waw + perfect of and he believed, the continued reckoning of the patriarch as righteous from the past point of his conversion until the time of Genesis 15:6, simply through the instrumentality of faith, is also expressed in the verse (compare the continuing defilement and adultery in the P¶Aa◊nI;tÅw . . . P™AnTjR;tÅw . . . ‹hÎyDh◊w of Jeremiah 3:9).

[8]           Nma. The complete list of texts with the verb is: Genesis 15:6; 42:20; 45:26; Exodus 4:1, 5, 8–9, 31; 14:31; 19:9; Numbers 12:7; 14:11; 20:12; Deuteronomy 1:32; 7:9; 9:23; 28:59, 66; Judges 11:20; 1 Samuel 2:35; 3:20; 22:14; 25:28; 27:12; 2 Samuel 7:16; 1 Kings 8:26; 10:7; 11:38; 2 Kings 17:14; 1 Chronicles 17:23–24; 2 Chronicles 1:9; 6:17; 9:6; 20:20; 32:15; Nehemiah 9:8; 13:13; Psalms 19:8; 27:13; 78:8, 22, 32, 37; 89:29, 38; 93:5; 101:6; 106:12, 24; 111:7; 116:10; 119:66; Job 4:18; 9:16; 12:20; 15:15, 22, 31; 24:22; 29:24; 39:12, 24; Proverbs 11:13; 14:15; 25:13; 26:25; 27:6; Isaiah 1:21, 26; 7:9; 8:2; 22:23, 25; 28:16; 33:16; 43:10; 49:7; 53:1; 55:3; Jeremiah 12:6; 15:18; 40:14; 42:5; Lamentations 4:12; Hosea 5:9; 12:1; Jonah 3:5; Micah 7:5; Habakkuk 1:5. Commenting on a part of the meaning of Nma that relates to Genesis 15:6, the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament notes:

[T]he concept of Nma embraces a twofold relation: recognition and acknowledgment of the relation of claim and reality, and the relation of the validity of this claim for him who says Amen to all its practical consequences. . . . This leads us to the simplest definition of the hiphil NImTaRh (“to believe”), which the LXX renders 45 times by pisteu/ein, 5 by ejmmisteu/ein, and once each by katapisteu/ein and pei/qesqai. It means “to say Amen with all the consequences for both obj. and subj.” . . . [T]he use of NImTaRh toward men gives prominence to the total basic attitude along the lines of “to trust.” . . . A further point is that the OT uses NImTaRh only for the personal relation, for behind the word which is believed is the man whom one trusts. The hiphil finds an analogous use as an expression for man’s relation to God. Here, too, it has declarative rather than causative significance. It means “to declare God NDmTaRn,” “to say Amen to God.” But this does not embrace the whole meaning . . . the mutual relation between God and man is of the very essence of faith . . . God is the true author of the relation between God and man. . . . [T]he setting and origin of the religious use of the stem Nma in the OT tradition is to be sought in the sacral covenant with [Jehovah]. . . . In the relation denoted by NImTaRh the OT saw the special religious attitude of the people of God to [Jehovah]. (pgs. 186-188, 191, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 6, Kittel)

[9]           The Hiphil + b. Nma + b is found in Genesis 15:6; Exodus 14:31; Numbers 14:11; 20:12; Deuteronomy 1:32; 28:66; 1 Samuel 27:12; 2 Kings 17:14; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Job 15:31; 24:22; 39:12; Psalm 27:13; 78:22, 32, 37; 89:38; 106:12; 119:66; Proverbs 26:25; Jeremiah 12:6; Jonah 3:5; Micah 7:5. The definite majority of these texts refer to belief in Jehovah. In all these texts, except Psalm 78:37; 89:28; and one of the three instances of Nma in 2 Chronicles 20:20, where the verb is in the Niphal, Nma is always in the Hiphil. Warfield comments on the Hiphil of Nma:

Obviously it is a subjective causative, and expresses the acquisition or exhibition of the firmness, security, relability, faithfulness which lies in the root-meaning of the verb, in or with respect to its object. The NyImSaAmis therefore one whose state of mind is free from faintheartedness (Isaiah 7:9) and anxious haste (Isaiah 28:16), and who stays himself upon the object of his contemplation with confidence and trust. The implication seems to be, not so much that of a passive dependence as of a vigorous active commitment. He who, in the Hebrew sense, exercises faith, is secure, assured, confident (Deuteronomy 28:66; Job 24:22; Psalm 27:13), and lays hold of the object of his confidence with firm trust.

The most common construction of NyImTaRh, is with the preposition b, and in this construction its fundamental meaning seems to be most fully expressed. It is probably never safe to represent this phrase by the simple “believe”; the preposition rather introduces the person or thing in which one believes, or on which one believingly rests as on firm ground. This is true even when the object of the affection is a thing, whether divine words, commandments, or works (Psalm 106:12; 119:66; 78:32), or some earthly force or good (Job 39:12; 15:31; 24:22; Deuteronomy 28:66), It is no less true when the object is a person, human (1 Samuel 27:12; Proverbs 26:25; Jeremiah 12:6; Micah 7:5) or superhuman (Job 4:18; 15:15), or the representative of God, in whom therefore men should place their confidence (Exodus 19:9; 2 Chronicles 20:20). It is above all true, however, when the object of the affection is God Himself, and that indifferently whether or not the special exercise of faith adverted to is rooted in a specific occasion (Genesis 15:6; Exodus 14:31; Numbers 14:11; 20:12; Deuteronomy 1:32; 2 Kings 17:14; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Psalm 78:22; Jonah 3:5). The weaker conception of “believing” seems, on the other hand, to lie in the construction with the preposition l, which appears to introduce the person or thing, not on which one confidingly rests, but to the testimony of which one assentingly turns. This credence may be given by the simple to every untested word (Proverbs 14:15); it may be withheld until seeing takes the place of believing (1 Kings 10:7; 2 Chronicles 9:6); it is due to words of the Lord and of His messengers, as well as to the signs wrought by them (Psalm 106:24; Isaiah 53:1; Exodus 4:8, 9). It may also be withheld from any human speaker (Genesis 45:26; Exodus 4:1, 8; Jeremiah 40:14; 2 Chronicles 32:15), but is the right of God when He bears witness to His majesty or makes promises to His people (Isaiah 43:10; Deuteronomy 9:23). In this weakened sense of the word the proposition believed is sometimes attached to it by the conjunction y;Ik(Exodus 4:5; Job 9:16; Lamentations 4:12). In its construction with the infinitive, however, its deeper meaning comes out more strongly (Judges 11:20; Job 15:22; Psalm 27:13), and the same is true when the verb is used absolutely (Exodus 4:31; Isaiah 7:9; 28:16; Psalm 116:10; Job 29:24; Habakkuk 1:5). In these constructions faith is evidently the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. . . .

God Himself is the object to which [Old Testament saints] believingly turn, or on whom they rest in assured trust, in some eleven cases. In two of these it is to Him as a faithful witness that faith believingly turns (Deuteronomy 9:23; Isaiah 43:10). In the remainder of them it is upon His very person that faith rests in assured confidence (Genesis 15:6; Exodus 14:31; Numbers 14:11; 20:12; Deuteronomy 1:32; 2 Kings 17:14; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Psalm 78:22; Jonah 3:5). It is in these instances, in which the construction is with b, together with those in which the word is used absolutely (Exodus 4:31; Isaiah 7:9; 28:16; Psalm 116:10), to which may be added Psalm 27:13 where it is construed with the infinitive, that the conception of religious believing comes to its rights. The typical instance is, of course, the great word of Genesis 15:6, ‘And Abram believed in the LORD, and he counted it to him for righteousness’; in which all subsequent believers, Jewish and Christian alike, have found the primary example of faith. The object of Abram’s faith, as here set forth, was not the promise which appears as the occasion of its exercise; what it rested on was God Himself, and that not merely as the giver of the promise here recorded, but as His servant’s shield and exceeding great reward (xv.1). It is therefore not the assentive but the fiducial element of faith which is here emphasized; in a word, the faith which Abram gave Jehovah when he ‘put his trust in God’ (e˙pi÷steusen tw◊ˆ qew◊ˆ, LXX), was the same faith which later He sought in vain at the hands of His people (Numbers 14:11; cf. Deuteronomy 1:32; 2 Kings 17:14), and the notion of which the Psalmist explains in the parallel, ‘They believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation’ (Psalm 78:22). To believe in God, in the Old Testament sense, is thus not merely to assent to His word, but with firm and unwavering confidence to rest in security and trustfulness upon Him. . . . In the Greek of the Septuagint pisteu/ein takes its place as the regular rendering of NyImTaRh, and is very rarely set aside in favour of another word expressing trust (Proverbs 26:25 pei÷qesqai). . . . It was by being thus made the vehicle for expressing the high rfeligous faith of the Old Testament that the word was prepared for its New Testament use (“The Biblical Doctrine of Faith,” Warfield, in Biblical Doctrines, vol. 2 of Works).

[10]         The Niphal. Note the lexicon:

Nma basic mng. to be firm, trustworthy, safe; MHb., Ph. n.m. Nmala; Syr. etpe. to occupy oneself constantly with; Hb. hif. > Arm. NyImyEh, Syr. haimen ˘ BArm., DISO 17, to believe, > Arb. haymana to say Amen :: Arb. }amina to be safe, }amuna to be faithful, IV to believe, Soq. to speak the truth, OSArb. }mn(t) security; Eth. Tigr. }am(a)na to believe (Leslau 11, Wb. 356a); Eg. mn to be firm. . . . nif: . . . 1. to prove to befirm, reliable, faithful Gn 4220 1K 826 Jr 1518 Ps 788 (lEa_tRa to God, of Aj…wr,) 37 8929 (Owl concerning him, of tyîr;Vb) 935 1016 1117 1C 1723f 2C 19 617 2020, to remain faithful to (MIo) Hos 121 (:: Sept.); pt. trustworthy, faithful 1S 235 2214 1K 1138 Is 121.26 82 2223.25 3316 Jr 425 Ps 198 8938 Jb 1220 Pr 2513 Neh 98 1313; (of God) Dt 79 Is 497; —to be permanent, to endure: people Is 79, dynasty 1S 2528 2S 716, tokens of mercy Is 553, God’s name 1C 1723f, water Is 3316, illness Dt 2859; hÎnDmTa‰n that which is trustworthy Hos 59, Aj…wr_NAmTa‰n be faithful Pr 1113, NDmTa‰n intended to be faithful Pr 276; —3. ;Vb NDmTa‰n entrusted with (alt. proved to be reliable) Nu 127, with Vl appointed 1S 320. . . . hif: . . . causative —1. to believe = to think (:: 3 !) with inf., that Jb 1522, with y;Ik Ps 11610 Jb 916 La 412; with Vl and inf., to be convinced that Ps 2713; —2. to regard something as trustworthy, to believe in: a thing Hab 15, a word Ex 48f 1K 107 Is 531 Ps 10624 Pr 1415 2C 96; with;Vb, to (have) trust in Nu 2012 1S 2712 Mi 75 Sir 36 [33]31; with Vl Gn 4526 Ex 41.8 Jr 4014; abs. Ex 45 Jb 2924 (dl. aøl, alt. as 4); —3. to have trust in, to believe in, God: with;VbGn 156 Ex 1431 (and in Moses) Nu 1411 2012 Dt 132 2K 1714 Jon 35 Ps 7822 2C 2020; with Vl Dt 923 Is 4310; abs. to believe Ex 431 Is 79 2816; ˘ TWNT 6:182ff; RGG 2:1588f; Eichrodt 2:190ff; Pfeiffer ZAW 71:151ff, relation between pi÷stiß and pisteu/ein Ebeling ZThK 55:70ff; —Ju 1120 (trad. to entrust, Sir 4513 hif. or hof.) rd. NEaDm◊yÅw; Is 3021 …wnyImy;Et (: Nmy hif); cj. Jb 3924 (usu. keep still) (lyIaVmVcÅy aøøl◊w) NyImy´´y (Duhm Hiob, Hölscher Hiob). (KB)

[11]         While the New Testament teaches more explicitly and apparently the growth of faith in the believer, the Old Testament suggests the possibility of strengthening and development in Nma, rather than a simply static notion, through the uses in 2 Kings 10:1, 5 & Esther 2:7 for supporting, nourishing, or bringing up as related to confirming or strengthening (see BDB; cf. tiqhno/ß in 2 Kings 10:1, 5, LXX & qrepto/ß in Esther 2:7).

[12]         Exodus 14:31; Number 14:11; 20:12; Deuteronomy 1:32; 9:23; 2 Kings 17:14; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Nehemiah 9:8; Psalm 78:8, 22, 32; Isaiah 7:9; 28:16; 43:10; Jonah 3:5. In a text such as Isaiah 7:9 belief in Jehovah and in the message of His prophet are indivisibly connected; cf. Isaiah 53:1.

[13]         Genesis 45:26; Exodus 4:1, 8, 31; 14:31; 19:9; 1 Samuel 27:12; 2 Chronicles 20:20; 32:15; Proverbs 26:25; Jeremiah 12:6; 40:14; Micah 7:5.

[14]         Exodus 4:5; Job 15:22; 29:24; 39:24; Psalm 27:13; Lamentations 4:12; Habakkuk 1:5.

[15]         Exodus 4:9, 31; 1 Kings 10:7; 2 Chronicles 9:6; Job 9:6; 39:12; Psalm 78:37; 106:12, 24; 116:10; 119:66; Proverbs 14:15; Isaiah 7:9; 53:1.

[16]         Deuteronomy 28:59; Jeremiah 15:18.

[17]         Genesis 42:20; Judges 11:20; Job 4:18; 12:20; 15:15, 31; Micah 7:5.

[18]         Numbers 12:7; Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Samuel 2:35; 22:14; Nehemiah 9:8; 13:13; Psalm 101:6; Proverbs 11:13; 25:13; 27:6; Isaiah 1:21, 26; 8:2; 49:7; Jeremiah 42:5; Hosea 11:12.

[19]         1 Samuel 2:35; 25:28; 1 Kings 11:38; Job 24:22; Psalm 19:7; 93:5; 111:7; Isaiah 22:23, 25; 33:16; 55:3; Hosea 5:9.

[20]         1 Samuel 3:20; 2 Samuel 7:16; 1 Kings 8:26; 1 Chronicles 17:23-24; 2 Chronicles 1:9; 6:17; 20:20; Psalm 89:28, 37.

[21]         Deuteronomy 28:66.

[22]         Genesis 15:6; Nehemiah 9:8. Note that Nehemiah 9:8’s~ÔKy‰nDpVl N∞DmTa‰n, with its Niphal of ‘aman with lamed following, is different from Genesis 15:6’s use of the Hiphil + beth in h¡DOwhyèA;b N™ImTaRh◊w. Faithfulness in the heart is a result of coming to initial faith in Jehovah. Kaiser explains the relationship between faith and faithfulness or obedience in the receipt of the promises by Abraham and his seed:

The third and climactic element in the promise [of the Abrahamic covenant] was that Abraham and each of the successive sons of promise were to be the source of genuine blessing; indeed, they were to be the touchstone of blessing to all other peoples on the earth. All nations of the world would be blessed by them, for each was the mediator of life to the nations (of Abraham—12:3; 18:18; 22:17–18; of Isaac—26:3–4; and of Jacob—28:13–14).

The apostle Paul would later point to this phrase (“all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you,” Ge 12:3), and declare that it was the same “gospel” he preached (Gal 3:8). Simply put, the good news was that “in [the promised seed] all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gal 3:8). Thus the embryo of God’s good news could be reduced to the linchpin word “blessing.” The one who was blessed was now to be the conduit of blessing of universal proportions to the whole world. In contrast to the nations who sought a “name” merely for themselves, God made Abraham a great name so that he might be the means of blessing all the nations on earth.

But, it might be asked, how were the nations to receive this blessing mediated by Abraham or any of his successive sons? The method must be the same as it was for Abraham. It would be by faith: “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Ge 15:6).

The literal rendering of Genesis 15:6 is simply he believed in [Jehovah] (he’emîn ba YHWH). This, of course, was more than a vague intellectual assent to a supreme deity in which he decided merely to become a theist. The object of his faith was to be found in the content of the total promise. As such, priority may be given to the oldest, most ancient, and most central part of that promise: the person or the man of promise signified by that male descendant who was to come from the seed (3:15). Indeed, when God first met Abraham, the issue of progeny was not specifically included but only inferred (12:1–3), for the first clause promised to make Abraham into a great nation. His trust, then, was in the Lord—but particularly in the Lord who had promised. . . .

Since the verb “to believe” in Genesis 15:6 is the Hebrew hiphil form (the causative stem) of the verb ’āman (cf. English “amen”), Geerhardus Vos pointed to the “causative-productive sense” of the verb and to the preposition. Both, in his judgment, showed that faith had its source and its object in the personal [Jehovah]. For Abraham, it meant he had to renounce all his human efforts to secure the promise (as witnessed by his attempting at first to legally adopt Eliezer as his son and the inheritor of his estate, Ge 15:2), and he had to depend on the same divine person who had spoken of the future to work in the present as well as the future, to accomplish what he said he would do. Thus, Abraham possessed the promises of God, as yet unrealized, when he possessed the God of the promises and his trustworthy word, even though he never got to enjoy the reality of the content of the promise—the land itself—during his lifetime. . . .

In Genesis 22:16–18 Abraham was told, “Because (kî ya’an ‘ašer) you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you . . . because (‘ēqeb ’ašer) you have obeyed me.” In Genesis 26:5 the blessing is repeated to Isaac “because (‘ēqeb ’ašer) Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” In my judgment, the conditionality was not attached to the promise, but only to the participants who would benefit from these abiding promises. If the condition of faith was not evident, then the patriarch would become a mere transmitter of the blessing without personally inheriting any of its gifts directly. Such faith must be evident also in an obedience that sprang from faith. Certainly, the promise was not initiated in either chapter 22 or 26; that had long since been settled. But each chapter did have a sensitive moment of testing or transition. Furthermore, the election of God had been with a purpose not only of blessing Abraham and the nation (18:18) but also of charging him and his household to “keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that (lema‘an) the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him” (v. 19).

The connection is undeniable. The duty of obedience (law, if you wish) was intimately tied up with promise as a desired sequel. Therefore, the transition to the coming time of Mosaic law should not be all that difficult for any who had really adequately listened to the full revelation of the promise in the patriarchal era. But in no way was the promise-plan itself dependent on anyone’s obedience; it only insured their participation in the benefits of the promise but not on its maintenance. (pgs. 59-61, The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments, Walter Kaiser. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008)

[23]         Genesis 15:6; Isaiah 1:21-27. The “redeemed” (hdp) believing remnant in Zion in Isaiah 1:21-27 result in Jerusalem being the “city of righteousness, the faithful city” (h`DnDmTa‰n h™Dy√rIq q®d$R…xAh ry∞Io).

[24]         Genesis 15:7. Note that the Lord does not merely promise Abraham’s descendants the land of Canaan, but indicates that the patriarch himself will inherit the land (Genesis 13:15, 17; 15:7)—something that will take place after the resurrection in the Millennial kingdom when Abraham will dwell in Canaan with true Israel. Such a resurrection, and the eternal felicity associated with it, is also involved in the fact that Jehovah is truly a God to Abraham (Genesis 17:7; 28:13; Exodus 3:6; Matthew 22:32; Mark 12:26). Abraham’s faith led him to look both for the promised kingdom and “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10), the New Jerusalem.

[25]         As eternal salvation is an undeserved gift of grace, so neither Abraham nor any of his fallen physical descendents possessed the Land in their lifetime, or will possess the Land in the eschaton, because of their inherent worthiness—the inheritance is solely procured by grace, Deuteronomy 9:4-6; cf. Romans 10:8 & Deuteronomy 30.

[26]         Walter Kaiser notes:

When [Jehovah] appeared to Abraham, after the patriarch had arrived at Shechem, that ancient word about a “seed” (3:15) was again revived. Now, however, it was directed to Abraham (Ge 12:7). From there on, the importance of this gift of a child who would inherit the promises and blessings became one of the dominant themes in the patriarchal narrative, appearing, all told, some twenty-eight times. [Genesis 12:7; 13:15, 16 (2C); 15:13, 18; 16:10; 17:7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 19; 21:12; 22:17 (2×), 18; 24:7; 26:3, 4 (3×), 24; 28:13, 14 (2×); 32:12; 35:12; 48:3, 4.] Eve had been promised both a “seed” and a male individual—apparently from that “seed.” Now in the progress of revelation, with much greater specification added, the concept was elaborated both on the corporate (all who believed) and representative (Man of promise/“Seed”) aspects of this promised heir. It was to encompass so great a number that, in hyperbolic fashion, they would rival the stars of heaven and the sands on the seashore. But this “seed” would also be another “son”—born at first to Abraham, when all hope of his ever having children was lost, and then continued in the one born to his son Isaac, and later to the one born to Isaac’s son Jacob. A line of successive representative sons of the patriarchs who were regarded as one with the whole group they represented matched the seminal idea already advocated in Genesis 3:15. Furthermore, in the concept of “seed” were the two aspects: (1) the seed as a future benefit and (2) the seed as the present beneficiaries of God’s temporal and spiritual gifts. Consequently, “seed” was always a collective singular noun; few times did it have the meaning of a plural noun (as in “descendants”). Thereby the “seed” was marked as a unit, yet with a flexibility of reference: now referring to the one person, now to the many descendants of that family. This interchange of reference with its implied “corporate solidarity” was more than a cultural phenomena or an accident of careless editing; it was an integral part of its doctrinal intention. . . . Thus, we refer to the “one” and the “many” when we refer to the “seed,” or “offspring,” but the use of the translation “descendants” limited the reference only to the whole group who believed but did not include the representative of the whole group, the coming Messiah himself. (pgs. 56-57, The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments, Walter Kaiser. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008)

The recognition of both the individual and corporate aspect of the “seed” continues in the New Testament (cf. Galatians 3:16, 29).

[27]         Genesis 13:15; 17:8; 28:13.

[28]         Exodus 14:31-15:2. While the entire nation of Israel received salvation in that they were delivered from slavery in Egypt and from Pharaoh’s army, although the entire nation did not believe in an eternally saving fashion, nonetheless Exodus 14:31-15:2 does connect belief and salvation, and both the belief and the salvation received and sung about pass beyond the merely physical and temporal for the Israel of God (Romans 9:6) to encompass all that is involved, both temporally and eternally, in the affirmation “Jehovah . . . is become my salvation: he is my God.”

[29]         Isaiah 28:16; 8:14-15; 7:14; 9:6; Romans 9:33; 10:11.

[30]         Numbers 14:11-35; 20:12; Deuteronomy 1:32-40; 9:23-24. Numbers 14:11-35 speaks, at least in general, of those who do not believe in Jehovah at all, while Numbers 20:12 speaks of a lack of faith in the Lord in a particular situation by those who are true sons of Israel, namely, Moses and Aaron. The language employed concerning those who do not believe in the Lord at all in Numbers 14:11-35 is much harsher than that in Numbers 20:12, although entrance into the Promised Land is taken from both groups. It is noteworthy that Deuteronomy 1:32-40 indicates that the Lord was angry with Moses because of the larger unbelieving multitude that he led and represented (as, typologically, there is no problem with the Law itself, but because of sin, man is unable to receive eternal life through the Law), those who were rebellious all the time that Moses knew them and consequently did not believe nor hearken to the Lord (Deuteronomy 9:23-24).

[31]         2 Kings 17:7-23; Deuteronomy 27-28. Contrast the unbelief of 2 Kings 17:14 with Hezekiah’s “trust” in 18:5 and the temporal prosperity that was consequent upon it.

[32]         Exodus 30:33, 38; 31:14; Leviticus 7:20, 21, 25, 27; 17:4, 9; 18:29; 19:8; 20:17, 18; 23:39; Numbers 9:13; 15:30; Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6; Psalm 125:5; Isaiah 53:8; Jeremiah 4:4; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 14:2.

[33]         lRsR;k, Psalm 78:7; cf. Job 8:14; 31:24; Proverbs 3:26.

[34]         Psalm 78; cf. v. 7, 22, 32, 37.

[35]         Isaiah 53:1; 7:9-14; 8:8; 9:6; Hebrews 11:14.

[36]         Isaiah 28:16; 8:14; Genesis 49:24; Psalm 118:22; Romans 9:33; 10:11; 1 Peter 2:4-8).

[37]         Isaiah 52:13-53:12.

[38]         An affirmation that all true believers receive salvation in the Old Testament, as in the New, does not eliminate the possibility that one could, in Old Testament times, possess a type of spurious “faith” that fell short of the kind of true faith associated with real conversion, just as such spurious “faith” is mentioned in the New Testament (John 2:23-25) while salvation is still set forth as by means of faith alone (John 3:1-21). The Old Testament indicates that one could assent, for example, to the fact that the Word from the Lord was true without having anything more than the “faith” of a hypocrite (Psalm 106:12ff.), while at the same time repeatedly stressing the salvation of all believers (Genesis 15:6).

[39]         Compare Nehemiah 9:8 also.

[40]         A goodly number of texts of this sort are found in the Old Testament that do not specifically contain the word believe; cf. Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6-10; Isaiah 55:1-3; Jeremiah 3:22; 4:4; Hosea 14:2, etc. Such an employment of other terms for saving faith and conversion appears in the New Testament also, of course (Matthew 7:13; John 6:37, 57; 10:9; Revelation 22:17, etc.).

[41] :h`RyVjˆy wñøtÎn…wmTaR;b qyäî;dAx◊w wóø;b wäøvVpÅn hñ∂rVvÎy_aøl h$DlVÚpUo h∞E…nIh

e˙a»n uJpostei÷lhtai oujk eujdokei√ hJ yuch/ mou e˙n aujtw◊ˆ oJ de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stew¿ß mou zh/setai(LXX; note that 2:4a is not at all literally translated)

Ecce qui incredulus est, non erit recta anima ejus in semetipso; justus autem in fide sua vivet. “Behold, he that is unbelieving, his soul shall not be right in himself: but the just shall live in his faith.” (Vulgate)

:N…wmy◊yåqtˆy NOwhVfv…wq lAo aÎyåqyîdAx◊w NyElIa lDk tyEl NyîrVmDa NOwhVbIlVb aÎyAoyIvår aDh(Targum Jonathan)

[42]         Habakkuk 2:2. The word Aj…wl, employed in Habbakuk 2:2 of the tables upon which the message that the just shall live by faith was to be engraved, was also employed of the tables of the ten commandments (Exodus 24:12).

[43]         Habakkuk 1:5; Acts 13:39-41.

[44]         Habakkuk 1:6ff.

[45]         In Habakkuk 2:4b, the accentuation of :h`RyVjˆy wñøtÎn…wmTaR;b qyäî;dAx◊w indicates that the affirmation of Habakkuk is: “the just, by his faith shall live” or “the righteous shall live-by-his-faith,” rather than “the just by his faith, shall live” or “the righteous-by-his-faith shall live.” That is, the Hebrew accents support the translation of the Authorized Version: “the just shall live by his faith.”

[46]         hÎn…wmTa.

[47]         Strong evidence that hÎn…wmTa in Habakkuk 2:4 is properly rendered faith, and that faithfulness is a result of faith, is provided in the comment on Habakkuk 2:4 in The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah, O. P. Robertson, NICOT; note also that hÎn…wmTa is translated in the LXX by pistis with some frequency. “The context . . . justifies pi÷stiß, even in the sense ‘trust’ . . . and it was so translated by Symmachus, Aquila, and Theodotion, and in the other Greek versions” (Lightfoot, Galatians, on 3:11). Furthermore, the meaning “‘belief, trust’ . . . [for] hÎn…wmTa . . . seems decidedly to have [been] adopted . . . in the rabbinical Hebrew” (Lightfoot, Commentary on Galatians, sec. “The Words Denoting ‘Faith’”). Warfield comments:

The notions of “faith” and “faithfulness” lie close to one another, and are not uncommonly expressed by a single term (so pi÷stiß, fides, faith). . . . “[F]aith,” in its active sense . . . occurs in the Authorized Version of the Old Testament [in] Deuteronomy 32:20 where it represents the Hebrew NUmEa, and Habakkuk 2:4 where it stands for the Hebrew hÎn…wmTa; and it . . . [is] really demanded in . . . Habakkuk 2:4. The very point of this passage . . . is the sharp contrast which is drawn between arrogant self-sufficiency and faithful dependence on God. The purpose of the verse is to give a reply to the prophet’s inquiry as to God’s righteous dealings with the Chaldæans. Since it is by faith that the righteous man lives, the arrogant Chaldæan, whose soul is puffed up and not straight within him, cannot but be destined to destruction. The whole drift of the broader context bears out this meaning; for throughout this prophecy the Chaldæan is ever exhibited as the type of insolent self-assertion (Habakkuk 1:7, 11, 16), in contrast with which the righteous appear, certainly not as men of integrity and steadfast faithfulness, but as men who look in faith to God and trustingly depend upon His arm. The obvious reminiscence of Genesis 15:6 throws its weight into the same scale, to which may be added the consent of the Jewish expositors of the passage. Here we have, therefore, thrown into a clear light the contrasting characteristics of the wicked, typified by the Chaldæan, and of the righteous: of the one the fundamental trait is self-sufficiency; of the other, faith. This faith, which forms the distinctive feature of the righteous man, and by which he obtains life, is obviously no mere assent. It is a profound and abiding disposition, an ingrained attitude of mind and heart towards God which affects and gives character to all the activities. Here . . . the term . . . in the Old Testament . . . rises to the full height of its most pregnant meaning. (“The Biblical Doctrine of Faith,” Warfield, in Biblical Doctrines, vol. 2 of Works).

In both the Old and New Testament, “[t]he trusting man (NyImSaAm = pisteu/wn) is also the faithful man (NDmTa‰n = pisto/ß” (pg. 198, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 6, Kittel).

[48]         “hÎn…wmTa . . . from ’âman, to be firm, to last[,] [denotes] firmness (Ex. 17:12); then, as an attribute of God, trustworthiness, unchangeable fidelity in the fulfilment of His promises (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 33:4; 89:34); and, as a personal attribute of man, fidelity in word and deed (Jer. 7:28; 9:2; Ps. 37:3); and, in his relation to God, firm attachment to God, an undisturbed confidence in the divine promises of grace, firma fiducia and fides, so that in ’ĕmūnâh the primary meanings of ne’ĕmân and he’ĕmīn are combined. This is also apparent from the fact that Abraham is called ne’ĕmân in Neh. 9:8, with reference to the fact that it is affirmed of him in Gen. 15:6 that h¡DOwhyèA;b N™ImTaRh◊w, “he trusted, or believed, the Lord;” and still more indisputably from the passage before us, since it is impossible to mistake the reference in h`RyVjˆy wñøtÎn…wmTaR;b qyäî;dAx◊w to Gen. 15:6, “he believed (he’ĕmīn) in Jehovah, and He reckoned it to him litsedâqâh.” It is also indisputably evident from the context that our passage treats of the relation between man and God, since the words themselves speak of a waiting (chikkâh) for the fulfilment of a promising oracle, which is to be preceded by a period of severe suffering. ‘What is more natural than that life or deliverance from destruction should be promised to that faith which adheres faithfully to God, holds fast by the word of promise, and confidently waits for its fulfilment in the midst of tribulation? It is not the sincerity, trustworthiness, or integrity of the righteous man, regarded as being virtues in themselves, which are in danger of being shaken and giving way in such times of tribulation, but, as we may see in the case of the prophet himself, his faith. To this, therefore, there is appended the great promise expressed in the one word h`RyVjˆy’ (Delitzsch). And in addition to this, ’ĕmūnâh is opposed to the pride of the Chaldaean, to his exaltation of himself above God; and for that very reason it cannot denote integrity in itself, but simply some quality which has for its leading feature humble submission to God, that is to say, faith, or firm reliance upon God. The Jewish expositors, therefore, have unanimously retained this meaning here, and the LXX have rendered the word quite correctly pi÷stiß. . . . The deep meaning of these words has been first fully brought out by the Apostle Paul (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11: see also Heb. 10:38), who . . . makes the declaration oJ di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai the basis of the New Testament doctrine of justification by faith” (Comment on Habakkuk 2:4, Commentary, Keil & Delitzsch). That is, “in Habakkuk 2:4, faith was simply an unwavering trust in God’s word. In contrast to the overbearing disposition of the wicked, the believer, like Abraham in Genesis 15:6 and Isaiah in Isaiah 28:16; 30:15, put an immovable confidence in the God who had promised his salvation and the coming Man of promise. It was a steadfast, undivided surrender to [Jehovah], a childlike, humble and sincere trust in the credibility of the divine message of salvation” (pg. 196, The Promise-Plan of God, Kaiser).

[49]         Exodus 17:12; Isaiah 33:6.

[50]         Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 33:4; 36:6; 40:10; 88:11; 89:1, 2, 5, 8, 24, 33, 49; 92:2; 96:13; 98:3; 100:5; 119:75, 90; 143:1; Isaiah 25:1; Lamentations 3:23; Hosea 2:20.

[51]         1 Samuel 26:23; 2 Kings 12:15; 22:7; 2 Chronicles 19:9; 31:12; 34:12; Proverbs 12:22; 28:20; Isaiah 11:5 (the faithfulness of the incarnate Messiah); 59:4; Jeremiah 5:1, 3; 7:28; 9:3; Habakkuk 2:4. Note also 1 Chronicles 9:22, 26, 31; 2 Chronicles 31:15, 18 where those put in office were to be trustworthy or faithful and act in fidelity (cf. KJV margin).

[52]         Psalm 37:3; 119:30, 86, 138; Proverbs 12:17.

[53]         See BDB for the definitions.

[54]         NRmQOa, Isaiah 25:1.

[55]         NEmDa, Numbers 5:22; Deuteronomy 27:15–26; 1 Kings 1:36; 1 Chronicles 16:36; Nehemiah 5:13; 8:6; Psalm 41:13; 72:19; 89:52; 106:48; Isaiah 65:16; Jeremiah 11:5; 28:6. Also hÎnVmDa, Genesis 20:12; Joshua 7:20. Also MÎnVmUa, Genesis 18:13; Numbers 22:37; 1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 6:18; Psalm 58:1. Also MÎnVmDa, Ruth 3:12; 2 Kings 19:17; Job 9:2; 12:2; 19:4–5; 34:12; 36:4; Isaiah 37:18.

[56]         NUmEa, Deuteronomy 32:20 (unconverted Israelites as “children in whom is no faith”); Proverbs 13:17; 14:5; 20:6; Isaiah 26:2.

[57]         hÎnDmSa, Nehemiah 9:38; 11:23.

[58]         hÎnDmSa, Song 4:8; 2 Kings 5:12; the likely significance of the name of the river and of the region from which it flows.

[59]         tRmTa, used of God’s faithful truth (Genesis 24:27; 32:10; Exodus 34:6; 2 Chronicles 15:3; Nehemiah 9:33; Psalm 25:5, 10; 26:3; 30:9; 31:5; 40:10, 11; 43:3; 54:5; 57:3, 10; 61:7; 69:13; 71:22; 85:10–11; 86:11, 15; 89:14; 91:4; 108:4; 111:7–8; 115:1; 117:2; 119:43, 142, 151, 160; 132:11; 138:2; 146:6; Isaiah 38:18, 19; 61:8; Jeremiah 4:2; 10:10; 42:5; Daniel 9:13; Zechariah 8:8), of true, faithful, and right things (Genesis 24:48; Deuteronomy 13:14; 17:4; 22:20; Joshua 2:12; 2 Samuel 7:28; 15:20; 1 Kings 10:6; 22:16; 2 Kings 20:19; 2 Chronicles 9:5; 18:15; 31:20; 32:1; Nehemiah 9:13; Esther 9:30; Psalm 19:9; 45:4; 51:6; Proverbs 3:3; 8:7; 11:18; 14:22; 16:6; 20:28; 22:21; 23:23; Ecclesiastes 12:10; Isaiah 39:8; 42:3, 9; 59:14, 15; Jeremiah 14:13; 26:15; Daniel 8:12, 26; 10:1, 21; 11:2; Hosea 4:1; Zechariah 7:9; 8:19; Malachi 2:6), acts (Genesis 24:49; 47:29; Joshua 2:14; 24:14; Judges 9:15, 16, 19; 1 Samuel 12:24; 2 Samuel 2:6; 1 Kings 2:4; 3:6; 17:24; 20:3; Psalm 15:2; 145:18; Proverbs 14:25; 29:14; Isaiah 10:20; 16:5; 38:3; Isaiah 48:1; Jeremiah 9:5; 23:28; 28:9; 32:41; 33:6; Ezekiel 18:8, 9; Micah 7:20; Zechariah 8:16), and individuals or groups of individuals (Genesis 42:16; Exodus 18:21; Nehemiah 7:2; Proverbs 12:19; Jeremiah 2:21; Zechariah 8:3).

[60]         jfb. The complete list of references in the Old Testament is: Deuteronomy 28:52; Judges 9:26; 18:7, 10, 27; 20:36; 2 Kings 18:5, 19–22, 24, 30; 19:10; 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 32:10; Job 6:20; 11:18; 39:11; 40:23; Psalm 4:5; 9:10; 13:5; 21:7; 22:4–5, 9; 25:2; 26:1; 27:3; 28:7; 31:6, 14; 32:10; 33:21; 37:3, 5; 40:3; 41:9; 44:6; 49:6; 52:7–8; 55:23; 56:3–4, 11; 62:8, 10; 78:22; 84:12; 86:2; 91:2; 112:7; 115:8–11; 118:8–9; 119:42; 125:1; 135:18; 143:8; 146:3; Proverbs 3:5; 11:15, 28; 14:16; 16:20; 28:1, 25–26; 29:25; 31:11; Isaiah 12:2; 26:3–4; 30:12; 31:1; 32:9–11; 36:4–7, 9, 15; 37:10; 42:17; 47:10; 50:10; 59:4; Jeremiah 5:17; 7:4, 8, 14; 9:4; 12:5; 13:25; 17:5, 7; 28:15; 29:31; 39:18; 46:25; 48:7; 49:4, 11; Ezekiel 16:15; 33:13; Hosea 10:13; Amos 6:1; Micah 7:5; Habakkuk 2:18; Zephaniah 3:2. Note that in Psalm 78:22 jfb and NImTaRhare in synonymous parallelism; compare also 2 Kings 17:14; 18:5.

[61]         2 Kings 18:5, 22, 30; 19:10; 2 Chronicles 32:10; Isaiah 36:7, 15; 37:10.

[62]         Psalm 62:8, 10.

[63]         1 Chronicles 5:20; Jeremiah 39:18.

[64]         Isaiah 12:2; 26:3-4; 50:10.

[65]         Isaiah 30:12; 47:10.

[66]         Psalm 56:3, 4, 11; 118:8-9; Proverbs 29:25; Isaiah 31:1; Jeremiah 17:5-7.

[67]         Psalm 9:10; cf. 4:5.

[68]         Psalm 22:4-5; cf. 25:2; 26:1; 28:7; 31:6, 14; 33:21; 40:3.

[69]         dRsRj.

[70]         Psalm 78:22, 8, 10, 32, 37.

[71]         Psalm 112:7; 143:8.

[72]         Proverbs 16:20; 28:25, 26.

[73]         That is, the rest of the jfb word group.

[74]         hDjVfI;b in Isaiah 30:15; NwøjDÚfI;b in Isaiah 36:4; 2 Kings 18:19; also Ecclesiastes 9:4.

[75]         Jeremiah 17:7; 2:37; 48:17; Ezekiel 29:16. jDfVbIm, “trust, reliance” (KB), “confidence . . . 1. the act of confiding Pr 21:22, 22:19, 25:19. 2. the object of confidence Jb 8:14, 18:14, 31:24, Psalm 40:5, 65:6, 71:5, Je 2:37, 17:7, 48:13, Ez 29:16. 3. the state of confidence, security Pr 14:26, Is 32:18” (BDB).

[76]         Job 8:14; 18:14; 31:24.

[77]         Proverbs 25:19; cf. 21:22.

[78]         Proverbs 22:19; 14:26; contra 25:19; 21:22.

[79]         hsj; Cf. in English, Psalm 57:1: “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth [Qal perfect hsj] in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge [Qal imperfect hsj], until these calamities be overpast.” The complete list of references for the verb is: Deuteronomy 32:37; Judges 9:15; Ruth 2:12; 2 Samuel 22:3, 31; Psalm 2:12; 5:11; 7:1; 11:1; 16:1; 17:7; 18:2, 30; 25:20; 31:1, 19; 34:8, 22; 36:7; 37:40; 57:1; 61:4; 64:10; 71:1; 91:4; 118:8–9; 141:8; 144:2; Proverbs 14:32; 30:5; Isaiah 14:32; 30:2; 57:13; Nahum 1:7; Zephaniah 3:12.

[80]         2 Samuel 22:3; Psalm 144:2.

[81]         2 Samuel 22:31; cf. Isaiah 14:32; Psalm 61:4; 94:4.

[82]         Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse in the Bible.

[83]         Psalm 7:1; 11:1; 16:1; 17:7; 18:2, 30.

[84]         Psalm 25:20; 31:1; 34:22; 36:7; 71:1; 141:8.

[85]         qvn, also translated “be ruled” in Genesis 41:40.

[86]         Note the use of the Aramaic form rA;b, elsewhere found in the Hebrew Old Testament only in Proverbs 31:2; the Son of God is set forth in Psalm 2:12 as the Object of faith for the nations.

[87]         Warfield notes:

[A]long with an ever more richly expressed corporate hope, there is found also [in the Old Testament] an ever more richly expressed individual trust, which finds natural utterance through an ample body of synonyms bringing out severally the various sides of that perfect commitment to God that constitutes the essence of faith. Thus we read much of trusting in, on, to God, or in His word, His name, His mercy, His salvation (jAf;Db), of seeking and finding refuge in God or in the shadow of His wings (hDsDj), of committing ourselves to God (lAlÎ…g), setting confidence (lRsR;k) in Him, looking to Him (JKAmVsˆ…n) relying upon Him (NAoVvˆ…n), staying upon Him (JKAmVsˆ…n), setting or fixing the heart upon Him (bEl NyIkEj), binding our love on Him (qAvDj), cleaving to Him (qAb∂;d). So, on the hopeful side of faith, we read much of hoping in God (hD…wIq), waiting on God (lRjˆy), of longing for Him (hD;kIj), patiently waiting for Him (lElwøjVtIh), and the like.

         By the aid of such expressions, it becomes possible to form a somewhat clear notion of the attitude towards Him which was required by Jehovah of His believing people, and which is summed up in the term “faith.” It is a reverential (Exodus 14:31; Numbers 14:11, 20:12) and loving faith, which rests on the strong basis of firm and unshaken conviction of the might and grace of the covenant God and of the trustworthiness of all His words, and exhibits itself in confident trust in Jehovah and unwavering expectation of the fulfilment of, no doubt, all His promises, but more especially of His promise of salvation, and in consequent faithful and exclusive adherence to Him. In one word, it consists in an utter commitment of oneself to Jehovah, with confident trust in Him as guide and saviour, and assured expectation of His promised salvation. It therefore stands in contrast, on the one hand, with trust in self or other human help, and on the other with doubt and unbelief, despondency and unfaithfulness. From Jehovah alone is salvation to be looked for, and it comes from His free grace alone (Deuteronomy 7:7, 8:18; 9:5; Amos 3:2; Hosea 13:5; Ezekiel 20:6; Jeremiah 39:18; Malachi 1:2), and to those only who look solely to Him for it (Isaiah 31:1; 57:13; 28:16; 30:15; Jeremiah 17:5; 39:18; Psalm 118:8; 146:3; 20:7; 1 Samuel 17:45; Job 31:24; Psalm 52:9). The reference of faith is accordingly in the Old Testament always distinctly soteriological; its end the Messianic salvation; and its essence a trusting, or rather an entrusting of oneself to the God of salvation, with full assurance of the fulfilment of His gracious purposes and the ultimate realization of His promise of salvation for the people and the individual. Such an attitude towards the God of salvation is identical with the faith of the New Testament, and is not essentially changed by the fuller revelation of God the Redeemer in the person of the promised Messiah. (pgs. 488-490, “The Biblical Doctrine of Faith,” Warfield, in Biblical Doctrines, vol. 2 of Works)

[88]         bvj. The complete list of references in the Old Testament is: Genesis 15:6; 31:15; 38:15; 50:20; Exodus 31:4; 35:32; Leviticus 7:18; 17:4; 25:27, 31, 50, 52; 27:18, 23; Numbers 18:27, 30; 23:9; Deuteronomy 2:11, 20; Joshua 13:3; Esther 8:3; 9:24–25; 1 Samuel 1:13; 18:25; 2 Samuel 4:2; 14:13–14; 19:19; 1 Kings 10:21; 2 Kings 12:15; 22:7; 2 Chronicles 2:14; 9:20; Nehemiah 6:2, 6; 13:13; Job 6:26; 13:24; 18:3; 19:11, 15; 33:10; 35:2; 41:27, 29, 32; Psalm 10:2; 21:11; 32:2; 35:4, 20; 36:4; 40:17; 41:7; 44:22; 52:2; 73:16; 77:5; 88:4; 106:31; 119:59; 140:2, 4; 144:3; Proverbs 16:9, 30; 17:28; 24:8; 27:14; Isaiah 2:22; 5:28; 10:7; 13:17; 29:16–17; 32:15; 33:8; 40:15, 17; 53:3–4; Jeremiah 11:19; 18:8, 11, 18; 23:27; 26:3; 29:11; 36:3; 48:2; 49:20, 30; 50:45; Lamentations 2:8; 4:2; Ezekiel 11:2; 38:10; Daniel 11:24–25; Hosea 7:15; 8:12; Amos 6:5; Jonah 1:4; Micah 2:1, 3; Nahum 1:9, 11; Zechariah 7:10; 8:17; Malachi 3:16.

[89]         Genesis 31:15; Leviticus 7:18; 17:4; Numbers 18:27, 30; Numbers 23:9; 2 Samuel 19:19; 2 Kings 12:15; 22:7; Job 13:24; 18:3; 19:11, 15; 33:10; Psalm 32:2; 106:31; Proverbs 17:28; Isaiah 29:16-17; 32:15; 40:15, 17; Lamentations 4:2.

[90]         Genesis 38:15; Leviticus 25:27; Deuteronomy 2:11, 20; 1 Samuel 1:13; 18:25; 1 Kings 10:21; 2 Chronicles 9:20; Nehemiah 13:13; Job 13:24; 18:3; 19:11, 15; 33:10; 41:27, 29; Psalm 77:5; 88:4; Proverbs 17:28; Isaiah 13:17; 53:4; Jeremiah 36:3; Hosea 8:12; Zechariah 7:10; 8:17;

[91]         The syntax of Psalm 106:31 is very similar to that of Genesis 15:6 in its account of reckoning; compare :há∂q∂dVx wäø;l Dh¶RbVvVjÅ¥yÅw h¡DOwhyèA;b N™ImTaRh◊w with :M`Dlwøo_dAo r#OdÎwŒ rõOdVl hó∂q∂dVxIl wølœ bRv∞DjE;tÅw. Concerning Psalm 106:31, John Gill notes:

And that was counted unto him for righteousness, &c. Not for his justifying righteousness before God; for all the works of righteousness done by the best of men cannot justify them before him, much less a single action: but his executing judgment in the manner he did, or slaying the above two persons, was esteemed a righteous action by the Lord himself; who upon it caused the plague to cease, and likewise gave to Phinehas the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, and to his posterity; whereby the action had eternal honour put upon it, and was sufficiently secured from the calumny of men; who might condemn it as a rash action done by a private person, assuming the office of a public magistrate; and as being a cruel one, not giving the criminals time for repentance. But all this is set aside by the testimony of God himself, approving of it; and so it continues to be esteemed, as it is said it should, unto all generations for evermore: whenever it is spoken of, it is spoken of with commendation, as a righteous action, as expressive of true zeal for the Lord of hosts.

Likewise, Keil & Delitzsch note:

This act of zeal for [Jehovah], which compensated for Israel’s unfaithfulness, was accounted unto [Phinehas] for righteousness, by his being rewarded for it with the priesthood unto everlasting ages, Num. 25:10–13. This accounting of a work for righteousness is only apparently contradictory to Gen. 15:5f.: it was indeed an act which sprang from a constancy in faith [cf. Psalm 106:24], and one which obtained for him the acceptation of a righteous man for the sake of this upon which it was based, by proving him to be such.

Concerning Psalm 106:31 “we should compare for the expression Genesis 15:6, the only passage where it occurs, and for the subject, Deuteronomy 6:25; 24:13 . . . Psalm 24:5. The language does not refer to the first justification, but to the second, to the good works of one already in a state of grace, by which he obtains from God, who recompenses every one according to his works, a reward of grace, as Phinehas obtained on the present occasion the priesthood for his family, comp. Numbers 25:13” (Comment on Psalm 106:31, Commentary on the Psalms, vol. 3., E. W. Hengstenberg). That is, Phinehas’ act could only be accounted as righteous because Phinehas’ person had already been accounted righteous through Jehovah’s gratuitous justification; Phinehas had Christ as his Mediator, as one who sanctified the iniquity that otherwise would corrupt even the holiest actions of believers and prevent them from being acceptable in the sight of Jehovah (Exodus 28:38).

[92]       …wb$DvVj‰n ‹MyˆnDmTa‰n. Note the use of Nmaand bvj.

[93]         cf. Leviticus 7:18; 17:4; 25:31; Numbers 18:27, 30; Joshua 13:3; 2 Samuel 4:2; 2 Samuel 19:19; Psalm 32:2;

[94]         Psalm 32:2; Romans 4:1-8.

[95]         Psalm 34:8; 84:12.

[96]         ∆Elogi÷sqh twˆ◊ ∆Abraa»m hJ pi÷stiß ei˙ß dikaiosu/nhn.

[97]         h∂q∂dVx. The complete list of references is: Genesis 15:6; 18:19; 30:33; Deuteronomy 6:25; 9:4–6; 24:13; 33:21; Judges 5:11; 1 Samuel 12:7; 26:23; 2 Samuel 8:15; 19:28; 22:21, 25; 1 Kings 3:6; 8:32; 10:9; 1 Chronicles 18:14; 2 Chronicles 6:23; 9:8; Nehemiah 2:20; Job 27:6; 33:26; 35:8; 37:23; Psalm 5:8; 11:7; 22:31; 24:5; 31:1; 33:5; 36:6, 10; 40:10; 51:14; 69:27; 71:2, 15–16, 19, 24; 72:1, 3; 88:12; 89:16; 98:2; 99:4; 103:6, 17; 106:3, 31; 111:3; 112:3, 9; 119:40, 142; 143:1, 11; 145:7; Proverbs 8:18, 20; 10:2; 11:4–6, 18–19; 12:28; 13:6; 14:34; 15:9; 16:8, 12, 31; 21:3, 21; Isaiah 1:27; 5:7, 16, 23; 9:7; 10:22; 28:17; 32:16–17; 33:5, 15; 45:8, 23–24; 46:12–13; 48:1, 18; 51:6, 8; 54:14, 17; 56:1; 57:12; 58:2; 59:9, 14, 16–17; 60:17; 61:10–11; 63:1; 64:6; Jeremiah 4:2; 9:24; 22:3, 15; 23:5; 33:15; 51:10; Ezekiel 3:20; 14:14, 20; 18:5, 19–22, 24, 26–27; 33:12–14, 16, 18–19; 45:9; Daniel 9:7, 16, 18; Hosea 10:12; Joel 2:23; Amos 5:7, 24; 6:12; Micah 6:5; 7:9; Zechariah 8:8; Malachi 3:3; 4:2. q®dRx appears in: Leviticus 19:15, 36; Deuteronomy 1:16; 16:18, 20; 25:15; 33:19; Job 6:29; 8:3, 6; 29:14; 31:6; 35:2; 36:3; Psalm 4:1, 5; 7:8, 17; 9:4, 8; 15:2; 17:1, 15; 18:20, 24; 23:3; 35:24, 27–28; 37:6; 40:9; 45:4, 7; 48:10; 50:6; 51:19; 52:3; 58:1; 65:5; 72:2; 85:10–11, 13; 89:14; 94:15; 96:13; 97:2, 6; 98:9; 118:19; 119:7, 62, 75, 106, 121, 123, 138, 142, 144, 160, 164, 172; 132:9; Proverbs 1:3; 2:9; 8:8, 15; 12:17; 16:13; 25:5; 31:9; Ecclesiastes 3:16; 5:8; 7:15; Isaiah 1:21, 26; 11:4–5; 16:5; 26:9–10; 32:1; 41:2, 10; 42:6, 21; 45:8, 13, 19; 51:1, 5, 7; 58:2, 8; 59:4; 61:3; 62:1–2; 64:5; Jeremiah 11:20; 22:13; 23:6; 31:23; 33:16; 50:7; Ezekiel 3:20; 45:10; Daniel 9:24; Hosea 2:19; 10:12; Zephaniah 2:3. qyî;dAx appears in: Genesis 6:9; 7:1; 18:23–26, 28; 20:4; Exodus 9:27; 23:7–8; Deuteronomy 4:8; 16:19; 25:1; 32:4; 1 Samuel 24:17; 2 Samuel 4:11; 23:3; 1 Kings 2:32; 8:32; 2 Kings 10:9; 2 Chronicles 6:23; 12:6; Ezra 9:15; Neh 9:8, 33; Job 12:4; 17:9; 22:19; 27:17; 32:1; 34:17; 36:7; Psalm 1:5–6; 5:12; 7:9, 11; 11:3, 5, 7; 14:5; 31:18; 32:11–33:1; 34:15, 19, 21; 37:12, 16–17, 21, 25, 29–30, 32, 39; 52:6; 55:22; 58:10–11; 64:10; 68:3; 69:28; 72:7; 75:10; 92:12; 94:21; 97:11–12; 112:4, 6; 116:5; 118:15, 20; 119:137; 125:3; 129:4; 140:13; 141:5; 142:7; 145:17; 146:8; Proverbs 2:20; 3:33; 4:18; 9:9; 10:3, 6–7, 11, 16, 20–21, 24–25, 28, 30–32; 11:8–10, 21, 23, 28, 30–31; 12:3, 5, 7, 10, 12–13, 21, 26; 13:5, 9, 21–22, 25; 14:19, 32; 15:6, 28–29; 17:15, 26; 18:5, 10, 17; 20:7; 21:12, 15, 18, 26; 23:24; 24:15–16, 24; 25:26; 28:1, 12, 28; 29:2, 6–7, 16, 27; Ecclesiastes 3:17; 7:15–16, 20; 8:14; 9:1–2; Isaiah 3:10; 5:23; 24:16; 26:2, 7; 29:21; 41:26; 45:21; 49:24; 53:11; 57:1; 60:21; Jeremiah 12:1; 20:12; 23:5; Lamentations 1:18; 4:13; Ezekiel 3:20–21; 13:22; 18:5, 9, 20, 24, 26; 21:3–4; 23:45; 33:12–13, 18; Daniel 9:14; Hosea 14:9; Amos 2:6; 5:12; Habbakuk 1:4, 13; 2:4; Zephaniah 3:5; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:18. The verb qådDx appears in: Genesis 38:26; 44:16; Exodus 23:7; Deuteronomy 25:1; 2 Samuel 15:4; 1 Kings 8:32; 2 Chronicles 6:23; Job 4:17; 9:2, 15, 20; 10:15; 11:2; 13:18; 15:14; 22:3; 25:4; 27:5; 32:2; 33:12, 32; 34:5; 35:7; 40:8; Psalm 19:9; 51:4; 82:3; 143:2; Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:23; 43:9, 26; 45:25; 50:8; 53:11; Jeremiah 3:11; Ezekiel 16:51–52; Daniel 8:14; 12:3.

[98]         Isaiah 54:17: :h`DOwh◊y_MUa◊n y™I;tIaEm M¢Dt∂q√dIx◊w hOªDwh◊y y°édVbAo ·tAlSjÅn taÓøz

[99] yˆn¡DfDo◊y hä∂q∂dVx ly¶IoVm oAvY‰y_yéd◊gI;b ‹yˆn‹AvyI;bVlIh y§I;k y$Ahøla`E;b ‹yIvVpÅn l§EgD;t hGÎOwhy`A;b cy∞IcDa cw¬øc

[100]        …wnáéq√dIx —h¶DOwh◊y.

[101]        Commenting on Genesis 15:6, Calvin notes:

And truly faith does not justify us for any other reason, than that it reconciles us unto God; and that it does so, not by its own merit; but because we receive the grace offered to us in the promises, and have no doubt of eternal life, being fully persuaded that we are loved by God as sons. Therefore, Paul reasons from contraries, that he to whom faith is imputed for righteousness, has not been justified by works (Romans 4:4). For whosoever obtains righteousness by works, his merits come into the account before God. But we apprehend righteousness by faith, when God freely reconciles us to himself. Whence it follows, that the merit of works ceases when righteousness is sought by faith; for it is necessary that this righteousness should be freely given by God, and offered in his word, in order that any one may possess it by faith. To render this more intelligible, when Moses says that faith was imputed to Abram for righteousness, he does not mean that faith was that first cause of righteousness which is called the efficient, but only the formal cause; as if he had said, that Abram was therefore justified, because, relying on the paternal loving-kindness of God, he trusted to His mere goodness, and not to himself, nor to his own merits. For it is especially to be observed, that faith borrows a righteousness elsewhere, of which we, in ourselves, are destitute; otherwise it would be in vain for Paul to set faith in opposition to works, when speaking of the mode of obtaining righteousness. Besides, the mutual relation between the free promise and faith, leaves no doubt upon the subject. (Commentary on Genesis 15:6)

Genesis 15:6’s statement há∂q∂dVx wäø;l Dh¶RbVvVjÅ¥yÅw could be translated, “and He reckoned it to him, [namely], righteousness.” The “it” (Dh¶) is an anticipatory suffix (cf. GKC 131m), indicating that what was reckoned was “righteousness” (há∂q∂dVx)—substituting the feminine noun há∂q∂dVx for the feminine verbal suffix to which it refers, the sentence would be translated, “and He reckoned righteousness to him.” The specific noun righteousness, not faith itself or the previous clause h¡D`OwhyèA;b N™ImTaRh◊w, is the referent of the “it,” as in Ezekiel 3:21 the verbal suffix wø in qy#î;dAx wâø;t√rAh◊zIh“if thou warnest him, the righteous” anticipates the noun qyî;dAx, or in Ecclesiastes 2:21 the wø anticipates w$øqVlRj in w$øqVlRj …w…n∞RnV;tˆy, “he shall give it, his portion.”

[102]        Isaiah 53:11; cf. 52:13-53:12.

[103]        This fact is evidenced in the context of vast numbers of passages that speak of the righteous. Affirmations equivalent to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 or Galatians 5:19-21 fill the Old Testament.

[104]        Genesis 6:9; 7:1; Habakkuk 2:4, etc.

[105]        Life, both in the land during this age and in the eschaton, is also promised to those who are the just by perfect inherent personal righteousness, Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:11, 21; however, only the sinless and virgin-born Servant of the Lord has ever fulfilled the Law by His perfect obedience and so merited life in this manner, while His perfect obedience is imputed to the believing sinner freely through Immanuel’s substitutionary death (Isaiah 7:14; 53:12; 55:1-3).

[106]        hyj. Genesis 3:22; 5:3, 5–7, 9–10, 12–13, 15–16, 18–19, 21, 25–26, 28, 30; 6:19–20; 7:3; 9:28; 11:11–26; 12:12–13; 17:18; 19:19–20, 32, 34; 20:7; 25:7; 27:40; 31:32; 42:2, 18; 43:8; 45:7, 27; 47:19, 25, 28; 50:20, 22; Exodus 1:16–18, 22; 19:13; 22:18; 33:20; Leviticus 18:5; 25:35–36; Numbers 4:19; 14:38; 21:8–9; 22:33; 24:23; 31:15, 18; Deuteronomy 4:1, 33, 42; 5:24, 26, 33; 6:24; 8:1, 3; 16:20; 19:4–5; 20:16; 30:16, 19; 32:39; 33:6; Joshua 2:13; 5:8; 6:17, 25; 9:15, 20–21; 14:10; Judges 8:19; 15:19; 21:14; 1 Samuel 2:6; 10:24; 20:31; 27:9, 11; 2 Samuel 1:10; 8:2; 12:3, 22; 16:16; 1 Kings 1:25, 31, 34, 39; 17:22; 18:5; 20:31–32; 2 Kings 1:2; 4:7; 5:7; 7:4; 8:1, 5, 8–10, 14; 10:19; 11:12; 13:21; 14:17; 18:32; 20:1, 7; 1 Chronicles 11:8; 2 Chronicles 23:11; 25:25; Nehemiah 2:3; 4:2; 5:2; 6:11; 9:6, 29; Esther 4:11; Job 7:16; 14:14; 19:25; 21:7; 33:4; 36:6; 42:16; Psalm 22:26, 29; 30:3; 33:19; 41:2; 49:9; 69:32; 71:20; 72:15; 80:18; 85:6; 89:48; 118:17; 119:17, 25, 37, 40, 50, 77, 88, 93, 107, 116, 144, 149, 154, 156, 159, 175; 138:7; 143:11; Proverbs 4:4; 7:2; 9:6; 15:27; Ecclesiastes 6:3, 6; 7:12; 11:8; Isaiah 7:21; 26:14, 19; 38:1, 9, 16, 21; 55:3; 57:15; Jeremiah 21:9; 27:12, 17; 35:7; 38:2, 17, 20; 49:11; Lamentations 4:20; Ezekiel 3:18, 21; 13:18–19, 22; 16:6; 18:9, 13, 17, 19, 21–24, 27–28, 32; 20:11, 13, 21, 25; 33:10–13, 15–16, 19; 37:3, 5–6, 9–10, 14; 47:9; Hosea 6:2; 14:7; Amos 5:4, 6, 14; Habakkuk 2:4; 3:2; Zechariah 1:5; 10:9; 13:3.

[107]        The division below is not meant to be comprehensive.

[108]        Genesis 5, 11; 12:13; 19:19; 20:7.

[109]        Genesis 3:22; Psalm 22:26.

[110]        yAj. Genesis 2:7, 9; 3:14, 17, 22, 24; 6:17; 7:11, 15, 22; 9:3; 23:1; 25:7, 17; 27:46; 42:15–16; 47:8–9, 28; Exodus 1:14; 6:16, 18, 20; Leviticus 18:18; Numbers 14:21, 28; 16:30, 33; Deuteronomy 4:4, 9–10; 5:3; 6:2; 12:1; 16:3; 17:19; 28:66; 30:6, 15, 19–20; 31:13; 32:40, 47; Joshua 1:5; 4:14; Judges 8:19; 16:30; Ruth 3:13; 1 Samuel 1:11, 26; 7:15; 14:39, 45; 17:55; 19:6; 20:3, 21; 25:26, 29, 34; 26:10, 16; 28:10; 29:6; 2 Samuel 1:23; 2:27; 4:9; 11:11; 12:5, 21; 14:11, 19; 15:21; 18:18; 19:7, 35; 22:47; 1 Kings 1:29; 2:24; 3:22–23, 25–27; 5:1; 8:40; 11:34; 12:6; 15:5–6; 17:1, 12, 23; 18:10, 15; 21:15; 22:14; 2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6; 3:14; 4:30; 5:16, 20; 25:29–30; 2 Chronicles 6:31; 10:6; 18:13; Psalms 7:6; 16:11; 17:14; 18:47; 21:5; 23:6; 26:9; 27:1, 4; 30:6; 31:11; 34:13; 36:10; 38:20; 49:19; 55:16; 56:14; 63:4–5; 64:2; 66:9; 69:29; 88:4; 103:4; 104:33; 116:9; 124:3; 128:5; 133:3; 146:2; Job 3:20; 7:7; 9:21; 10:1, 12; 24:22; 27:2; 33:30; Proverbs 1:12; 2:19; 3:2, 18, 22; 4:10, 13, 22–23; 5:6; 6:23; 8:35; 9:11; 10:11, 16–17; 11:19, 30; 12:28; 13:12, 14; 14:27, 30; 15:4, 24, 31; 16:15, 22; 18:21; 19:23; 21:21; 22:4; 27:27; 31:12; Ecclesiastes 2:3, 17; 3:12; 4:15; 5:17, 19; 6:12; 7:2; 8:15; 9:3–4, 9; 10:19; Isaiah 4:3; 38:12, 16, 20; 49:18; Jeremiah 4:2; 5:2; 8:3; 12:16; 16:14–15; 21:8; 22:24; 23:7–8; 38:16; 44:26; 46:18; 52:33–34; Lamentations 3:53, 58; Ezekiel 5:11; 7:13; 14:16, 18, 20; 16:48; 17:16, 19; 18:3; 20:3, 31, 33; 33:11, 15, 27; 34:8; 35:6, 11; Daniel 12:2, 7; Hosea 4:15; Amos 8:14; Jonah 2:7; 4:3, 8; Zephaniah 2:9; Malachi 2:5.

[111]        Genesis 2:7; 7:15; Deuteronomy 12:1.

[112]        Cf. Deuteronomy 30:6, 15, 19-20; Ezekiel 3:18, 21; 18:17-32; 20:11. Compare also Numbers 21:8-9 & John 3:14-16; also Joshua 6:17 & James 2:25; Hebrews 11:31.

[113]        Cf. Genesis 2:9, 17.

[114]        Hosea 6:2; 1 Corinthians 15:4; cf. Job 19:25-27.

[115]        Amos 5:4, 6, 14.

[116]        Cf. Deuteronomy 5:33; 6:24; 16:20; Psalm 34:12-14; 41:2; Proverbs 3:2.

[117]        Cf. Exodus 30:33, 38; 31:14; Leviticus 7:20, 21, 25, 27; 17:4, 9; 18:29; 19:8; 20:17, 18; 23:39; Numbers 9:13; 15:30; Isaiah 53:8; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 14:2; also Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; cf. Psalm 125:5.

[118]        Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23.

[119]        Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38; ÔO . . . di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai.

[120]        B. B. Warfield notes:

It lies on the very surface of the New Testament that its writers were not conscious of a chasm between the fundamental principle of the religious life of the saints of the old covenant and the faith by which they themselves lived. To them, too, Abraham is the typical example of a true believer (Romans 4; Galatians 3; Hebrews 11; James 2); and in their apprehension “those who are of faith,” that is, “Christians,” are by that very fact constituted Abraham’s sons (Galatians 3:7; Romans 4:16), and receive their blessing only along with that “believer” (Galatians 3:9) in the steps of whose faith it is that they are walking (Romans 4:12) when they believe on Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead (Romans 4:24). And not only Abraham, but the whole series of Old Testament heroes are conceived by them to be examples of the same faith which was required of them “unto the gaining of the soul” (Hebrews 11). Wrought in them by the same Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:13), it produced in them the same fruits, and constituted them a “cloud of witnesses” by whose testimony we should be stimulated to run our own race with like patience in dependence on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Nowhere is the demand of faith treated as a novelty of the new covenant, or is there a distinction drawn between the faith of the two covenants; everywhere the sense of continuity is prominent (John 5:24, 46; 12:38, 39, 44; 1 Peter 2:6), and the “proclamation of faith” (Galatians 3:2, 5; Romans 10:16) is conceived as essentially one in both dispensations, under both of which the law reigns that “the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). Nor do we need to penetrate beneath the surface of the Old Testament to perceive the justice of this New Testament view. Despite the infrequency of the occurrence on its pages of the terms “faith” [and] “to believe,” the religion of the Old Testament is obviously as fundamentally a religion of faith as is that of the New Testament. There is a sense, to be sure, in which all religion presupposes faith (Hebrews 11:6), and in this broad sense the religion of Israel, too, necessarily rested on faith. But the religion of Israel was a religion of faith in a far more specific sense than this; and that not merely because faith was more consciously its foundation, but because its very essence consisted in faith, and this faith was the same radical self-commitment to God, not merely as the highest good of the holy soul, but as the gracious Saviour of the sinner, which meets us as the characteristic feature of the religion of the New Testament. Between the faith of the two Testaments there exists, indeed, no further difference than that which the progress of the historical working out of redemption brought with it.

The hinge of Old Testament religion from the very beginning turns on the facts of man’s sin (Genesis 3) and consequent unworthiness (Genesis 3:2-10), and of God’s grace (Genesis 3:15) and consequent saving activity (Genesis 3:4; 4:5; 6:8, 13f.). This saving activity presents itself from the very beginning also under the form of promise or covenant, the radical idea of which is naturally faithfulness on the part of the promising God with the answering attitude of faith on the part of the receptive people. Face to face with a holy God, the sinner has no hope except in the free mercy of God, and can be authorized to trust in that mercy only by express assurance. Accordingly, the only cause of salvation is from the first the pitying love of God (Genesis 3:15, 8:21), which freely grants benefits to man; while on man’s part there is never question of merit or of a strength by which he may prevail (1 Samuel 2:9), but rather a constant sense of unworthiness (Genesis 32:10), by virtue of which humility appears from the first as the keynote of Old Testament piety. . . . [F]rom the very beginning the distinctive feature of the life of the pious is that it is a life of faith, that its regulative principle is drawn, not from the earth but from above. Thus the first recorded human acts after the Fall—the naming of Eve, and the birth and naming of Cain—are expressive of trust in God’s promise that, though men should die for their sins, yet man should not perish from the earth, but should triumph over the tempter; in a word, in the great promise of the Seed (Genesis 3:15). Similarly, the whole story of the Flood is so ordered as to throw into relief, on the one hand, the free grace of God in His dealings with Noah (Genesis 6:8, 18; 8:1, 21; 9:8), and, on the other, the determination of Noah’s whole life by trust in God and His promises (Genesis 6:22; 7:5; 9:20). The open declaration of the faith-principle of Abraham’s life (Genesis 15:6) only puts into words, in the case of him who stands at the root of Israel’s whole national and religious existence, what not only might also be said of all the patriarchs, but what actually is most distinctly said both of Abraham and of them through the medium of their recorded history. The entire patriarchal narrative is set forth with the design and effect of exhibiting the life of the servants of God as a life of faith, and it is just by the fact of their implicit self-commitment to God that throughout the narrative the servants of God are differentiated from others. This does not mean, of course, that with them faith took the place of obedience: an entire self-commitment to God which did not show itself in obedience to Him would be self-contradictory, and the testing of faith by obedience is therefore a marked feature of the patriarchal narrative. But it does mean that faith was with them the precondition of all obedience. The patriarchal religion is essentially a religion, not of law but of promise, and therefore not primarily of obedience but of trust; the holy walk is characteristic of God’s servants (Genesis 5:22, 24; 6:9; 17:1; 24:40; 48:15), but it is characteristically described as a walk “with God”; its peculiarity consisted precisely in the ordering of life by entire trust in God, and it expressed itself in conduct growing out of this trust (Genesis 3:20; 4:1; 6:22; 7:5; 8:18; 12:4; 17:23; 21:12, 16, 22). The righteousness of the patriarchal age was thus but the manifestation in life of an entire self-commitment to God, in unwavering trust in His promises.

The piety of the Old Testament thus began with faith. . . . Faith, therefore, does not appear as one of the precepts of the law, nor as a virtue superior to its precepts, nor yet as a substitute for keeping them; it rather lies behind the law as its presupposition. Accordingly, in the history of the giving of the law, faith is expressly emphasized as the presupposition of the whole relation existing between Israel and Jehovah. The signs by which Moses was accredited, and all Jehovah’s deeds of power, had as their design (Exodus 3:12; 4:1, 5, 8, 9; 19:4, 9) and their effect (Exodus 4:31; 12:28, 34; 14:31; 24:3, 7; Psalm 106:12) the working of faith in the people; and their subsequent unbelief is treated as the deepest crime they could commit (Numbers 14:11; Deuteronomy 1:32; 9:23; Psalm 78:22, 32, 106:24), as is even momentary failure of faith on the part of their leaders (Numbers 20:12). It is only as a consequent of the relation of the people to Him, instituted by grace on His part and by faith on theirs, that Jehovah proceeds to carry out His gracious purposes for them, delivering them from bondage, giving them a law for the regulation of their lives, and framing them in the promised land into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. In other words, it is a precondition of the law that Israel’s life is not of the earth, but is hid with God, and is therefore to be ordered by His precepts. Its design was, therefore, not to provide a means by which man might come into relation with Jehovah, but to publish the mode of life incumbent on those who stand in the relation of children to Jehovah[.] ((“The Biblical Doctrine of Faith,” Warfield, in Biblical Doctrines, vol. 2 of Works)

[121]        Summarizing the evidence of the New Testament, Warfield writes:

By means of the providentially mediated diversity of emphasis of the New Testament writers on the several aspects of faith, the outlines of the biblical conception of faith are thrown into very high relief.

Of its subjective nature we have what is almost a formal definition in the description of it as an “assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). It obviously contains in it, therefore, an element of knowledge (Hebrews 11:6), and it as obviously issues in conduct (Hebrews 11:8, cf. 5:9; 1 Peter 1:22). But it consists neither in assent nor in obedience, but in a reliant trust in the invisible Author of all good (Hebrews 11:27), in which the mind is set upon the things that are above and not on the things that are upon the earth (Colossians 3:2, cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Matthew 6:25. The examples cited in Hebrews 11 are themselves enough to show that the faith there commended is not a mere belief in God’s existence and justice and goodness, or crediting of His word and promises, but a practical counting of Him faithful (Hebrews 11:11), with a trust so profound that no trial can shake it (Hebrews 11:35), and so absolute that it survives the loss of even its own pledge (Hebrews 11:17). So little is faith in its biblical conception merely a conviction of the understanding, that, when that is called faith, the true idea of faith needs to be built up above this word (James 2:14ff). It is a movement of the whole inner man (Romans 10:9, 10), and is set in contrast with an unbelief that is akin, not to ignorance but to disobedience (Hebrews 3:18, 19; John 3:36; Romans 11:20, 30, 15:31; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 4:2, 6; 1 Peter 1:7, 8; 3:1, 20; 4:18; Acts 14:2; 19:9), and that grows out of, not lack of information, but that aversion of the heart from God (Hebrews 3:12) which takes pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:12), and is so unsparingly exposed by our Lord (John 3:19; 5:44; 8:47; 10:26). In the breadth of its idea, it is thus the going out of the heart from itself and its resting on God in confident trust for all good. But the scriptural revelation has to do with, and is directed to the needs of, not man in the abstract, but sinful man; and for sinful man this hearty reliance on God necessarily becomes humble trust in Him for the fundamental need of the sinner—forgiveness of sins and reception into favour. In response to the revelations of His grace and the provisions of His mercy, it commits itself without reserve and with abnegation of all self-dependence, to Him as its sole and sufficient Saviour, and thus, in one act, empties itself of all claim on God and casts itself upon His grace alone for salvation.

It is, accordingly, solely from its object that faith derives its value. This object is uniformly the God of grace, whether conceived of broadly as the source of all life, light, and blessing, on whom man in his creaturely weakness is entirely dependent, or, whenever sin and the eternal welfare of the soul are in view, as the Author of salvation in whom alone the hope of unworthy man can be placed. This one object of saving faith never varies from the beginning to the end of the scriptural revelation; though, naturally, there is an immense difference between its earlier and later stages in fulness of knowledge as to the nature of the redemptive work by which the salvation intrusted to God shall be accomplished; and as naturally there occurs a very great variety of forms of statement in which trust in the God of salvation receives expression. Already, however, at the gate of Eden, the God in whom the trust of our first parents is reposed is the God of the gracious promise of the retrieval of the injury inflicted by the serpent; and from that beginning of knowledge the progress is steady, until, what is implied in the primal promise having become express in the accomplished work of redemption, the trust of sinners is explicitly placed in the God who was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). Such a faith, again, could not fail to embrace with humble confidence all the gracious promises of the God of salvation, from which indeed it draws its life and strength; nor could it fail to lay hold with strong conviction on all those revealed truths concerning Him which constitute, indeed, in the varied circumstances in which it has been called upon to persist throughout the ages, the very grounds in view of which it has been able to rest upon Him with steadfast trust. These truths, in which the “Gospel” or glad-tidings to God’s people has been from time to time embodied, run all the way from such simple facts as that it was the very God of their fathers that had appeared unto Moses for their deliverance (Exodus 4:5), to such stupendous facts, lying at the root of the very work of salvation itself, as that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God sent of God to save the world (John 6:69; 8:24; 11:42; 13:19; 16:27, 30; 17:8, 21; 20:31; 1 John 5:15), that God has raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14), and that as His children we shall live with Him (Romans 6:8). But in believing this variously presented Gospel, faith has ever terminated with trustful reliance, not on the promise but on the Promiser,— not on the propositions which declare God’s grace and willingness to save, or Christ’s divine nature and power, or the reality and perfection of His saving work, but on the Saviour upon whom, because of these great facts, it could securely rest as on One able to save to the uttermost. Jesus Christ, God the Redeemer, is accordingly the one object of saving faith, presented to its embrace at first implicitly and in promise, and ever more and more openly until at last it is entirely explicit and we read that “a man is not justified save through faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16). If, with even greater explicitness still, faith is sometimes said to rest upon some element in the saving work of Christ, as, for example, upon His blood or His righteousness (Romans 3:25; 2 Peter 1:1), obviously such a singling out of the very thing in His work on which faith takes hold, in no way derogates from its repose upon Him, and Him only, as the sole and sufficient Saviour.

The saving power of faith resides thus not in itself, but in the Almighty Saviour on whom it rests. It is never on account of its formal nature as a psychic act that faith is conceived in Scripture to be saving,—as if this frame of mind or attitude of heart were itself a virtue with claims on God for reward, or at least especially pleasing to Him (either in its nature or as an act of obedience) and thus predisposing Him to favour, or as if it brought the soul into an attitude of receptivity or of sympathy with God, or opened a channel of communication from Him. It is not faith that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ: faith in any other saviour, or in this or that philosophy or human conceit (Colossians 2:16, 18; 1 Timothy 4:1), or in any other gospel than that of Jesus Christ and Him as crucified (Galatians 1:8, 9), brings not salvation but a curse. It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or the nature of faith, but in the object of faith; and in this the whole biblical representation centres, so that we could not more radically misconceive it than by transferring to faith even the smallest fraction of that saving energy which is attributed in the Scriptures solely to Christ Himself. This purely mediatory function of faith is very clearly indicated in the regimens in which it stands, which ordinarily express simple instrumentality. It is most frequently joined to its verb as the dative of means or instrument (Acts 15:9; 26:18; Romans 3:28; 4:20; 5:2; 11:20; 2 Corinthians 1:24; Hebrews 11:3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31); and the relationship intended is further explained by the use to express it of the prepositions e˙k (Romans 1:17; 3:26, 30; 4:16; 5:1; 9:30, 32; 10:6; 14:23; Galatians 2:16; 3:7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 27, 28; 5:5, 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 10:38; James 2:24) and dia¿ (with the genitive, never with the accusative, Romans 3:22, 25, 30; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 2:16; 3:14, 26; 2 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 6:12; 11:33, 39; 1 Peter 1:5),—the fundamental idea of the former construction being that of source or origin, and of the latter that of mediation or instrumentality, though they are used together in the same context, apparently with no distinction of meaning (Romans 3:25, 26, 30; Galatians 2:16). It is not necessary to discover an essentially different implication in the exceptional usage of the prepositions e˙pi÷ (Acts 3:16; Philippians 3:9) and kata¿ (Hebrews 11:7, 13; cf. Matthew 9:29) in this connexion: e˙pi÷ is apparently to be taken in a quasi-temporal sense, “on faith,” giving the occasion of the divine act, and kata¿ very similarly in the sense of conformability, “in conformity with faith.” Not infrequently we meet also with a construction with the preposition e˙n which properly designates the sphere, but which in passages like Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 appears to pass over into the conception of instrumentality.

So little indeed is faith conceived as containing in itself the energy or ground of salvation, that it is consistently represented as, in its origin, itself a gratuity from God in the prosecution of His saving work. It comes, not of one’s own strength or virtue, but only to those who are chosen of God for its reception (2 Thessalonians 2:13), and hence is His gift (Ephesians 6:23, cf. 2:8, 9; Philippians 1:29), through Christ (Acts 3:16; Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 1:21; cf. Hebrews 12:2), by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 5:5), by means of the preached word (Romans 10:17; Galatians 3:2, 5); and as it is thus obtained from God (2 Peter 1:1; Jude 3; 1 Peter 1:21), thanks are to be returned to God for it (Colossians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:3). Thus, even here all boasting is excluded, and salvation is conceived in all its elements as the pure product of unalloyed grace, issuing not from, but in, good works (Ephesians 2:8-12). The place of faith in the process of salvation, as biblically conceived, could scarcely, therefore, be better described than by the use of the scholastic term “instrumental cause.” Not in one portion of the Scriptures alone, but throughout their whole extent, it is conceived as a boon from above which comes to men, no doubt through the channels of their own activities, but not as if it were an effect of their energies, but rather, as it has been finely phrased, as a gift which God lays in the lap of the soul. “With the heart,” indeed, “man believeth unto righteousness”; but this believing does not arise of itself out of any heart indifferently, nor is it grounded in the heart’s own potencies; it is grounded rather in the freely-giving goodness of God, and comes to man as a benefaction out of heaven. . . .

[H]e who humbly but confidently casts himself on the God of salvation has the assurance that he shall not be put to shame (Romans 11:11; 9:33), but shall receive the end of his faith, even the salvation of his soul (1 Peter 1:9). This salvation is no doubt, in its idea, received all at once (John 3:36; 1 John 5:12); but it is in its very nature a process, and its stages come, each in its order. First of all, the believer, renouncing by the very act of faith his own righteousness which is out of the law, receives that “righteousness which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God on faith” (Philippians 3:9, cf. Romans 3:22; 4:11; 9:30; 10:3, 10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 5:5; Hebrews 11:7; 2 Peter 1:1). On the ground of this righteousness, which in its origin is the “righteous act” of Christ, constituted by His “obedience” (Romans 5:18, 19), and comes to the believer as a “gift” (Romans 5:17), being reckoned to him apart from works (Romans 4:6), he that believes in Christ is justified in God’s sight, received into His favour, and made the recipient of the Holy Spirit (John 7:39, cf. Acts 5:32), by whose indwelling men are constituted the sons of God (Romans 8:13). And if children, then are they heirs (Romans 8:17), assured of an incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance, reserved in heaven for them; and meanwhile they are guarded by the power of God through faith unto this gloriously complete salvation (1 Peter 1:4, 5). Thus, though the immediate effect of faith is only to make the believer possessor before the judgment-seat of God of the alien righteousness wrought out by Christ, through this one effect it draws in its train the whole series of saving acts of God, and of saving effects on the soul. Being justified by faith, the enmity which has existed between the sinner and God has been abolished, and he has been introduced into the very family of God, and made sharer in all the blessings of His house (Ephesians 2:13f.). Being justified by faith, he has peace with God, and rejoices in the hope of the glory of God, and is enabled to meet the trials of life, not merely with patience but with joy (Romans 5:1f.). Being justified by faith, he has already working within him the life which the Son has brought into the world, and by which, through the operations of the Spirit which those who believe in Him receive (John 7:39), he is enabled to overcome the world lying in the evil one, and, kept by God from the evil one, to sin not (1 John 5:19). In a word, because we are justified by faith, we are, through faith, endowedwith all the privileges and supplied with all the graces of the children of God. (“The Biblical Doctrine of Faith,” Biblical Doctrines, Warfield, vol. 2 of Works)

[122]        di÷kaioß. The complete list of New Testament references is: Matthew 1:19; 5:45; 9:13; 10:41; 13:17, 43, 49; 20:4, 7; 23:28–29, 35; 25:37, 46; 27:19, 24; Mark 2:17; 6:20; Luke 1:6, 17; 2:25; 5:32; 12:57; 14:14; 15:7; 18:9; 20:20; 23:47, 50; John 5:30; 7:24; 17:25; Acts 3:14; 4:19; 7:52; 10:22; 22:14; 24:15; Romans 1:17; 2:13; 3:10, 26; 5:7, 19; 7:12; Galatians 3:11; Ephesians 6:1; Philippians 1:7; 4:8; Colossians 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:5–6; 1 Timothy 1:9; 2 Timothy :8; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 10:38; 11:4; 12:23; James 5:6, 16; 1 Peter 3:12, 18; 4:18; 2 Peter 1:13; 2:7–8; 1 John 1:9; 2:1, 29; 3:7, 12; Revelation 15:3; 16:5, 7; 19:2; 22:11.

[123]        Romans 5:19; also 1 John 3:7, “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” tekni÷a, mhdei«ß plana¿tw uJma◊ß: oJ poiw◊n th\n dikaiosu/nhn di÷kaio/ß e˙sti, kaqw»ß e˙kei√noß di÷kaio/ß e˙stin. The one who characteristically practices righteousness as a lifestyle (oJ poiw◊n th\n dikaiosu/nhn), although he does so imperfectly (cf. 1 John 1:8-10), is nonetheless perfectly righteous, even as God is righteous (di÷kaio/ß e˙sti, kaqw»ß e˙kei√noß di÷kaio/ß e˙stin), because of the imputed righteousness received at the moment of conversion, faith, and regeneration.

[124]        Matthew 27:19, 24; Luke 23:47; 1 Peter 2:21-24; 3:18; 1 John 2:1, 29.

[125]        John 17:24; Acts 3:14; 7:52; 22:14; Romans 3:26; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 16:5.

[126]        Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32; cf. 15:7; 18:9.

[127]        Matthew 23:28; Luke 20:20; Acts 10:22.

[128]        Matthew 10:41; 13:17; 1 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:8; 2 Peter 2:7-8; 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 12.

[129]        Matthew 23:28-29, 35; Luke 14:4; Romans 5:7; Hebrews 11:4; 12:23; James 5:16; Revelation 22:11.

[130]        Matthew 13:41-43, 48-49; 25:34-46.

[131]        aÓpeiqh/ß, Luke 1:17.

[132]        a‡dikoß, Luke 16:10.

[133]        Revelation 22:11, oJ rJupw◊n, from rJupo/w.

[134]        1 Peter 4:18, aÓsebh/ß.

[135]        1 Peter 4:18, aJmartwlo/ß. While a sinful saint Peter, feeling overwhelmed, once refers to himself as a aJmartwlo/ß (Luke 5:8), in all the clear texts where the Divine determination is in view, the unregenerate, not the regenerate, are sinners; see the complete list of texts: Matthew 9:10–11, 13; 11:19; 26:45; Mark 2:15–17; 8:38; 14:41; Luke 5:8, 30, 32; 6:32–34; 7:34, 37, 39; 13:2; 15:1–2, 7, 10; 18:13; 19:7; 24:7; John 9:16, 24–25, 31; Romans 3:7; 5:8, 19; 7:13; Galatians 2:15, 17; 1 Timothy 1:9, 15; Hebrews 7:26; 12:3; James 4:8; 5:20; 1 Peter 4:18; Jude 1:15.

[136]        Matthew 5:45; 13:48-49; Luke 23:50. Such a man is both aÓgaqo/ß and kalo/ß as opposed to ponhro/ß,sapro/ß, a‡dikoß, and kako/ß (1 Peter 3:12).

[137]        Luke 2:25, eujla¿bhß.

[138]        logi÷zomai, Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23.

[139]        This fact is easily verifiable by an examination of the 41 instances of logi÷zomai in the New Testament: Mark 11:31; 15:28; Luke 22:37; Acts 19:27; Romans 2:3, 26; 3:28; 4:3–6, 8–11, 22–24; 6:11; 8:18, 36; 9:8; 14:14; 1 Corinthians 4:1; 13:5, 11; 2 Corinthians 3:5; 5:19; 10:2, 7, 11; 11:5; 12:6; Galatians 3:6; Philippians 3:13; 4:8; 2 Timoty 4:16; Hebrews 11:19; James 2:23; 1 Peter 5:12.

[140]        dikaio/w. The verb appears 40 times in the New Testament: Matthew 11:19; 12:37; Luke 7:29, 35; 10:29; 16:15; 18:14; Acts 13:39; Romans 2:13; 3:4, 20, 24, 26, 28, 30; 4:2, 5; 5:1, 9; 6:7; 8:30, 33; 1 Corinthians 4:4; 6:11; Galatians 2:16–17; 3:8, 11, 24; 5:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 3:7; James 2:21, 24–25; Revelation 22:11.

[141]        Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38.

[142]        za¿w. The verb appears 142 times in 127 verses in the New Testament. Other uses are found, in addition to those listed in the text. The verb is employed to designate fresh spring water (“living” water) rather than stagnant water, John 4:10, 11; 7:38; Revelation 7:17 (cf. Genesis 21:19; 26:19; Leviticus 14:5–6, 50–51; Numbers 19:17; Song 4:15; Zechariah 14:8, LXX; the “living water,” while literally fresh spring water, is also certainly used with spiritual significance), to identify the Scripture as a “living” Word (Acts 7:38; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23), etc.; not every verse is categorized in the body of the text above. The complete list of references is: Matthew 4:4; 9:18; 16:16; 22:32; 26:63; 27:63; Mark 5:23; 12:27; 16:11; Luke 2:36; 4:4; 10:28; 15:13; 20:38; 24:5, 23; John 4:10–11, 50–51, 53; 5:25; 6:51, 57–58, 69; 7:38; 11:25–26; 14:19; Acts 1:3; 7:38; 9:41; 10:42; 14:15; 17:28; 20:12; 22:22; 25:19, 24; 26:5; 28:4; Romans 1:17; 6:2, 10–11, 13; 7:1–3, 9; 8:12–13; 9:26; 10:5; 12:1; 14:7–9, 11; 1 Corinthians 7:39; 9:14; 15:45; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 3:3; 4:11; 5:15; 6:9, 16; 13:4; Galatians 2:14, 19–20; 3:11–12; 5:25; Philippians 1:21–22; Colossians 2:20; 3:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 3:8; 4:15, 17; 5:10; 1 Timothy 3:15; 4:10; 5:6; 6:17; 2 Timothy 3:12; 4:1; Titus 2:12; Hebrews 2:15; 3:12; 4:12; 7:8, 25; 9:14, 17; 10:20, 31, 38; 12:9, 22; James 4:15; 1 Peter 1:3, 23; 2:4–5, 24; 4:5–6; 1 John 4:9; Revelation 1:18; 2:8; 3:1; 4:9–10; 5:14; 7:2, 17; 10:6; 13:14; 15:7; 16:3; 19:20; 20:4.

[143]        Matthew 16:16; 26:63; John 6:57; Acts 14:15; Romans 9:26; 14:11; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 6:16; Galatians 2:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:15; 4:10; 6:17; Hebrews 3:12; 9:14; 10:31; 12:22; Revelation 1:18; 4:9-10; 5:14; 7:2; Revelation 10:6; 15:7.

[144]        Matthew 27:63; Mark 5:23; Luke 2:36; 15:13; John 4:50, 51, 53; Acts 10:42; 17:28; 22:22; 25:24; 26:5; 28:4; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39; 9:14; 15:45; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 6:9; Galatians 2:14; Philippians 1:21-22; Colossians 2:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17; 1 Timothy 5:6; 2 Timothy 3:12; 4:1; Titus 2:12; Hebrews 2:15; 9:17; James 4:15; 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 13:14; 16:3; 19:20.

[145]        Matthew 9:18; Acts 9:41; 20:12.

[146]        John 5:25; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Revelation 20:4.

[147]        Mark 16:11; Luke 24:5, 23; Acts 1:3; 25:19; 2 Corinthains 13:4.

[148]        John 6:57; 14:19; Hebrews 7:8, 25; Revelation 1:18; 2:8. The believer’s eternal life is derived from the living Triune God through Christ as Theanthropic Mediator; cf. John 1:4; 5:26-27; 1 John 1:1-2; 2:25.

[149]        Romans 8:12-13; Colossians 3:7.

[150]        Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; Romans 6:2, 10, 11, 13; 12:1; 14:7-9; 2 Corinthians 4:11; 5:15; Galatians 2:19-20; 1 Peter 2:24.

[151]        Matthew 22:32; Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38.

[152]        Luke 10:28; John 6:51, 57, 58; 11:25-26; 14:19; Romans 1:17; 8:13; 10:5; Galatians 3:11-12; 5:25; 1 Thessalonians 5:10; Hebrews 10:38; 12:9; 1 John 4:9; Revelation 3:1.

[153]        zwh/. The noun appears 134 times in 126 verses. The complete list of references is: Matthew 7:14; 18:8–9; 19:16–17, 29; 25:46; Mark 9:43, 45; 10:17, 30; Luke 1:75; 10:25; 12:15; 16:25; 18:18, 30; John 1:4; 3:15–16, 36; 4:14, 36; 5:24, 26, 29, 39–40; 6:27, 33, 35, 40, 47–48, 51, 53–54, 63, 68; 8:12; 10:10, 28; 11:25; 12:25, 50; 14:6; 17:2–3; 20:31; Acts 2:28; 3:15; 5:20; 8:33; 11:18; 13:46, 48; 17:25; Romans 2:7; 5:10, 17–18, 21; 6:4, 22–23; 7:10; 8:2, 6, 10, 38; 11:15; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 15:19; 2 Corinthians 2:16; 4:10–12; 5:4; Galatians 6:8; Ephesians 4:18; Philippians 1:20; 2:16; 4:3; Colossians 3:3–4; 1 Timothy 1:16; 4:8; 6:12, 19; 2 Timothy 1:1, 10; Titus 1:2; 3:7; Hebrews 7:3, 16; James 1:12; 4:14; 1 Peter 3:7, 10; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 John 1:1–2; 2:25; 3:14–15; 5:11–13, 16, 20; Jude 1:21; Revelation 2:7, 10; 3:5; 11:11; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:6, 27–22:2; 22:14, 17, 19.

[154]        Luke 16:25; John 12:25; Acts 8:33; 17:25; Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 15:19; 2 Corinthians 4:11; Philippians 1:20; 1 Timothy 4:8; James 4:14; Revelation 11:11.

[155]        Luke 1:75.

[156]        Luke 12:15; Acts 3:15; 1 Peter 3:7, 10.

[157]        John 5:26; Romans 5:10; Hebrews 7:3, 16; 1 John 1:1-2.

[158]        Matthew 7:14; 18:8-9; 19:16-17, 29; 25:46; Mark 9:43, 45, 10:17, 30; Luke 10:25; 18:18, 30; John 1:4; 3:15-16, 36; 4:14, 46; 5:24, 26, 29, 39, 40; 6:27, 33, 35, 40, 47, 48, 51, 53, 54, 63, 68; 8:12; 10:10; 11:25; 12:25, 50; 14:6; 17:2-3; 20:31; Acts 2:28; 3:15; 5:20; 11:18; 13:46, 48; Romans 2:6; 5:17, 21; 6:4, 22-23; 7:10; 8:2, 6, 10; 11:15; 2 Corinthians 2:16; 4:10-12; 5:4; Galatians 6:8; Ephesians 4:18; Philippians 2:16; 4:3; Colossians 3:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:16; 4:8; 6:12, 19; 2 Timothy 1:1, 10; Titus 1:2; 3:7; James 1:12; 1 Peter 3:7, 10; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 John 1:1-2; 2:25; 3:14-15; 5:11-13, 16, 20; Jude 21; Revelation 2:7, 10; 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:6, 27; 22:1-2, 14, 16, 19.

[159]        pisteu/w. The verb appears 248 times in the New Testament: Matthew 8:13; 9:28; 18:6; 21:22, 25, 32; 24:23, 26; 27:42; Mark 1:15; 5:36; 9:23–24, 42; 11:23–24, 31; 13:21; 15:32; 16:13–14, 16–17; Luke 1:20, 45; 8:12–13, 50; 16:11; 20:5; 22:67; 24:25; John 1:7, 12, 50; 2:11, 22–24; 3:12, 15–16, 18, 36; 4:21, 39, 41–42, 48, 50, 53; 5:24, 38, 44, 46–47; 6:29–30, 35–36, 40, 47, 64, 69; 7:5, 31, 38–39, 48; 8:24, 30–31, 45–46; 9:18, 35–36, 38; 10:25–26, 37–38, 42; 11:15, 25–27, 40, 42, 45, 48; 12:11, 36–39, 42, 44, 46–47; 13:19; 14:1, 10–12, 29; 16:9, 27, 30–31; 17:8, 20–21; 19:35; 20:8, 25, 29, 31; Acts 2:44; 4:4, 32; 5:14; 8:12–13, 37; 9:26, 42; 10:43; 11:17, 21; 13:12, 39, 41, 48; 14:1, 23; 15:5, 7, 11; 16:31, 34; 17:12, 34; 18:8, 27; 19:2, 4, 18; 21:20, 25; 22:19; 24:14; 26:27; 27:25; Romans 1:16; 3:2, 22; 4:3, 5, 11, 17–18, 24; 6:8; 9:33; 10:4, 9–11, 14, 16; 13:11; 14:2; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 3:5; 9:17; 11:18; 13:7; 14:22; 15:2, 11; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 2:7, 16; 3:6, 22; Ephesians 1:13, 19; Philippians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 2:4, 10, 13; 4:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2:11–12; 1 Timothy 1:11, 16; 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 1:3; 3:8; Hebrews 4:3; 11:6; James 2:19, 23; 1 Peter 1:8, 21; 2:6–7; 1 John 3:23; 4:1, 16; 5:1, 5, 10, 13; Jude 5.

[160]        Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23.

[161]        Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38; pi÷stiß. The noun appears 244 times in the New Testament: Matthew 8:10; 9:2, 22, 29; 15:28; 17:20; 21:21; 23:23; Mark 2:5; 4:40; 5:34; 10:52; 11:22; Luke 5:20; 7:9, 50; 8:25, 48; 17:5–6, 19; 18:8, 42; 22:32; Acts 3:16; 6:5, 7–8; 11:24; 13:8; 14:9, 22, 27; 15:9; 16:5; 17:31; 20:21; 24:24; 26:18; Romans 1:5, 8, 12, 17; 3:3, 22, 25–28, 30–31; 4:5, 9, 11–14, 16, 19–20; 5:1–2; 9:30, 32; 10:6, 8, 17; 11:20; 12:3, 6; 14:1, 22–23; 16:26; 1 Corinthians 2:5; 12:9; 13:2, 13; 15:14, 17; 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 4:13; 5:7; 8:7; 10:15; 13:5; Galatians 1:23; 2:16, 20; 3:2, 5, 7–9, 11–12, 14, 22–26; 5:5–6, 22; 6:10; Ephesians 1:15; 2:8; 3:12, 17; 4:5, 13; 6:16, 23; Philippians 1:25, 27; 2:17; 3:9; Colossians 1:4, 23; 2:5, 7, 12; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 8; 3:2, 5–7, 10; 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3–4, 11; 2:13; 3:2; 1 Timothy 1:2, 4–5, 14, 19; 2:7, 15; 3:9, 13; 4:1, 6, 12; 5:8, 12; 6:10–12, 21; 2 Timothy 1:5, 13; 2:18, 22; 3:8, 10, 15; 4:7; Titus 1:1, 4, 13; 2:2, 10; 3:15; Philemon 1:5–6; Hebrews 4:2; 6:1, 12; 10:22, 38–11:1; 11:3–9, 11, 13, 17, 20–24, 27–31, 33, 39; 12:2; 13:7; James 1:3, 6; 2:1, 5, 14, 17–18, 20, 22, 24, 26; 5:15; 1 Peter 1:5, 7, 9, 21; 5:9; 2 Peter 1:1, 5; 1 John 5:4; Jude 1:3, 20; Revelation 2:13, 19; 13:10; 14:12.

            Note also the 67 uses of the adjective pisto/ß: Matthew 24:45; 25:21, 23; Luke 12:42; 16:10–12; 19:17; John 20:27; Acts 10:45; 13:34; 16:1, 15; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 4:2, 17; 7:25; 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:18; 6:15; Galatians 3:9; Ephesians 1:1; 6:21; Colossians 1:2, 7; 4:7, 9; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 Timothy 1:12, 15; 3:1, 11; 4:3, 9–10, 12; 5:16; 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:2, 11, 13; Titus 1:6, 9; 3:8; Hebrews 2:17; 3:2, 5; 10:23; 11:11; 1 Peter 4:19; 5:12; 1 John 1:9; 3 John 1:5; Revelation 1:5; 2:10, 13; 3:14; 17:14; 19:11; 21:5; 22:6.

            The words pisto/w (2 Timothy 3:4), aÓpiste÷w (Mark 16:11, 16; Luke 24:11, 41; Acts 28:24; Romans 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:13), aÓpisti÷a (Matthew 13:58; 17:20; Mark 6:6; 9:24; 16:14; Romans 3:3; 4:20; 11:20, 23; 1 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 3:12, 19), a‡pistoß (Matthew 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41; 12:46; John 20:27; Acts 26:8; 1 Corinthians 6:6; 7:12–15; 10:27; 14:22–24; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 6:14–15; 1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 1:15; Revelation 21:8) and ojligo/pistoß (Matthew 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; Luke 12:28) complete the word group in the New Testament. Naturally, at different points the various words in the word group are placed together; e. g., 1 Corinthians 14:22 contrasts toi√ß pisteu/ousin with toi√ß aÓpi÷stoiß.

[162]        The classification in the rest of this paragraph is not a comprehensive examination of all that is involved in every usage of pisteu/w in the New Testament. It provides an overview of all uses as background for the uses of pisteu/w that relate to sanctification, the subject of the paragraphs that follow. The classification of the uses of pi÷stiß follows the examination of the uses of pisteu/w.

[163]        The aorist of pisteu/w is employed for receipt of revelation about Christ that preceeds the aorist act of saving faith in John 4:21; 10:38; Acts 13:41; Romans 10:16 & Hebrews 11:6. In John 4:21, Christ commands the woman at the well to believe (Gu/nai, pi÷steuso/n moi) in the Word of God that He is speaking and revealing, so that she might come to saving faith, for receiving the Word is necessary to come to saving faith in Christ (John 10:38), although the unbeliever can exercise a kind of faith in Divine revelation that falls short of saving faith (John 2:23-3:3; Acts 8:13; 26:27-28).

[164]        The aorist of pisteu/w is employed for the instantaneous transaction of justifying faith in Matthew 21:32 (publicans and harlots believe the gospel as preached by John the Baptist, while the chief priests and elders did not believe, nor feel remorse, in order that they might believe); Mark 16:15-17; Luke 8:12; John 1:7; 4:39-41; 4:53; 5:44; 6:29-30; 7:31, 48; 8:24, 30; 9:36; 10:38 (where aorist belief in Christ’s miracles, receipt of revelation about Christ, preceeds the aorist act of saving faith); 10:42; 11:42, 45; 12:38, 47; 17:8, 21; 19:35; 20:29, 31; Acts 4:4, 32; 8:12-13 (genuine conversion in most, spurious “faith” in Simon the sorceror); 9:42; 11:17, 21; 13:12, 48; 14:1; 15:7; 16:31; 17:12, 34; 18:8; 19:2 (what Paul assumes was a true conversion, although it was not one at this point); 19:4; Romans 10:9 (summary action for both belief and confession, although belief, unlike confession, must take place at the moment of regeneration); 10:14; 13:11; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 15:2, 11; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:12 (cf. v. 11-13); 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:3.

            The future of pisteu/w likewise regularly represents the point of saving conversion, a fact supported in the contexts where belief as receiving the Word is under consideration (John 3:12; 5:47), where belief is shown to be entrusting (Luke 16:11), and, of course, where specifically saving belief is in view (John 11:48, cf. v. 42, 45 & 12:11; John 17:20; Romans 10:14). In Matthew 27:42 (cf. the aorist subjunctive in Mark 15:32) the Jewish religious leaders make a mocking promise to believe if Christ rejects the way of the cross, while one of the thieves crucified with Christ comes to saving faith in the crucified Christ (Luke 23:42), and after Christ’s death, because of His High Priestly intercession, the guard of Gentile soldiers watching Him are born again (Luke 23:34, 47; Matthew 27:54).

[165]        Thus, many of the aorists of pisteu/w in John express the initial action of saving faith, which leads to continuing faith. For example, the aorist belief of John 4:39-42 leads to the present tense belief of 4:42; the aorist belief of 8:30 leads to the faith expressed with a perfect participle in 8:31; 9:35-38 presents the sequence: “Are you a believer (present tense, pisteu/eiß)?” (9:35); “Who do I need to believe (aorist, pisteu/sw) on?” (9:36); “Me,” (9:37); “I am a believer [having just become one]; Pisteu/w,” (9:38) and so I now recognize You as Lord and God, the One who deserves worship: Pisteu/w, Ku/rie: kai« proseku/nhsen. Outside of John, comparisons are present such as the present participle in Acts 2:44 and the aorist participle in Acts 4:32, or the aorist imperative in Acts 16:31 and the perfect participle in 16:34, or the present and aorist in 10:43 and 11:17, or the interplay of tenses in Romans 10:9-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; cf. also the contrast in the aorist and present subjunctives in 1 John 3:23.

            The handful of instances of the imperfect of pisteu/sw provide only limited further support for a durative character of saving faith. In John 12:11, the imperfect is iterative and distributive, used of many coming to saving faith in Christ at different times because of the raising of Lazarus (cf. John 11:42, 45, 48). Acts 18:8 is another distributive use of the imperfect for many coming to conversion and being baptized. John 7:5 & 12:37 speak of continuing unbelief in Christ, as does John 5:46. John 5:46b does, however, provide some evidence for a durative character to saving faith—if those spoken of had been believing in Moses, they would have been believing in Christ (2nd class, present contrary-to-fact condition). Finally, John 2:24 speaks of Christ not entrusting or commiting Himself to those who had not truly come to saving faith in Him (cf. 2:23-3:3).

[166]        Thus, note the present infinitive of believe in Philippians 1:29; the people of God have faith in both its initial and continuing aspects given to them. The other present infinitives of pisteu/w in the New Testament are durative; see Luke 24:25; John 12:39; Romans 15:13; 1 Timothy 1:16 (not an exception because of the present tense of me÷llw—the verb appears 92 times in the present tense, 17 times in the imperfect, once in the future, and never in the aorist).

[167]        Thus, Scripture frequently employs a substantival present tense participle of pisteu/w to designate believers. Note Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; John 1:12; 3:15, 16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:35, 40, 47, 64; 7:38-39; 11:25-26; 12:44 (belief in the Son is belief in the Father also); 12:46; 14:12; Acts 2:44; 5:14 (believers added to the Lord’s church through baptism); 10:43; 13:39 (note the present tense of “justified”; compare the sense of Genesis 15:6; all who have their confidence in Christ are currently justified through the sole instrumentality of faith, a condition that began at the moment of conversion); 22:19; Romans 1:16; 3:22; 4:5, 11, 24; 9:33; 10:4; 10:11; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 14:22; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 2:10, 13; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Peter 1:21; 2:6, 7; 1 John 5:1, 5, 10, 13.

It is worthy of note that all believers, not a subcategory of believers who have entered a Higher Life, are designated with the substantival present participle of pisteu/w; no text in the Bible indicates that only some believers are specified with the substantival present participle of believe, or contrasts some believers that are within this category with other believers who are allegedly not so, while the category of being one who is believing is entered into at the moment of saving faith (cf. John 9:38 & many other texts), not at some later point.

The present indicative of pisteu/w in relation to conversion provides further evidence that the people of God are those who are believing in Christ’s Person, work, and Word. Note John 1:50; 8:45-46; 9:35, 38; 12:44; 14:10 (a question with ouj expects a positive answer); Acts 8:37; 27:25; Romans 10:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Note also the present adverbial participle in 1 Peter 1:8 and the present imperatives in Mark 1:15 & John 12:36, indicating that the response to the gospel is not initial belief alone, but also continuing faith. The use of the present tense of in matters other than conversion also supports a durative idea; see Acts 9:26; 15:11; 24:14; 26:27; Romans 6:8; 14:2; 1 Corinthians 11:18; 13:7; 1 John 4:1.

[168]        The aspect of the Greek perfect of pisteu/w encapsulates the combination of the point of conversion and the continuing faith in the regenerate; see John 3:18; 6:69; 8:31; 11:27; 16:27; 20:29; Acts 15:5; 16:34; 18:27; 19:18; 21:20, 25; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 3:8; 1 John 4:16; 5:10. The two instances where pisteu/w in the perfect is not used for personal conversion (1 Corinthians 9:17; Galatians 2:17) also both illustrate the aspect of the perfect as a portrayal of point action with continuing results.

[169]        The idea of committal or entrustment in pisteu/w is exemplified in Luke 16:11 (committing or entrusting true riches to a person); John 2:24 (Christ’s not committing Himself to the unregenerate); Romans 3:2 (the Word of God being entrusted or commited to Israel); 1 Corinthians 9:17; Galatians 2:7; 1 Timothy 1:11; Titus 1:3 (an administration of the gospel being committed or entrusted to Paul, or (1 Thessalonians 2:4) to Paul and his associates.

            Furthermore, “Deissmann in Light From the Ancient East gives several convincing quotations from the papyri to prove that pisteu/ein ei˙ß aujto/n meant surrender or submission to. A slave was sold into the name of the god of a temple; i. e., to be a temple servant. G. Milligan agrees with Deissmann that this papyri usage of ei˙ß aujto/n is also found regularly in the New Testament. Thus to believe on or . . . into the name of Jesus means to renounce self and to consider onself the life-time servant of Jesus” (pg. 105, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, H. E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey. New York, NY: MacMillan, 1955).

[170]        The element of assurance in pisteu/w is validated in all the texts where the idea of trusting or entrusting is prominent; cf. Luke 16:11; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:12. Compare 2 Timothy 3:14’s use of pisto/w, “to be sure about something because of its reliability, feel confidence, be convinced” (BDAG), for “the things which thou . . . hast been assured of,” and also the important pei÷qw word group.

[171]        Compare the uses of aÓpiste÷w, used in the New Testament only for disbelief in the resurrection of Christ (Mark 16:11; Luke 24:11, 41) and for those who do not believe and are consequently are eternally damned (Mark 16:16; Acts 28:24; Romans 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:13 (cf. 2:13 with 2:12b)).

[172]        John 6:36, 64; 10:25-26, 37-38; 16:9 (present tense); 7:5 (imperfect); 1 John 5:10 (present participle and perfect tense verb)

[173]        That is, they can have a temporary belief without possessing a root in themselves (Luke 8:13), a belief that the Lord Jesus is from God and a doer of miracles without genuine saving faith and the new birth (John 2:23-3:3; Acts 8:13-24), a belief that does not displace a predominant love of self, so that one is unwilling to confess Christ and endure religious persecution (John 12:42-43), and a belief that Christ speaks the truth (John 4:50) or that is an assent to doctrinal orthodoxy (James 2:19). Scripture never uses the perfect tense of pisteu/w for the “faith” of the unconverted, and John never uses the present tense in such a manner, either. The use of the present tense in Luke 8:13 is specifically limited in context (oi≠ pro\ß kairo\n pisteu/ousi), and the character of the belief as mere assent is also very clear in the context of James 2:19. The testimony of Scripture is clear that saints exercise saving faith at a particular moment in time, and that their belief then continues, while the ungodly neither exercise saving faith nor have a persevereing faith.

[174]        In Jude 5, those spoken of are eternally destroyed because they are those who never come to faith (tou\ß mh\ pisteu/santaß, aorist participle). In John 3:18, the one in a state of unbelief (oJ . . . mh\ pisteu/wn, contrasted with oJ pisteu/wn ei˙ß aujto\n) is already condemned (h¡dh ke÷kritai) because he has never come to place his faith in the Son of God (o¢ti mh\ pepi÷steuken ei˙ß to\ o¡noma touv monogenouvß ui˚ouv touv Qeouv).

[175]        Mark 16:15-17.

[176]        Believing in a person and believing his message are closely related (Luke 22:67; John 10:25-26; Matthew 21:25, 32; Mark 11:31; Luke 20:5; all these texts are aorists). The Jews do not have God’s Word abiding (to\n lo/gon . . . oujk e¶cete me÷nonta) in them, because they do not believe (ouj pisteu/ete) in Christ (John 5:38). They should believe the testimony involved in Christ’s works (toi√ß e¶rgoiß pisteu/sate) in order that they might come to faith (iºna . . . pisteu/shte) in Christ as the Divine Messiah (John 10:25-26, 37-38). In John 5:44-47, the unconverted Jews were not able to come to faith in Christ (du/nasqe . . . pisteuvsai) because they were seeking honor of each other and not seeking the honor that comes from God alone (do/xan para» aÓllh/lwn lamba¿nonteß, kai« th\n do/xan th\n para» touv monou Qeouv ouj zhtei√te) and because, although they trusted in (hjlpi÷kate) Moses, they were actually in a state of unbelief in the Word written by Moses, and so were unable to believe in Christ or His Word (ei˙ ga»r e˙pisteu/ete MwshØv, e˙pisteu/ete a·n e˙moi÷: peri« ga»r e˙mouv e˙kei√noß e¶grayen. ei˙ de« toi√ß e˙kei÷nou gra¿mmasin ouj pisteu/ete, pw◊ß toi√ß e˙moi√ß rJh/masi pisteu/sete). Furthermore, remaining in unbelief concerning earthly things testified to by Christ (John 3:12a, present tense) prevents one from believing in heavenly things He speaks of (John 3:12b, future tense; cf. the example of unbelief (in the aorist) in Christ’s miraculous healing of the man born blind, John 9:18). Apart from signs and wonders the Jews would by no means believe (∆Ea»n mh\ shmei√a kai« te÷rata i¶dhte, ouj mh\ pisteu/shte, John 4:48, cf. 20:29), but even after Christ did vast numbers of miracles, they could not believe because of their hardened hearts and blinded eyes (John 12:38-39). Because the unconverted refuse to believe the Word, they will believe a Satanic lie (pisteuvsai . . . twˆ◊ yeu/dei) when it is set before them and be damned because they did not believe the truth (oi˚ mh\ pisteu/santeß thØv aÓlhqei÷a, 2 Thessalonians 2:11-13; contrasted with aÓdelfoi hjgaphme÷noi uJpo\ Kuri÷ou who have pi÷stei aÓlhqei÷aß).

[177]        pisto/ß. The translational difference between faithful and believing is a product of the adjective presenting the passive or active ideas of pisteu/w; pisto/ß is either “1. pertaining to being worthy of belief or trust, trustworthy, faithful, dependable, inspiring trust/faith, pass. aspect of pisteu/w” or “2. pert. to being trusting, trusting, cherishing faith/trust act. aspect of pisteu/w” (BDAG). The large majority of the time in the New Testament pisto/ß refers specifically to faithfulness; it is translated faithful 53 times, and believe or believing only 8 times out of its 67 appearances. All the references where pisto/ß sis predicated of non-animate objects necessarily refer to faithfulness, as only animated beings can actively believe; hence deeds can be faithful (3 John 5, “a faithful thing thou doest,” pisto\n poiei√ß), the mercies of David are “sure” or faithful (Acts 13:44), Scripture is faithful (Titus 1:9), and various sayings, in particular the words of God (Revelation 21:5; 22:6), are true and faithful (1 Timothy 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8). The complete list of references is: Matthew 24:45; 25:21, 23; Luke 12:42; 16:10–12; 19:17; John 20:27; Acts 10:45; 13:34; 16:1, 15; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 4:2, 17; 7:25; 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:18; 6:15; Galatians 3:9; Ephesians 1:1; 6:21; Colossians 1:2, 7; 4:7, 9; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 Timothy 1:12, 15; 3:1, 11; 4:3, 9–10, 12; 5:16; 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:2, 11, 13; Titus 1:6, 9; 3:8; Hebrews 2:17; 3:2, 5; 10:23; 11:11; 1 Peter 4:19; 5:12; 1 John 1:9; 3 John 5; Revelation 1:5; 2:10, 13; 3:14; 17:14; 19:11; 21:5; 22:6.

[178]        1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 10:23; 11:11; 1 Peter 4:19; 1 John 1:9.

            Lightfoot points out the close connection between believing and faithfulness in the idea of pisto/ß and its Hebrew and English cognates:

The Hebrew hÎn…wmTa, the Greek pi÷stiß, the Latin ‘fides,’ and the English ‘faith,’ hover between two meanings; trustfulness, the frame of mind which relies on another; and trustworthiness, the frame of mind which can be relied upon. Not only are the two connected together grammatically, as active and passive senses of the same word, or logically, as subject and object of the same act; but there is a close moral affinity between them. Fidelity, constancy, firmness, confidence, reliance, trust, belief—these are the links which connect the two extremes, the passive with the active meaning of ‘faith.’ Owing to these combined causes, the two senses will at times be so blended together that they can only be separated by some arbitrary distinction. When the members of the Christian brotherhood, for instance, are called ‘the faithful,’ oi˚ pistoi÷, what is meant by this? Does it imply their constancy, their trustworthiness, or their faith, their belief? In all such cases it is better to accept the latitude, and even the vagueness, of a word or phrase, than to attempt a rigid definition, which after all can be only artificial. And indeed the loss in grammatical precision is often more than compensated by the gain in theological depth. In the case of ‘the faithful’ for instance, does not the one quality of heart carry the other with it, so that they who are trustful are trusty also; they who have faith in God are stedfast and immovable in the path of duty? (Lightfoot, Commentary on Galatians, sec. “The Words Denoting ‘Faith’”)

[179]        Christ is a faithful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17; 3:2; cf. 3:5, Moses’ faithfulness as a type of Christ), and a faithful witness, (Revelation 1:5; 3:14; 19:11). Christ’s faithfulness in Revelation is set forth as a pattern for the believer’s faithfulness. Christ was a faithful witness unto death, and Christians must likewise be faithful unto death (Revelation 1:5; 2:10, 13; 3:14; 17:14; 19:11).

[180]        Moses as a type of the faithful Christ (Hebrews 3:5); Paul (1 Corinthians 7:25; 1 Timothy 1:12); Timothy (1 Corinthians 4:17); Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7); Epaphras (Colossians 1:7); Onesimus (Colossians 4:9); Silvanus (1 Peter 5:12); Antipas (Revelation 2:13) & Abraham (Galatians 3:9). The use of pi÷stoß for Abraham illustrates the continuity between those who are believing and those who are faithful; Abraham is the father and the pattern of the people of God, for he was faithful/believing and so are they. Similarly, those who love Christ—as all do who will be saved (John 8:42; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Ephesians 6:24)—are the faithful/believing who receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10; James 1:12).

[181]        Paul and his coworkers (1 Corinthians 4:2); the wives of deacons (1 Timothy 3:11); the children of qualified overseers (Titus 1:6); & male church members with the ability to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2; “faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also,” pistoi√ß aÓnqrw¿poiß, oiºtineß i˚kanoi« e¶sontai kai« e˚te÷rouß dida¿xai, are all the regenerate men, the believing and faithful men, in the church with teaching ability; Scripture gives no category of unfaithful and unbelieving men who are properly church members—the unfaithful are the unregenerate who are eternally damned, Revelation 21:8).

[182]        Acts 10:45; 16:1; 2 Corinthians 6:15; 1 Timothy 4:3, 10, 12, 5:16; 6:2. None of these passages even hint that some who believe are not faithful. Indeed, 1 Timothy 6:2 (And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort, oi˚ de« pistou\ß e¶conteß despo/taß mh\ katafronei÷twsan, o¢ti aÓdelfoi÷ ei˙sin: aÓlla» ma◊llon douleue÷twsan, o¢ti pistoi÷ ei˙si kai« aÓgaphtoi« oi˚ thvß eujergesi÷aß aÓntilambano/menoi. tauvta di÷daske kai« paraka¿lei.) specifically identifies the believing and the faithful. Those with “believing” masters—clearly all Christian masters, all who are “brethren”—are to honor their masters because they are “faithful and beloved.” pistoi÷ . . . kai« aÓgaphtoi÷ is translated correctly in the Authorized Version, for as “beloved” (aÓgaphto/ß) in the verse signifies “one being loved,” the passive sense of aÓgapa¿w, so “faithful” (pisto/ß) is the passive sense of of pisteu/w, that is, “faithful” rather than “believing.” That is, the masters are specified as “faithful and beloved,” rather than “believing and beloved.” Consequently, the two senses of pisto/ß are equated as identical categories in 1 Timothy 6:2. The “believing” are the “faithful.”

[183]        Matthew 24:45; 25:21, 23; Luke 12:42; 16:10-12; 19:17; Acts 16:15; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; Revelation 2:10; 17:14.

[184]        John 20:27, the verse containing the only use of pisto/ß in John’s Gospel, as well as the only use of a‡pistoß, is no exception. (The noun pi/stißdoes not appear in John’s Gospel.) The Apostle Thomas is not specified as one who is in the category of the faithless, but as one who is on the way to such a category, but is stopped from becoming faithless by the almighty power of the resurrected Christ—a power He exercises on behalf of all His people. Thomas had affirmed that he would by no means come to faith in Christ’s resurrection without seeing physical evidence of it (ouj mh\ pisteu/sw, John 20:25—an attitude Christ had condemned in the unregenerate Jews, 4:48), but upon the appearance of Christ in His resurrected body, the Lord exhorted Thomas to not become faithless and unbelieving, but faithful and believing (mh\ gi÷nou a‡pistoß, aÓlla» pisto/ß, John 20:27), accompanying His exhortation with supernatural grace and power, the kind of supernatural grace and power exerted by the risen Christ whenever He brings a sinner from darkness into light (cf. John 6:44), resulting in Thomas’s great confession of Christ as his own Lord and his own God (ÔO Ku/rio/ß mou kai« oJ Qeo/ß mou, 20:28), and Christ’s recognition that, as evidenced by his confession, Thomas was now in a state of believing, having passed out of his position on the road to faithlessness to a state of faith and consequent faithfulness (pepi÷steukaß, 20:29, so that Thomas was now pisto/ß, not one on the path to a‡pistoß, 20:27). The Lord Jesus’ word, mh\ gi÷nou a‡pistoß, aÓlla» pisto/ß, was Christ’s command to Thomas not to continue on the pathway toward becoming a faithless unbeliever, but rather to become a faithful believer, and His command was accompanied by effectual grace that made His Word so. By His word of command, Christ created the universe out of nothing (cf. the uses of gi÷nomai in John 1:3; 10 & Genesis 1:3, 6, etc.), and by the same omnipotent word of command, He created faith within Thomas. By his unbelief in the act of the resurrection, Thomas was in danger of becoming an unbeliever in Christ generally, and the Lord effectually interposed to deliver His beloved sheep from such a possibility by bringing him to a belief in the resurrection. “Stop becoming an unbeliever,” or “Do not be becoming an unbeliever,” mh\ gi÷nou a‡pistoß, using gi÷nomai, “to become,” is a different command than mh\ i¶sqi a‡pistoß, “Do not continue to be an unbeliever,” using ei˙mi÷, “to be.” John’s Gospel is very capable of clearly distinguishing gi÷nomai and ei˙mi÷ (cf. John 1:1–2, 4, 8–10, 15, 18 & John 1:3, 6, 10, 12, 14–15, 17). As Peter’s faith was, considered independently of Christ, able to fail, but because of Christ’s High Priestly intercession for Peter, the Apostle’s faith was certainly not going to fail, but would certainly be strengthened (Luke 22:32), so the Apostle Thomas’s faith, considered independently, was capable of failure, but Christ’s effectual work on his behalf as Mediator guaranteed that Thomas would not become an unbeliever (cf. John 17); instead, Christ’s command of power in John 20:27 immediately and effectually turned Thomas from the path towards unbelief and brought the Apostle to make his great confession to Christ, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

            Indeed, as John 20 is the climax of John’s Gospel, Thomas’ confession of the crucified and resurrected Christ as his own Lord and God (20:28), consequent upon Christ’s effectual command and exercise of supernatural efficacy upon Thomas to be a believer (20:27; cf. 6:44-45, 65), is a paradigm of the character of saving faith in the Son of God as exercised by the unbeliever (John 20:29-31). Thomas’s faith-response to the revelation of Christ is paradigmatic for the Divinely-enabled response of faith in the conversion of the lost and for the continuing Divinely-enabled faith-response to greater revelations of the Person and work of the Triune God to the believer. Thus, considered in context, John 20:27 is so far from proving that a true Christian can be a‡pistoß, “unbelieving/unfaithful,” instead of pisto/ß, “faithful/believing,” that it affirms both that conversion involves a transition from being a‡pistoß to being pisto/ß and that Christ prevents His people from ever falling into the category of a‡pistoß as He preserves every last one of them unto His eternal kingdom.

[185]        a‡pistoß. The complete list of references is: Matthew 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41; 12:46; John 20:27; Acts 26:8; 1 Corinthians 6:6; 7:12–15; 10:27; 14:22–24; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 6:14–15; 1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 1:15; Revelation 21:8. In every instance, with the sole exception of Acts 26:8, where reference is not made to persons, but to an event that is deemed hard to believe or incredible, it is very clear that the a‡pistoß is an unconverted person, one who is contrasted with the people of God, one who is under the control of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4) and whose eternal destiny is the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).

However, the noun aÓpisti÷a is used in the Gospels for not only for the lack of faith of the unsaved (Matthew 13:58; Mark 6:6) but also for the weakness of faith of the people of God (Mark 16:14) that reduces their effectiveness in service (Matthew 17:20; Mark 9:24). Paul restricts aÓpisti÷a to the unconverted (Romans 3:3; 4:20; 11:20, 23; 1 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 3:12, 19) in the manner that the entirety of the New Testament restricts the status of a‡pistoß to the unconverted.

[186]        Ephesians 1:1, cf. 1:2ff.; Colossians 1:2.

[187]       Matthew 24:45 vs. 51; 25:21, 23 vs. 25:30; Luke 12:42 vs. 46; 16:10-14 (the unfaithful are without true, spiritual riches, like the unconverted Pharisees); 19:17 vs. 22-27.

[188]        Revelation 2:10; 17:14.

[189]        pi÷stiß.

[190]        Matthew 8:10-11; 9:2; Mark 2:5; 5:34; 10:52; Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42; Acts 14:27; 15:9; 20:21; 26:18; Romans 3:25-28, 30-31; 4:5, 9, 11-14, 16, 19-20; 5:1-2, 9:30, 32; 10:6, 8, 17; 11:20; Galatians 3:2, 5, 7-9, 11-12, 14, 22-26, 5:5-6, Ephesians 2:8; Colossians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

[191]        An examination of all or at least almost all the passages referenced in the previous footnote will validate this fact. As Abraham’s faith in his initial conversion began a lifelong entrusting of himself to his Redeemer, so the Christian’s exercise of saving faith leads to his being one who walks in the steps of the faith exercised by Abraham (Romans 4:11-12) for the word of faith includes both righteousness received at the moment of conversion and the confession of Christ before men and life of prayer that springs out of the presence of faith in the heart (Romans 10:6-17); initial receipt of the Spirit at the moment of faith is united to the presence of faith that leads to the exercise of spiritual gifts (Galatians 3:2, 5), and those who receive righteousness by faith are those in whom faith works by love (Galatians 5:5-6). A variety of texts speak of the faith present as a mark of all the people of God; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17 & the texts in the following note.

[192]        Thus, all the people of God have faith, Luke 18:7-8; Romans 1:8, 12; 1 Corinthians 2:5; Galatians 6:10; Colossians 1:4; Philippians 2:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:2, 5-7; 2 Thessalonians 3:2.

[193]        James speaks of faith as the present possession of all the saints (James 1:3, 2:1, 5), and the kind of faith that they possess, the “faith of God’s elect” (Titus 1:1), is never without works (James 2:17-26). Hebrews similarly assumes justifying faith always results in perseverance, even in light of severe difficulties. Evidence from both James and Hebrews is explicated below.

[194]        uJpakoh\n pi÷stewß, Romans 1:5; 16:26. These two texts, the first and last references to faith in Romans, both mentioning the “obedience of faith” through which pagan Gentiles are transformed into a‚gioi, holy ones or saints (1:7), illustrate the fact that Romans teaches that the salvation which is received through faith includes not justification only (3-5), but sanctification also (6-8, 12-15).

[195]        In texts such as Romans 3:22; Galatians 2:16, 20; 3:22; Ephesians 3:12; Philippians 3:9 the pi÷stiß Cristouv, “faith of Christ,” and their related phrases are objective genitives, signifying “faith in Christ.” Compare Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:18; & pgs. 81-98, Chapter 7, “On the pi÷stiß Cristouv Question,” On Romans: And Other New Testament Essays, C. E. B. Cranfield. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1998. Carson & Beale note:

[P]rior to the 1970s the construction pistis Iēsou Christou was almost universally understood to mean “faith in Jesus Christ” (the so-called objective genitive), but in recent decades many scholars have argued that it should be rendered “the faith/faithfulness of Jesus Christ” (subjective genitive). . . . [T]he arguments usually advanced against the traditional interpretation are either irrelevant (e.g., some scholars point to the absence of pistis + objective genitive of a person in classical literature, but this absence is precisely what one would expect in documents that do not otherwise speak about the need for believing in a person) or based on an inadequate understanding of the objective genitive (e.g., that it is not natural, or that it does not apply in this case because pisteuō is construed with the dative or with a prepositional phrase). The ambiguity inherent in genitival constructions can be resolved only by examining unambiguous constructions in the immediate and broader contexts, preferably if they use the same or cognate terms. The NT as a whole, and Paul in particular, regularly and indisputably use both pistis and pisteuō of the individual’s faith in God or Christ, but they never make unambiguous statements such as episteusen Iēsous (“Jesus believed”) or pistos estin Iēsous (“Jesus is believing/faithful”). These and other considerations explain why the early fathers who spoke Greek as their native tongue never seem to have entertained the idea that this genitival construction has Jesus Christ as the subject of the implied action (pgs. 789-790, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, G. K. Beale & D. A. Carson. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007)

Similarly, Warfield noted:

[The] object [of] pi÷stiß is most frequently joined to [it] as an objective genitive, a construction occurring some seventeen times, twelve of which fall in the writings of Paul. In four of them the genitive is that of the thing, namely in Philippians 1:27 the gospel, in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 the saving truth, in Colossians 2:12 the almighty working of God, and in Acts 3:16 the name of Jesus. In one of them it is God (Mark 11:22). The certainty that the genitive is that of object in these cases is decisive with reference to its nature in the remaining cases, in which Jesus Christ is set forth as the object on which faith rests (Romans 3:22, 26; Galatians 2:16 [2x], 20; 3:22; Ephesians 3:12; 4:13; Philippians 3:9; James 2:1; Revelation 2:13; 14:12). (“The Biblical Doctrine of Faith,” Warfield, in Biblical Doctrines, vol. 2 of Works.)

Compare the many pisteu/w + ei˙ß contructions with Christ as their object (Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; John 1:12; 2:11; 3:15-18, etc.), although such faith directed toward Christ includes faith in that God who sent Him as well (John 5:24; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 1:21).

[196]        Acts 17:31; Romans 4:21. While personal assurance of salvation is not of the essence, but is of the well-being, of faith, faith does necessarily involve certainty about the ability and willingness of God to save in accordance with His gospel promises.

[197]        In Galatians 3:23, 25, “the faith” refers to the fuller revelation in the New Testament, as set in contrast with the Mosaic dispensation, that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the promised Messiah; saving faith now involves trusting that the son of Mary is the crucified and risen Redeemer.

[198]        thvß ei˙ß Cristo\n pi÷stewß.

[199]        Revelation 2:13; 14:12. “The faith” is “the faith of Jesus” (th\n pi÷stin ∆Ihsouv), who calls it “my faith” (th\n pi÷stin mou), because it is revelation from Him and about Him, a body of truth that pertains to Him and, being possessed by Him, is communicated to, received by, and practiced by His people.

[200]        Revelation 2:19; 13:10, etc. It is very clear that pi÷stiß refers, at times, to faithfulness, rather than to the subjective act of faith; see, e. g., Romans 3:3; Titus 2:10.

[201]        uJph/kouon thØv pi÷stei. The imperfect uJph/kouon includes more than just obedience to the Divine summons to pardon and justification.

[202]        All the references to pi÷stiß in in the pastoral epistles relate to the faith as a body of truth, while some to faithfulness also, and to the subjective exercise of faith in sanctification, with one or the other side of pi÷stiß emphasized to different degrees in the various passages; see 1 Timothy 1:2, 4–5, 14, 19; 2:7, 15; 3:9, 13; 4:1, 6, 12; 5:8, 12; 6:10–12, 21; 2 Timothy 1:5, 13; 2:18, 22; 3:8, 10, 15; 4:7; Titus 1:1, 4, 13; 2:2, 10; 3:15. The study entitled “The pi÷stiß word-group in the Pastoral Epistles” (pgs. 213-217, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, I. H. Marshall & P. H. Towner. London: T & T Clark, 2004) has some value, despite various errors, including those derived from rationalism.

[203]        1 Timothy 4:1, 6; 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2:18.

[204]        2 Timothy 3:8-16; 4:1-7.

[205]        Titus 1:10-16; 2:1-10; Jude 3-20; Revelation 2:13-16; cf. the results of coming to “the unity of the faith” in knowledge of and likeness to the Son of God in purity of doctrine and of life (Ephesians 4:14-16), in love for God with all the mind and all the heart and soul.

[206]        Matthew 23:23, referencing Micah 6:8. Micah’s “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (:ÔKy`RhølTa_MIo tRk™Rl Ao¶EnVxAh◊w dRs$Rj tAbSh∞Aa◊w ‹fDÚpVvIm twôøcSo) is referenced in Matthew as “judgment, mercy, and faith” (th\n kri÷sin kai« to\n e¶leon kai« th\n pi÷stin). Compare also Zechariah 7:9.

[207]        A pi÷stiß that is aÓnupo/kritoß; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:5. The believer, and especially the spiritual leader, must not be a fake or be disingenuous in his doctrinal profession or his lifestyle.

[208]        1 Timothy 1:19; cf. 3:9.

[209]        The “if,” ei¶ge, of Colossians 1:23 introduces a first class, not a third class conditional clause; Paul assumes that the Colossians will continue in the faith.

[210]        1 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4.

[211]        Jude 20. Jude opens and closes his epistle with a reference to “the faith” (Jude 3, 20), so “building up yourselves on your most holy faith,” thØv aJgiwta¿thØ uJmw◊n pi÷stei e˙poikodomouvnteß e˚autou/ß, refers to individual and corporate Christian edification on the basis of and grounded upon “the faith,” so that in this manner growing spiritually, believers will be protected from apostasy and “keep themselves in the love of God,” e˚autou\ß e˙n aÓga¿phØ Qeouv thrh/sete, Jude 21.

[212]        Mark 16:13-14; Luke 1:20 (cf. 1:45); 24:25.

[213]        Matthew 24:23, 26; Mark 13:21.

[214]        In all of the texts where faith is enjoined upon people for answer to prayer those who have exercised saving faith are in view; the unconverted are never in view.

[215]        Matthew 8:13; Mark 5:36; 9:23-24; Luke 1:45.

[216]        Note the present tenses for the state of faith associated with answered prayer in Matthew 9:28 (Pisteu/ete o¢ti du/namai touvto poihvsai; le÷gousin aujtwˆ◊, Nai÷, Ku/rie); 21:22 (pa¿nta o¢sa a·n ai˙th/shte e˙n thØv proseuchØv, pisteu/onteß, lh/yesqe; note the contrast between the aorist ai˙th/shte and the present pisteu/onteß); Mark 5:36 (Mh\ fobouv, mo/non pi÷steue); 9:23-24 (note both coming to faith and the state of faith in Ei˙ du/nasai pisteuvsai, pa¿nta dunata» twˆ◊ pisteu/onti) 11:23-24 (note again the aorist and present in aÓmh\n ga»r le÷gw uJmi√n o¢ti o§ß a·n ei¶phØ twˆ◊ o¡rei tou/twˆ, ⁄Arqhti, kai« blh/qhti ei˙ß th\n qa¿lassan, kai« mh\ diakriqhØv e˙n thØv kardi÷aˆ aujtouv, aÓlla» pisteu/shØ o¢ti a± le÷gei gi÷netai: e¶stai aujtwˆ◊ o§ e˙a»n ei¶phØ. dia» touvto le÷gw uJmi√n, Pa¿nta o¢sa a·n proseuco/menoi ai˙tei√sqe, pisteu/ete o¢ti lamba¿nete, kai« e¶stai uJmi√n); Luke 8:50 (Mh\ fobouv: mo/non pi÷steue, kai« swqh/setai).

[217]        Mark 9:23-24.

[218]        The texts in the first part of this paragraph employ pisteu/w, while the latter half examines uses of pi÷stiß. The two are combined because of the similar teaching enforced by the verb and the noun.

[219]        Matthew 21:21-22; Mark 11:22-24.

[220]        The ei˙ ei¶cete pi÷stin . . . a·n of Luke 17:6 (corrupted in the critical text to ei˙ e¶cete), a second class conditional, indicates that no faith was present for the particular prayer request mentioned in the verse.

[221]        James 5:15 sets forth the general principle that “the prayer of faith shall save the sick,” while New Testament narrative provides a variety of examples where Christ tells those who have entrusted themselves to Him for salvation, “as thou hast believed” for a particular healing “so be it done unto thee” (Matthew 8:13), “according to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29; cf. 9:22; 15:28; Mark 5:34; 10:52; Luke 7:9-10; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42; Acts 3:16; 14:9). Acts 3:16 also agrees with James 5:14-16 in ascribing faith for healing to supernatural grace given by God through Christ (the faith which is by him, hJ pi÷stiß hJ di∆ aujtouv, cf. “the faith which comes through him,” hJ pi÷stiß hJ di∆ aujtouv, Ignatius to the Philadelphians 8:2) Reference the discussion of James 5 in the section on Boardman.

[222]        Mark 4:40; Luke 8:25. Matthew 8:26 indicates that the disciples had a little faith, but as the storm kept going on, their faith for safety failed, even as Peter had faith for a little while to walk to Christ on stormy water, but then his faith, being only little, failed him as well, and he began to sink (Matthew 14:28-31).

[223]        Thus, faith is a central and abiding quality in the believer comparable to hope and love, 1 Corinthians 13:13.

[224]        pro/sqeß, from prosti÷qhmi, “to add to something that is already present or exists” (BDAG).

[225]         A genuine trust in the Lord for a particular request in prayer, such as an ability to forgive those who repeatedly wrong one, is a matter of either the possession of a true confidence in God to answer the request or a lack thereof—even the faith of a mustard seed, if a true confidence, will bring the fulfillment of the prayer (Luke 17:4-6). On the other hand, the believer’s entrusting of himself to God in Christ, which began at the time of his conversion and never thenceforward departs for the course of his life, can increase in its measure. As a mustard seed, in the proper conditions of watering and provision, grows into a very large tree, Matthew 13:31-32, so faith grows through the spiritual provision of God. Indeed, both the continual entrusting of oneself to Christ that marks a Christian and the ability to trust the Lord for a specific answer to prayer are Divinely wrought graces within the soul—neither is a self-production of the human will.

[226]        Philippians 1:25, prokoph\n . . . thvß pi÷stewß. A “progress, advance . . . frequently of moral progress” (Liddell-Scott) of faith, a “change [of] one’s state for the better by advancing and making progress,” to “advance, to progress, to change for the better, advancement” (Louw-Nida). Compare 1 Timothy 4:15 & TLNT, as well as proko/ptw in Luke 2:52; Galatians 1:14; 2 Timothy 2:16; 3:13.

[227]        The qualitative continuity and quantitative development of faith is well expressed in the Old London/Philadelphia Baptist Confession of 1689:

1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 2:8) in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the (Romans 10:14, 17) word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism, and the Lord’s supper, prayer,and other means appointed of God, it is increased (Luke 17:5; 1 Peter 2:2; Acts 20:32) and strengthened. 2. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true (Acts 24:14) whatsoever is revealed in the word, for the authority of God himself; and also apprehendeth an excellency therein (Psalm 19:7, 8, 9, 10; Psalm 119:72) above all other writings, and all things in the world; as it bears forth the glory of God in his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his nature and offices, and the power and fulness of the Holy Spirit in his workings and operations; and so is enabled to (2 Timothy 1:12) cast his soul upon the truth thus believed; and also acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the (John 15:14) commands, trembling at the (Isaiah 66:2) threatenings, and embracing the (Hebrews 11:13) promises of God, for this life and that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon (John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:20; Acts 15:11) him alone, for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace. 3. This faith, although it be different in degrees, and may be weak (Hebrews 5:13, 14; Matthew 6:30; Romans 4:19, 20), or strong, yet it is in the least degree of it different in the kind, or nature of it (as is all other saving grace) from the faith (2 Peter 1:1) and common grace of temporary believers; and therefore, though it may be many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets (Ephesians 6:16; 1 John 5:4, 5) the victory, growing up in many, to the attainment of a full (Hebrews 6:11, 12; Colossians 2:2) assurance through Christ, who is both the author (Hebrews 12:2) and finisher of our faith. (Chapter 14, “Of Saving Faith.”)

[228]        Romans 12:3-6. In Romans 12:3, both meri÷zw, “to make an allotment . . . deal out, assign, apportion” (BDAG), and me÷tron, “the result of measuring, quantity” (BDAG), are clear evidence that faith can increase in its quantity and quality, as is the reference to faith’s aÓnalogi÷a, “proportion” (BDAG; cf. “mathematical proportion,” Liddell-Scott), in Romans 12:6.

[229]        Ephesians 6:23; 1 Corinthians 12:8-9; Galatians 5:22.

[230]        Romans 14:1; aÓsqene÷w & pi÷stß.

[231]        Matthew 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; Luke 12:28, ojligo/pistoß, “pertaining to having relatively little faith—‘of little faith, of insufficient faith’” (Louw-Nida). ojli÷goß can refer, among other uses, to smallness in amount (1 Timothy 5:23) or duration (Acts 14:28). Little faith is both small temporally and quantitatively. Also, while little faith fears (Matthew 8:26), strong faith does not (Hebrews 11:23).

[232]        Matthew 8:10; Luke 7:9, tosouvtoß pi÷stiß, faith of a “high degree of quantity, so much, so great,” or a “high degree of quality . . . so great/strong” (BDAG).

[233]        Romans 4:20, e˙nedunamw¿qh thØv pi÷stei, explained in v. 21 as “being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform,” plhroforhqei«ß o¢ti o§ e˙ph/ggeltai, dunato/ß e˙sti kai« poihvsai.

[234]        2 Corinthians 10:5, aujxa¿nw, “to become greater, grow, increase . . . in extent, size, state, or quality” (BDAG).

[235]        2 Thessalonians 1:3, uJperauxa¿nei hJ pi÷stiß, from uJperauxa¿nw, “to increase beyond measure; to grow exceedingly” (Thayer). Such spectacular growth ought to be a continual process, as it was among the Thessalonians.

[236]        2 Corinthians 8:7, perisseu/w, “to exist in abundance” (Louw-Nida). The verse affirms that faith is a spiritual grace that can grow and abound like other graces, such as love, knowledge, or diligence.

[237]        uJste÷rhma, “the lack of what is needed or desirable, frequently in contrast to abundance, need, want, deficiency . . . a defect that must be removed so that perfection can be attained, lack, shortcoming” (BDAG). The word is usually quantitative in the New Testament; note the complete list of references: Luke 21:4; 1 Corinthians 16:17; 2 Corinthians 8:13–14; 9:12; 11:9; Philippians 2:30; Colossians 1:24 (not Christ’s vicarious sufferings, which are never designated with qli√yiß in the New Testament, but Paul’s afflictions for Christ, which have a Divinely ordained full measure); 1 Thessalonians 3:10. The Christian’s failure to have “all faith” indicates his quantitative lack, which muts be perfected.

[238]        Colossians 2:5; Acts 16:5; stere÷wma, “firmness, steadfastness, strength,” & stereo/w; cf. Acts 3:7, 16.

[239]        1 Thessalonians 3:10, nukto\ß kai« hJme÷raß uJpe«r e˙kperissouv deo/menoi ei˙ß to\ i˙dei√n uJmw◊n to\ pro/swpon, kai« katarti÷sai ta» uJsterh/mata thvß pi÷stewß uJmw◊n.

[240]        Acts 6:5, 8; 11:24; plh/rhß pi÷stewß.

[241]        Note the discussion of this verse in the examination of the book of Romans below.

[242]        The first part of this paragraph examines uses of pisteu/w, and the latter half uses of pi÷stiß; similarity of content justifies bringing the two together.

[243]        Galatians 3:5, cf. 3:2. Spiritual gifts, such as the first century sign gift of miracle working power mentioned in 3:5, are a product which developed out of the continuing hearing of faith (e˙x aÓkohvß pi÷stewß). The Spirit Himself was received at the moment of conversion and regeneration by the hearing of faith, e˙x aÓkohvß pi÷stewß, 3:2, and His gifts are bestowed in the same manner, 3:5.

[244]        James 2; pi÷stiß appears in 2:1, 5, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26.

[245]        pa◊n de« o§ oujk e˙k pi÷stewß, aJmarti÷a e˙sti÷n (Romans 14:23b). While the specific issue in context is faith in eating certain foods (Romans 14:22-23a), Christian life is a life e˙k pi÷stewß, for oJ di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai, Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38.

[246]        That the faith of the Christian life is an outflow of the initial entrustment to Christ of the people of God is evident in Romans 4:19-20’s placement within a context of many instances of pi÷stiß that refer to the moment of justification.

[247]        James 1:3; cf. 1 Peter 1:7.

[248]        The command of Ephesians 6:13, aÓnala¿bete th\n panopli÷an, is to take up the armor to use it in battle, here in spiritual battle.

[249]        Ephesians 6:13-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:8. The shield of faith can by no means be neglected; “above all,” e˙pi« pa◊sin, (cf. Colossians 3:14; Luke 3:20; not the tiny minority text reading e˙n pa◊sin), “taking the shield of faith.”

[250]        1 Peter 5:8-9. oJ . . . dia¿boloß . . . wˆ— aÓnti÷sthte stereoi« thØv pi÷stei.

[251]        God has a certain inheritance reserved in heaven (klhronomi÷an . . . tethrhme÷nhn e˙n oujranoi√ß) for those whom He keeps by His power through faith unto eschatological salvation, tou\ß e˙n duna¿mei Qeouv frouroume÷nouß dia» pi÷stewß ei˙ß swthri÷an e˚toi÷mhn aÓpokalufqhvnai e˙n kairwˆ◊ e˙sca¿twˆ, 1 Peter 1:5-6, so that they will certainly receive the end of their faith (to\ te÷loß thvß pi÷stewß), the salvation of their souls (1 Peter 1:9), even if God tries their precious faith (1 Peter 1:7). Sanctifying faith, which is the continuation of initial justifying faith, reaches its ultimate issue in glorification.

[252]        1 John 5:4-5, o¢ti pa◊n to\ gegennhme÷non e˙k touv Qeouv nikaˆ◊ to\n ko/smon: kai« au¢th e˙sti«n hJ ni÷kh hJ nikh/sasa to\n ko/smon, hJ pi÷stiß hJmw◊n. ti÷ß e˙stin oJ nikw◊n to\n ko/smon, ei˙ mh\ oJ pisteu/wn o¢ti ∆Ihsouvß e˙sti«n oJ ui˚o\ß touv Qeouv; Those who have been and consequently are born of God (to\ gegennhme÷non e˙k touv Qeouv) are having victories, are overcoming (nikaˆ◊) the world, because the root of that victory, through which the world was at its fundamental level overcome, hJ ni÷kh hJ nikh/sasa to\n ko/smon, (cf. 1 John 2:13; 4:4 with nika¿w in the perfect) took place at the moment of faith, pi÷stiß, and regeneration, through which they were brought into union with that Christ who has overcome (neni÷khka) the world (John 16:33), and gives them His Spirit to destroy their sinfulness and sinning, so that those who believe are those who are overcoming now (oJ nikw◊n to\n ko/smon . . . . e˙stin . . . oJ pisteu/wn), the root of faith in Jesus Christ continuing to powerfully produce results, so that these will ultimately, finally, and completely overcome the world. Faith “is the victory” as a metonomy for the means through which victory was obtained; because faith unites believers with Christ, faith is the means through which victory is achieved.

            It is noteworthy that 1 John 5:4 is the only instance of the noun pi÷stiß in either John’s Gospel or his three Epistles, although he uses the word several times in Revelation.

[253]        That is, faith is a fruit of the Spirit, something that originates in Him, in contrast to the works of the flesh, which are indeed products originating with the fallen human person, rather than with God (Galatians 5:19-23).

[254]        bebaiou/menoi e˙n thØv pi÷stei . . . perisseu/onteß e˙n aujthØv, Colossians 2:7. Compare the other bebaio/w texts in the New Testament: Mark 16:20; Romans 15:8; 1 Corinthians 1:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 1:21; Colossians 2:7; Hebrews 2:3; 13:9.

[255]        2 Thessalonians 1:3, uJperauxa¿nei hJ pi÷stiß; a continuing action, resulting in strength to endure persecutions and tribulations, 1:4, and set in contrast to a faith that is “lacking” or deficient (uJste÷rhma, 1 Thessalonians 3:10)

[256]        2 Peter 1:5-7. Believers are to add or supply (e˙picorhge÷w) such virtues to their faith, but God gives (corhge÷w, 1 Peter 4:11; cf. 2 Peter 1:1, 3) the faith in the first place. Compare the e˙picorhge÷w/ corhge÷w in 2 Corinthians 9:10. By adding or ministering additionally (e˙picorhge÷w) to their faith, an entrance into God’s eternal kingdom will be given or ministered additionally (e˙picorhge÷w) to them, 2 Peter 1:11.

[257]        2 Peter 1:8, “these things” (tauvta) the holy graces of the previous verses, can be in them and be increasing or abounding (uJpa¿rconta kai« pleona¿zonta), and they will make them (kaqi÷sthsin) not to be unfruitful (oujk aÓrgou\ß oujde« aÓka¿rpouß).

[258]        In 1 Timothy 4:6, rather than giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, through his faithful warning ministry Timothy will “be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine,” kalo\ß e¶shØ dia¿konoß ∆Ihsouv Cristouv, e˙ntrefo/menoß toi√ß lo/goiß thvß pi÷stewß, kai« thvß kalhvß didaskali÷aß. The articular thvß pi÷stewß is not limited to a body of teaching or truth rather than personally possessed and exercised faith because: 1.) Elsewhere in the pastoral epistles a distinction between articular and nonarticular pi÷stiß as, respectively, a body of truth and personally exercised faith, cannot be maintained; see, e. g., 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:10.   2.) thvß pi÷stewß is in the second attributive position, and “[e]specially when the article is used to denote the second attributive position would we say that it has almost no semantic meaning” (pg. 239, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Wallace). 3.) The personal exercise of faith is intimately associated with the body of doctrine in which faith is exercised. 4.) Being “nourished up” in the realm and by the instrumentality of “the words of faith” supports the idea that personal faith is in view. 5.) Other portions of Scripture indicate that faith is produced by the Word (Romans 10:17, cf. v. 8). Compare also “faith in Him,” to\n lo/gon thvß ei˙ß aujto\n pi÷stewß, Dialogue with Trypho 40.

[259]        Note that there is nothing in the context of 2 Corinthians 5:7 that suggests that only a subcategory of Christians who have discovered the secret of the Higher Life walk by faith, while the rest of God’s people do not do so, nor that believers enter into a walk of faith at some point subsequent to their conversion, from which they can fall by not walking by faith but then re-enter by starting to walk by faith again. It is certain that the faith of believers can vary in its strength, and believers can certainly fail to exercise faith in specific situations, but nothing like the distinctive Higher Life theology is supported by 2 Corinthians 5:7 in its context.

[260]        e˙n pi÷stei zw◊ thØv touv ui˚ouv touv Qeouv is clearly an objective genitive construction.

[261]        Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; 3:12. Access (prosagwgh/) was obtained at the moment of faith and regeneration, and continues always to be available to the believer (note the perfect tense e˙sch/kamen in Romans 5:2).

[262]        e˙n ga»r Cristwˆ◊ ∆Ihsouv ou¡te peritomh/ ti i˙scu/ei, ou¡te aÓkrobusti÷a, aÓlla» pi÷stiß di∆ aÓga¿phß e˙nergoume÷nh. Note the rather frequent association of faith and love: 1 Corinthians 13:2, 13; 2 Corinthians 8:7; Galatians 5:6, 22; Ephesians 1:15; 3:17; 6:23; Colossians1:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 3:6; 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:5, 14; 2:15; 4:12; 6:11; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2:22; 3:10; Titus 2:2; Philemon 5; Revelation 2:19.

[263]        In Philippians 1:25’s th\n uJmw◊n prokoph\n kai« cara»n thvß pi÷stewß, pi÷stewß and uJmw◊n modify both prokoph\n and cara»n; compare 1:20. The connection between joy and faith is also affirmed in Romans 15:13.

[264]        1 Thessalonians 1:3. In the “work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope” (touv e¶rgou thvß pi÷stewß, kai« touv ko/pou thvß aÓga¿phß, kai« thvß uJpomonhvß thvß e˙lpi÷doß) the genitives all produce what is signified by the head noun. God works to fulfill in believers “the work of faith with power,” 2 Thessalonians 1:11; oJ Qeo\ß . . . plhrw¿shØ pa◊san eujdoki÷an aÓgaqwsu/nhß kai« e¶rgon pi÷stewß e˙n duna¿mei.

[265]        Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5.

[266]        Ephesians 3:17, katoike÷w. Paul teaches that all believers have the Holy Spirit (and consequently the undivided Trinity) dwelling (oi˙ke÷w, Romans 8:9, 11; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16) in them, but Christ’s presence dwelling (katoike÷w) in them can increase, so that their personal possession of the Divine presence can grow towards that of Christ the Mediator, in whom dwells (katoike÷w) all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 1:19; 2:9), and who dispenses of that fulness to them (John 1:16). (The truth here stated does not, and should not be employed to by any means deny the absoute uniqueness of the hypostatic union as properly confessed at Chalcedon, nor should any attempt be made to reduce the union of natures in the undivided Person of Christ to a mere Nestorianizing indwelling of God in the human Christ.) Compare the greater strength of katoike÷w as compared with oi˙ke÷w in the LXX in Genesis 19:30; Jeremiah 31:28 (Eng. 48:28); Ezekiel 38:11; Judith 5:5; cf. also Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho 78; Theophilus to Autolycus 2:3, and Philo, Flaccus 55.

[267]        Ephesians 3:14-19. A greater degree of the presence of the Son in the believer necessitates a greater presence of the Trinitarian God, for the Divine essence is undivided.

[268]        pei÷qw, Matthew 27:20, 43; 28:14; Mark 10:24; Luke 11:22; 16:31; 18:9; 20:6; Acts 5:36–37, 40; 12:20; 13:43; 14:19; 17:4; 18:4; 19:8, 26; 21:14; 23:21; 26:26, 28; 27:11; 28:23–24; Romans 2:8, 19; 8:38; 14:14; 15:14; 2 Corinthians 1:9; 2:3; 5:11; 10:7; Galatians 1:10; 3:1; 5:7, 10; Philippians 1:6, 14, 25; 2:24; 3:3–4; 2 Thessalonians 3:4; 2 Timothy 1:5, 12; Philemon 1:21; Hebrews 2:13; 6:9; 11:13; 13:17–18; James 3:3; 1 John 3:19 (the only use in the Johannine corpus; John 3:36 is the only other use in the entire word group); pepoi÷qhsiß, 2 Corinthians 1:15; 3:4; 8:22; 10:2; Ephesians 3:12; Philippians 3:4; peiqo/ß, 1 Corinthians 2:4; peismonh/, Galatians 5:8; peiqarce÷w, Acts 5:29, 32; 27:21; Titus 3:1; aÓpeiqh/ß, Luke 1:17; Acts 26:19; Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:16; 3:3; aÓpeiqe÷w, John 3:36; Acts 14:2; 17:5; 19:9; Romans 2:8; 10:21; 11:30–31; 15:31; Hebrews 3:18; 11:31; 1 Peter 2:7–8; 3:1, 20; 4:17; aÓpei÷qeia, Romans 11:30, 32; Ephesians 2:2; 5:6; Colossians 3:6; Hebrews 4:6, 11.

[269]        “pei÷qw . . . [is] allied with pistis, fides, foedus, etc.” (Thayer, Greek Lexicon, on pei÷qw). “Constructs in pist- derive from the dep. pei÷qomai” (pg. 175, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 6, Kittel). Note the parallelism between pei÷qw and pisteu/w in John 3:36 (oJ pisteu/wn . . . oJ de« aÓpeiqw◊n).

[270]        Louw-Nida 31.46, 31.82. The breakdown in BDAG is very helpful.

[271]        Acts 17:4 (aorist passive); 28:24 (imperfect passive); cf. Luke 16:31; Acts 18:4; 19:8, 26; 26:28; 28:23; 2 Corinthians 5:11; Galatians 1:10. Paul persuaded men to turn from their sins and entrust themselves to Christ, and then continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43).

[272]        E. g., riches, Mark 10:24, themselves, 2 Corinthians 1:9, their own righteousness, Luke 18:9, or the flesh and religious ceremonies, Philippians 3:3-4.

[273]        2 Corinthians 1:9; Philippians 2:24; 3:3-4; Hebrews 2:13 (Christ as the Son of Man, identified and in union with his human brethren, perfectly trusted in God, as do they, Psalm 18:2, albeit imperfectly; also Matthew 27:43 & Psalm 22:8); 13:8. See also Luke 11:22.

[274]        peiqo/ß, “pertaining to being able to persuade or convince—‘persuasive, convincing.’” (Louw-Nida).

[275]        peismonh/, “the means by which someone is caused to believe—‘that which persuades, the means of convincing’ . . . [or] the actual process of persuasion” (Louw-Nida), that is, “peismonh/ . . . like the English ‘persuasion,’ may be either active or passive; ‘the act of persuading’ . . . or ‘the state of one persuaded’” (St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, J. B. Lightfoot on Galatians 5:8).

[276]        pepoi÷qhsiß, “1. a state of certainty about something to the extent of placing reliance on, trust, confidence.” (BDAG).

[277]        2 Timothy 1:12, oi•da ga»r wˆ— pepi÷steuka, kai« pe÷peismai o¢ti dunato/ß e˙sti th\n paraqh/khn mou fula¿xai ei˙ß e˙kei÷nhn th\n hJme÷ran. Paul had entrusted himself to the Lord Jesus, at which moment he came to be persuaded that Christ was able to keep him from spiritual destruction, and his entrusting and persuasion continued to the time of his statement.

[278]        Hebrews 11:13, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Kata» pi÷stin aÓpe÷qanon ou∞toi pa¿nteß, mh\ labo/nteß ta»ß e˙paggeli÷aß, aÓlla» po/rrwqen aujta»ß i˙do/nteß, kai« peisqe÷nteß, kai« aÓspasa¿menoi, kai« oJmologh/santeß o¢ti xe÷noi kai« parepi÷dhmoi÷ ei˙sin e˙pi« thvß ghvß. Their faith included knowledge of the promises (“having seem them afar off,”), persuasion, and a trusting embrace of the promises, which resulted in confession.

[279]        The ideas of persuasion and confident assurance are found in the New Testament in many texts where the specific act of justifying faith is not under consideration. For persuasion, consider Matthew 27:20; 28:14; Luke 20:6; Acts 5:40 (aorist passive is rendered “agreed”); 12:20 (the chamberlain persuaded, convinced, won over, cf. 2 Maccabees 4:45, h¡dh de« leleimme÷noß oJ Mene÷laoß e˙phggei÷lato crh/mata i˚kana» tw◊ˆ Ptolemai÷wˆ Dorume÷nouß pro\ß to\ pei√sai to\n basile÷a, “But Menelaus, being now convicted, promised Ptolemee the son of Dorymenes to give him much money, if he would pacify the king toward him.”); 14:19; 21:14; 23:21 (being persuaded results in yielding); 26:26; 27:11 (“believed”); Romans 8:38; 14:14; 15:14; 2 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 6:9; 1 John 3:19. For confident assurance and trust, consider Romans 2:19; 8:38; 15:14; 2 Corinthians 2:3; 10:7; Galatians 5:10; Philippians 1:6, 14, 25, 2 Thessalonians 3:4; 2 Timothy 1:5; Philemon 21; 1 John 3:19.

            It is one thing—and a truth—to say that saving faith is inherently assured of the sufficiency of Christ and the truth of the Divine promises in the Gospel. It is another—and a falsehood—to say that saving faith involves within it the assurance that one is personally converted. Assurance in this latter sense belongs to the well-being, not the essence, of Christian faith.

[280]        πείθω, πείθομαι, πειθός, πεισμονή, πεποίθησις, Theological Lexicon of the New Testament, vol. 3, Spicq & Earnest, pg. 67.

[281]        Acts 5:36-37; Romans 2:8 (note the pei÷qw/aÓpeiqe÷w contrast in the me÷n/de÷ clause); Galatians 3:1; 5:7; Hebrews 13:16; James 3:3.

[282]        As evidenced, e. g., in the uses of peiqarce÷w, Acts 5:29, 32; 27:21; Titus 3:1. The “verb is ordinarily translated ‘obey,’ . . . [with] the peculiar nuance of . . . voluntary consent” (Theological Lexicon, Spicq).

[283]        In none of its 55 uses in the New Testament are the people of God ever said to be people devoid of pei÷qw. Galatians 3:1 & 5:7 would be the only texts that might appear to indicate otherwise. However, in these verses false teachers were seeking to lead the Galatians to apostatize from the gospel, but in both verses “that ye should not obey the truth” (thØv aÓlhqei÷aˆ mh\ pei÷qesqai) is a purpose clause, specifying, respectively, the purpose the false teachers had in their bewitching (3:1) and the purpose of the false teachers in their hindering the Galatians’ running well (5:7). While many of the regenerate members of the church at Galatia had been influenced by these false teachers, so that, no doubt, their understanding and obedience were being shaken, neither in Galatians 3:1 nor 5:7 does Paul make the affirmation that they had actually become people who were rejectors of the truth or people who had now apostatized and become people of unbelief and disobedience. He simply states the purpose of the false teachers with the infinitive pei÷qesqai.

[284]        aÓpeiqe÷w is used for those who disbelieve in or disobey the Son instead of believing (pisteu/w) in Him and not being condemned (John 3:36), for unbelieving and disobedient Jews (Acts 14:2; 17:5), for hardened people who do not believe or obey the gospel (Acts 19:9), for the unregenerate who disobey and disbelieve the truth (Romans 2:8), as unconverted Israel disbelieves and disobeys (Romans 10:21; 15:31) and the Gentiles disbelieved and disobeyed before their conversion, but did not do so after their salvation (Romans 11:30-31), and for those who disbelieve and disobey so that they do not enter into spiritual rest but eternally perish (Hebrews 3:18; 11:31). Christ is precious to those who believe (pisteu/w), but to the disbelieving and disobedient He is a stone of stumbling (1 Peter 2:7-8; cf. John 3:36). A non-Christian husband is disobedient and disbelieving in the Word (1 Peter 3:1), as the ungodly in Noah’s day who died in the flood were disbelieving and disobedient (1 Peter 3:20). A terrible end will come upon the disbelieving and disobedient (1 Peter 4:17)—the lake of fire.

[285]        aÓpei÷qeia; The lost are in unbelief or disobedience (Romans 11:30, 32), for they are the sons of disobedience and unbelief (Ephesians 2:2; 5:6; Colossians 3:6), and they will fall because of their unbelief and disobedience (Hebrews 4:6, 11).

[286]        aÓpeiqh/ß; The unsaved are the disobedient (Luke 1:17), disobeying both God (Titus 1:16; 3:3) and their parents (Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2). Paul, in contrast, was not disobedient (Acts 26:19).

[287]        Richard Longenecker notes:

The theme of the faith of Abraham in the NT . . . has a number of facets to it, and each possesses its own validity as well as serves to enhance the whole: Faith is a wholehearted response to God in Christ, apart from a person’s own attempts to gain merit, as Paul has stressed in countering the Judaizers; it is that which results in acts of positive helpfulness and kindness with respect to the physical needs of others, as James has emphasized in combating a perversion of Christian doctrine: and it is that which eagerly looks forward to the full realization of God’s promises in the future, arranging its priorities and setting its lifestyle accordingly here and now, as . . . Hebrews has highlighted in confronting the situation [it] was addressing. Like the beauty of a diamond which is only fully appreciated when the gem is rotated slowly in the light, so the faith of Abraham is only known in its fulness as we study it in its varying circumstantial dimensions and as we allow those dimensions to transform our own thinking, outlook, lifestyle and action. (pg. 211, “The ‘Faith of Abraham’ Theme in Paul, James, and Hebrews: A Study in the Circumstantial Nature of New Testament Teaching,” Richard N. Longenecker. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 20:3 (September 1977) 203-212)

[288]        Ti÷ to\ o¡feloß, aÓdelfoi÷ mou, e˙a»n pi÷stin le÷ghØ tiß e¶cein, e¶rga de« mh\ e¶chØ; mh\ du/natai hJ pi÷stiß sw◊sai aujto/n; James 2:14 states the topic of the entire section of 2:14-26.

[289]        le÷ghØ tiß. Note also 2:18, where his claim that he has faith is repeated, although James affirms that his claim is merely empty.

[290]        e¶rga de« mh\ e¶chØ.

[291]        James’ reference to the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) is illustrative, not comprehensive, of the orthodox doctrinal affirmations of his rhetorical adversary (the “vain man” of v. 20) in 2:14-26. The point is not that one has dead faith who is merely a monotheist, but that one who has a matchless profession of doctrinal orthodoxy, as illustrated in a happy confession of the Shema, but has no deeds, has dead faith. The devils are not merely monotheists, but have a peerless theological orthodoxy; they believe in the Trinity, in justification before God by faith alone, in the creation account of Genesis, the resurrection of Christ, heaven and hell, and all other Biblical doctrine, but they are obviously devoid of saving faith.

[292]        James consequently employs the present subjunctive e¶chØ rather than the aorist subjunctive scw◊ (Acts 25:26; Romans 1:13; Philippians 2:27) to describe what the man of James 2:14 does not have. Many texts with the present subjunctive of e¶cw clearly refer to durative or continuing action, and not one clearly refers to a point action (Matthew 17:20; 19:16; 21:21; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18; John 3:15–16; 5:40; 6:40; 8:6; 10:10; 13:35; 16:33; 17:13; 20:31; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 6:4; 13:1–3; 2 Corinthians 1:15; 2:3; 5:12; 8:12; Ephesians 4:28; Colossians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:12; 1 Timothy 5:20; Hebrews 6:18; 12:28; James 2:14, 17; 1 John 1:3; 2:28; 3:17; 4:17).

[293]        The article in James 2:14e on hJ pi÷stiß is anaphoric, referring to the pi÷stin le÷ghØ tiß e¶cein of James 2:14c; that is, it “points back to a certain kind of faith as defined by the author” (pg. 219, Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics), namely, the kind of faith that does not produce works. This kind of faith, a faith that does not manifest itself in works, is the topic in view throughout the passage. Note the series of anaphoric articles on faith in the following verses: hJ pi÷stiß, v. 17; th\n pi÷stin sou . . . th\n pi÷stin mou, v. 18; hJ pi÷stiß, v. 20; hJ pi÷stiß, v. 22 (2x); hJ pi÷stiß, v. 26.

[294]        The question with mh/ in v. 14 anticipates a negative answer.

[295]        Note again the anaphoric article in ou¢tw kai« hJ pi÷stiß.

[296]        mh\ e¶rga e¶chØ expresses durative action.

[297]        Compare the kaq∆ e˚auth/n of James 2:17 with Acts 28:16; Hebrews 6:13.

[298]        In James 2:26, the “faith” which is compared to a body is, in keeping with the pericope, intellectual assent to a body of doctrinal propositions. Such intellectual assent, James affirms, is not alive without works, which are compared to the animating spirit. A living man, in contrast to a corpse, has both a body and a spirit.

[299]        While the pisteu/w o¢ti in James 2:19 is not unable to express the totality of what is involved in saving faith, it here emphasizes the intellectual assent of the “faith” mentioned.

[300]        The question of James 2:20 with ouj, which introduces the example of Abraham, expects a positive answer, as do the questions with ouj in 2:4-7, 25; 4:1, 4.

[301]        The verb to justify (dikaio/w) in James 2:21, 24, 25 does not refer to a legal declaration of righteousness at the judgment bar of God, based solely on the imputed righteousness of Christ, as it does in a variety of other texts in the New Testament (Luke 18:14; Acts 13:39; Revelation 22:11) and especially frequently in Paul, when he refers to the present justification believers receive through the sole instrumentality of faith (cf. Romans 3:20, 24, 26, 28, 30; 4:2, 5; 5:1, 9; 8:30, 33; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 2:16-17; 3:8, 11, 24; 5:4; Titus 3:7). A variety of other senses of justification appear in the New Testament (cf. 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 4:4). The reference in James is rather to Abraham being declared, manifested, or shown as righteous in this world, during his lifetime, because of his righteous actions. James’ declarative point is clearly stated in the context: “I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18). Abraham was shown to be righteous because he offered up Isaac, and Rahab was shown to be righteous because she protected the Hebrew spies. Neither the predominant Pauline sense of to justify as a reference to the Divine declaration of the believer as righteous based solely on the imputed righteousness of Christ, nor the sense of to justify in James 2, refers to justification as an infusion of righteousness that confounds justification with progressive sanctification; in both Paul and James justification is a declaration based on what is already present, not an infusion of holiness that inwardly constitutes one righteous. It should be noted that the New Testament certainly does not always refer to justification as a legal declaration by God directed towards men, although justification remains always a declaration of righteousness rather than an infusion of holiness: the children of wisdom justify wisdom (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35); God is justified in his sayings and overcomes when He is judged (Romans 3:4); people justify God by submitting to the baptism of John the Baptist (Luke 7:29); the self-righteous wish to justify themselves (Luke 10:29), and, indeed, the Pharisees were justifying themselves before men while they were still abominable to God (Luke 16:15). People can declare God to be righteous, but they hardly can make Him so. In light of the range in New Testament usage, there is nothing out of the ordinary in James’ use of justification as a this-worldy recognition of the righteousness of the righteous upon the earth, nor does his usage of the verb in this sense contradict in the least the usage of Paul about justification before the legal tribunal of God in heaven.

            James’ usage of to justify also matches the dominant Pauline usage of the verb to refer to present realities possesssed by the people of God upon the earth, rather than an eschatological vindication. In James 2 neither Abraham nor Rahab was justified with reference to an eschatological judgment; Abraham offered up Isaac, and Rahab protected the spies, on the earth during their respective lifetimes. Since all those who possess true faith will also be faithful, so that those who have had Christ perfectly fulfill the law for them will also be characterized by obedience to the law, there is no reason to deny that the people of God will experience an eschatological vindication of themselves as righteous associated with their speech and deeds (Matthew 12:37, cf. Romans 10:9-10). Nonetheless those that are shown righteous, whether in this life (James 2) or in eschatological judgment, still have as the ultimate ground or basis of their standing before God only a righteousness from Christ credited to them through faith alone. Those who characteristically obey the law will be justified (Romans 2:13), but not on the ground or basis of their obedience to the law, but because the doers of the law are those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and consequently, by means of regeneration, have become faithful, although their standing before God, whether during their earthly pilgrimage or at the time of their standing before God in judgment, remains solely based on the imputed righteousness of Christ.

[302]        Note God’s statement of Abraham’s righteousness in Genesis 22:12, where Abraham’s willingness to offer Isaac reveals the patriarch’s already extant faith, resulting in the blessings stated in 22:16-18.

[303]        Compare Hebrews 11:8-19. Note the view of James 2 in 1 Clement 10-12 also.

[304]        In the expression e˙k tw◊n e¶rgwn hJ pi÷stiß e˙teleiw¿qh, teleio/w + e˙k indicates that faith is “made perfect” by works in the sense that faith reaches its intended goal in works, rather than that faith is inherently imperfect or flawed until a certain level of works become manifest. A conceptual parallel is found in 1 John 4:12 (e˙a»n aÓgapw◊men aÓllh/louß, oJ Qeo\ß e˙n hJmi√n me÷nei, kai« hJ aÓga¿ph aujtouv teteleiwme÷nh e˙sti«n e˙n hJmi√n), where the love of God is “perfected” in believers as they love one another in that Divine love is brought to its intended goal—certainly God’s love is not imperfect until believers come to love one another enough. The specific teleio/w + e˙k construction in James 2:22 is a New Testament hapax legomenon, but Koiné parallels support the idea of perfecting as being brought to an intended goal; e. g., Philo refers to one who has been “made perfect by education,” that is, brought to the intended goal by means of education (e˙k didaskali÷aß teleiwqe÷nti, On Rewards and Punishments 1:49; cf. On Husbandry 1:42; On the Confusion of Tongues 1:181).

[305]        The “and the scripture was fulfilled” (kai« e˙plhrw¿qh hJ grafh/) formula of James 2:23 is Biblically employed for the fulfillment of prophecy (Matthew 26:54, 56; Mark 14:49; 15:28; Luke 4:21; Acts 1:16) and should not have its prophecy/fulfillment sense weakened in the exposition of James 2.

[306]        James 2:23, fi÷loß Qeouv. See Isaiah 41:8 (Symmachus, touv fi÷lou mou for the Hebrew y`IbShOa); 2 Chronicles 20:7; cf. John 15:14-15. In Genesis 18, Abraham also showed friendship/hospitality (filoxeni÷a) to the Lord and two angels (Hebrews 13:2). Abraham was the friend of God from the time of his justification by faith, but he was called (e˙klh/qh, James 2:23) and recognized as the friend of God subsequently because of the works that manifested his faith.

[307]        Hebrews 11:31. All the inhabitants of the city of Jericho had the “faith” of the “vain man” of James 2:20 (Joshua 2:9-11), but only Rahab truly believed and entrusted herself to Jehovah (Hebrews 11:31; Joshua 2:11; cf. Deuteronomy 4:39) and consequently acted on her already present living faith, so that she was saved instead of perishing with the idolators of Jericho. While those in Jericho with the vain man’s “faith” perished as “accursed” (M®rEj) under the temporal curse of death and the eternal curse of the second death, “Rahab . . . shall live” and be “saved . . . alive” (Joshua 6:17, 25, hÎyDj) with all that pertained to her, delivered from spiritual, physical, and eternal death with the pagans in Jericho, to possess spiritual life, a blessed portion with the people of God, and eternal life.

[308]        From his use of both Abraham and Rahab as illustrations, James demonstrates that in all cases works proceed from true faith. If those from the status of the patriarch of Israel down to the status of a Canaanite prostitute woman manifest their faith in works, surely all those of any status with real faith will manifest their belief in works (cf. James 2:1ff.).

[309]        pi÷stiß mo/noß.

[310]        mo/noß aÓkroath/ß, the only other use of mo/noß in James.

[311]        Warfield notes:

It was to James that it fell to rebuke the Jewish tendency to conceive of the faith which was pleasing to Jehovah as a mere intellectual acquiescence in His being and claims, when imported into the Church and made to do duty as ‘the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory’ (James 2:1). He has sometimes been misread as if he were depreciating faith, or at least the place of faith in salvation. But it is perfectly clear that with James, as truly as with any other New Testament writer, a sound faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the manifested God (James 2:1) lies at the very basis of the Christian life (James 1:3), and is the condition of all acceptable approach to God (James 1:6, 5:15). It is not faith as he conceives it which he depreciates, but that professed faith (le÷ghØ, James 2:14) which cannot be shown to be real by appropriate works (James 2:18), and so differs by a whole diameter alike from the faith of Abraham that was reckoned unto him for righteousness (James 2:23), and from the faith of Christians as James understood it (James 2:1, 1:3, cf. 1:22). The impression which is easily taken from the last half of the second chapter of James, that his teaching and that of Paul stand in some polemic relation, is, nevertheless, a delusion, and arises from an insufficient realization of the place occupied by faith in the discussions of the Jewish schools, reflections of which have naturally found their way into the language of both Paul and James. And so far are we from needing to suppose some reference, direct or indirect, to Pauline teaching to account for James’ entrance upon the question which he discusses, that this was a matter upon which an earnest teacher could not fail to touch in the presence of a tendency common among the Jews at the advent of Christianity (cf. Matthew 3:9; 7:21; 23:3; Romans 2:17), and certain to pass over into Jewish-Christian circles: and James’ treatment of it finds, indeed, its entire presupposition in the state of things underlying the exhortation of James 1:22. When read from his own historical standpoint, James’ teachings are free from any disaccord with those of Paul, who as strongly as James denies all value to a faith which does not work by love (Galatians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 13:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:3). In short, James is not depreciating faith: with him, too, it is faith that is reckoned unto righteousness (ii.23), though only such a faith as shows itself in works can be so reckoned, because a faith which does not come to fruitage in works is dead, non-existent. He is rather deepening the idea of faith, and insisting that it includes in its very conception something more than an otiose intellectual assent. (“The Biblical Doctrine of Faith,” Biblical Doctrines, vol. 2 of Works)

[312]        Compare the outline in Galatians, Richard N. Longenecker, vol. 41 in the Word Biblical Commentary.

[313]        Note the further discussion below in the analysis of the quotations of Genesis 15:6 and Habakkuk 2:4 as found in the book of Romans. In Galatians 3, the quotation from Genesis 15:6 is central to the entire passage.

[314]        Galatians 3:8; Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4 28:14. The proeuaggeli÷zomai of Galatians 3:8 specifies that the gospel was preached beforehand to Abraham, not only in the proclamation of the Messiah, but also in the declaration of the doctrine of righteousness by faith.

[315]        Galatians 3:10; Deuteronomy 27:26.

[316]        A comparison of Galatians 3:11 and 12 indicates that Paul interpreted Habakkuk 2:4 in accordance with its meaning in its original context, that is, as “the righteous shall live by faith” rather than as “he who through faith is righteous shall live” (for a comparison of the writers who take the one or the other position, see, e. g., pgs. 33-35, “‘The Righteous Shall Live by Faith’—A Decisive Argument for the Traditional Interpretation,” H C. C. Cavallin. Studia Theologica 32 (1978) 33-43). The sense of live in both oJ di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai and in oJ poih/saß aujta» a‡nqrwpoß zh/setai e˙n aujtoi√ß is parallel. In Galatians 3:12 and Leviticus 18:5 (M¡RhD;b y∞AjÎw Mä∂dDaDh M¢DtOa h¶RcSoÅy) the prepositional phrase cannot be construed with the subject, but must be taken to modify the verb. Consequently, in both 3:11 and 3:12 the prepositional phrases (e˙k pi÷stewß/e˙n aujtoi√ß), not the subjects (oJ di÷kaioß/oJ poih/saß aujta» a‡nqrwpoß), modify the verb zh/setai in their respective clauses, even as in Galatians 3:11a the prepositional phrase e˙n no/mwˆ modifies the verb dikaiouvtai, paralleling the modification of zh/setai by e˙k pi÷stewß in 3:11b. Since both spiritual life on earth and eschatological eternal life are included in the quotation in Galatians from Leviticus 18:5 (parallel texts such as Deuteronomy 5:33 validate the fact that “life” with the smile and blessing of God now is included in Leviticus 18:5, but eschatological life is by no means excluded; see the interpretation of the Leviticus text as a reference to “eternal life” in the Targum Onkelos & Pseudo-Jonathan—note furthermore that Paul’s quotation of Leviticus 18:5 in Romans 10:5, where a contrast with the promise of Habakkuk 2:4 as found in Romans 1:16-17 likewise includes both justification, spiritual life on earth, and eschatological salvation—the same kinds of life are contrasted in Romans 1:16-17; 10:5, as they are in Galatians 3:11-12), both are included also in Paul’s view of the life promised in Habakkuk 2:4, rather than justification at the moment of conversion alone. Of course, Paul’s recognition that Habakkuk 2:4 promises both spiritual and eschatological life to faith includes as its good and necessary consequence that one is justified by faith as well as living the continuing Christian pilgrimage by faith. In Galatians 3:11, Romans 1:17, and Hebrews 10:38 Paul employs the quotation of Habakkuk 2:4 properly in its original context as a reference to the receipt of the blessing of spiritual life, including justification, sanctification, and glorification, through the instrumentality of faith, emphasizing one or the other facet of the life received in his various references to Habakkuk.

            While a real offer of life to sinless perfection and perfect obedience to the law is made in Galatians 3:12; Romans 10:5; Leviticus 18:5 (cf. Deuteronomy 4:1ff., 30:16-20; Romans 7:10; contrast Romans 10:4-11; Habakkuk 2:4; Isaiah 55:1-3, etc.) the promise cannot be received by any of the fallen sons of Adam because of their sin (Galatians 3:10). The law itself is not imperfect, and it gives instructions for perfect righteousness, but only the virgin-born Messiah has ever perfectly fulfilled its holy requirements (cf. Galatians 3:21). Therefore, spiritual inheritance can actually be received by sinners only through the free promise of grace through faith—a way not anulled by the law, but which actually preceded the law—and, in any case, God knew that sinners could not perfectly keep His law, and did not give it to them for the purpose of them receiving salvation by obedience to it (3:15-22). These facts explain why the method of justification set forth by the law is one foreign to faith (3:12a).

[317]        That is, Galatians 3:11 identifies the “just” and the “justified”: o¢ti de« e˙n no/mwˆ oujdei«ß dikaiouvtai para» twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊, dhvlon: o¢ti ÔO di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai. All believers are the just who live by faith.

[318]        Galatians 3:12; Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:11, 13. Note that the quotations of Leviticus 18:5 in Nehemiah, Ezekiel, and Galatians all indicate failure to meet the decreed standard of sinless perfection, just as the Pentateuch itself indicates that Israel was failing and would continue to fail to keep the law (Deuteronomy 4:26-30; 9:5, etc.). No text in either the Old or New Testament indicates that any son of Adam actually met the standard of obedience commanded by the law. The Pentateuch itself, as well as the references in Nehemiah 9 and Ezekiel 20 to Leviticus 18:5, support Paul’s setting of Galatians 3:10 and 3:12 in sharp contrast to 3:11—law and curse are set against faith and righteousness. Galatians 3:10-12 provides Paul’s proofs from the propositional statements of the Old Testament that his affirmations in 2:16, 21 are true, and that the Old Testament validates his affirmations about the experience of the Galatians (3:1-5) and of Abraham (3:6-9).

[319]        Galatians 3:13-14; Deuteronomy 21:23. Note that the reference to the Spirit in v. 14 ties back to 3:2-5, where not only conversion, but also the continuation of the Christian life, is under discussion. The promise of the Spirit is a promise that includes the progressive sanctification of all believers.

[320]        R. M. Moody demonstrates that “Romans . . . has in a very important way the same theme as Habakkuk. . . . In Habakkuk the centre of the solution of Habakkuk’s problem is Hab 2:4, and the theme verse of Romans is 1:17 . . . both books are on the same subject. . . . We therefore arrive at the conclusion that we have in Romans an extensive study of Habakkuk in the light of the coming of Christ in which Paul fully examines every aspect of Habakkuk’s solution to the problem of God’s dealing with Jew and Gentile” (pg. 208, “The Habakkuk Quotation in Romans 1:17,” R. M. Moody. Expository Times 90 (1980-81) 205-208).

[321]        ouj ga»r e˙paiscu/nomai to\ eujagge÷lion touv Cristouv: du/namiß ga»r Qeouv e˙stin ei˙ß swthri÷an panti« twˆ◊ pisteu/onti, ∆Ioudai÷wˆ te prw◊ton kai« ›Ellhni. dikaiosu/nh ga»r Qeouv e˙n aujtwˆ◊ aÓpokalu/ptetai e˙k pi÷stewß ei˙ß pi÷stin, kaqw»ß ge÷graptai, ÔO de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai.

[322]        Contrast the use of e˙paiscu/nomai in 1:16 with the only other use in Romans, found in 6:21; Paul, as one would expect for the saints of God, is not ashamed of the gospel of the crucified God-Man, but believers are ashamed of the sins they committed before their conversion. Compare the other NT e˙paiscu/nomai texts: Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 2 Timothy 1:8, 12, 16; Hebrews 2:11; 11:16.

[323]        ouj ga»r e˙paiscu/nomai to\ eujagge÷lion touv Cristouv: du/namiß ga»r Qeouv e˙stin ei˙ß swthri÷an panti« twˆ◊ pisteu/onti, ∆Ioudai÷wˆ te prw◊ton kai« ›Ellhni. dikaiosu/nh ga»r Qeouv e˙n aujtwˆ◊ aÓpokalu/ptetai e˙k pi÷stewß ei˙ß pi÷stin, kaqw»ß ge÷graptai, ÔO de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai. The verses are full of key terms that appear throughout Romans.

            It should be noted that both instances of pi÷stiß in Romans 1:17’s “from faith to faith” refer to the act of human believing, so that the phrase speaks of the increase and strengthening of the believer’s faith; neither instance in Romans 1:17 refers to God’s faithfulness, and consequently the sense of the phrase is not “from the faithfulness of God to man’s faith.” Indeed, both the e˙k pi÷stewß construction in the New Testament (Romans 1:17; 3:26, 30; 4:16; 5:1; 9:30, 32; 10:6; 14:23; Galatians 2:16; 3:7–9, 11–12, 22, 24; 5:5; Heb 10:38; James 2:24) and the dia» pi÷stewß construction (Romans 1:12; 3:22, 25, 27, 30–31; 4:13, 16; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 2:16; 3:14, 26; Ephesians 2:8; 3:12, 17; Philippians 3:9; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:7; 2 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 6:12; 11:33, 39; 1 Peter 1:5) always refer to human “faith” rather than to God or Christ’s faithfulness (cf. pgs. 363-373, The Epistle to the Romans, vol. 1, John Murray, for further examination of this question and validation of the conclusions here stated).

[324]        As the Hebrew accentuation in Habakkuk 2:4 makes it clear that Habakkuk’s assertion is “the just, by his faith he shall live,” rather than “the just by his faith, he shall live,” so in Romans 1:17 Paul’s ÔO de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai does not mean “he who through faith is righteous shall live,” but “the righteous shall live by his faith,” a fact not only borne out by the Hebrew of Habakkuk but also a number of evidences from the Greek. That is, the e˙k pi÷stewß modifies zh/setai, rather than di÷kaioß. Paul could easily have written oJ e˙k pi÷stewß di÷kaioß zh/setai or oJ di÷kaioß oJ e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai had he wished to indicate that e˙k pi÷stewß modified di÷kaioß.

As noted by Moody Smith (pgs. 17-19, “O DE DIKAIOS EK PISTEWS ZHSETAI,” Moody D. Smith, in Studies in the History and Text of the New Testament, FS K. W. Clark, ed B. L. Daniels and M. J. Suggs. Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1967; Smith’s argument is very closely followed below), Romans 1:16f. falls into four parts, the first three introduced by ga¿r and the fourth by kaqw¿ß. The first, introductory, section is v. 16a. The subsequent parts consist of three propositions with significant parallelism. Three elements appear in each part, with the following pattern: a.) The action of God b.) is a revelation which brings salvation c.) for all who receive it in faith. That is:

A          v. 16b du/namiß ga»r Qeouv

            b. 17a dikaiosu/nh ga»r Qeouv

            v. 17b oJ de« di÷kaioß

B          v. 16b e˙stin ei˙ß swthri÷an

            v. 17a e˙n aujtwˆ◊(=eujaggeli÷wˆ) aÓpokalu/ptetai

            v. 17b zh/setai

C          v. 16b panti« twˆ◊ pisteu/onti

            v. 17a e˙k pi÷stewß ei˙ß pi÷stin

            v. 17b e˙k pi÷stewß

In v. 16b and 17a the pattern ABC is followed. Since Paul follws the order of the text of Habakkuk (:h`RyVjˆy wñøtÎn…wmTaR;b qyäî;dAx◊w), v. 17b has the order ACB, but the pattern of the two preceding syntactical units indicates how Paul understands the Habakkuk quotation. The pattern in v. 16b and 17a of: a.) God’s action, b.) salvific revelation, c.) reception by faith, provides a key for unlocking Paul’s understanding of the Habakkuk quotation. Furthermore, the Habakkuk formula helps explain the disposition of the two preceding affirmations in three parallel elements. Thus, the parallel structure supports the fact that Paul construes the e˙k pi÷stewß with the verb zh/setai.

            Furthermore, it appears that v. 17a is a restatement of v. 16b in terms supplied by Habakkuk 2:4. Paul’s mention of the righteousness of God is an abstraction prompted by the upcoming oJ di÷kaioß. The present tense aÓpokalu/ptetai corresponds to the future zh/setai of the Habakkuk quotation. The present tense of aÓpokalu/ptetai, with the phrase e˙k pi÷stewß ei˙ß pi÷stin, indicates a continuing process of Divine self-disclosure on the basis of faith. What Paul affirms abstractly and with respect to its Divine origin in 17a is then given scriptural grounds and set forth in concrete terms with respect to the human situation in 17b: “The righteous [man] shall live by faith.”

            The view that the New Testament quotation of Habakkuk 2:4 means “the righteous shall live by faith” rather than “the righteous by faith shall live” is found throughout the church age; see, e. g., for the early church period, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Tarsians, Chapter 1; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 2:6; 4:16; Chrysostom, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, Homily 7.

[325]        While Qeo/ß, and His righteous wrath and judment, are ubiquitous in Romans 1:18-3:20 (see 1:18–19, 21, 23–26, 28, 32; 2:2–5, 11, 13, 16–17, 23–24, 29; 3:2–7, 11, 18–19), Cristo/ß (and ∆Ihsouvß) appears only in 2:16 (the only reference to eujagge÷lion in this portion of the epistle also), where His Messianic judgment and condemnation of the unbelieving wicked is in view; there is no swthri÷a in 1:18-3:20 (the complete list of texts with the word in Romans is: 1:16; 5:9–10; 8:24; 9:27; 10:1, 9–10, 13; 11:11, 14, 26; 13:11). In contrast, God as Author of the gospel and the loving and propitiated Father of those in Christ appears very frequently in the other portions of Romans (cf. 1:1, 7-9, 16-17, 3:21-23, 25-26, 29-30, 4:2-3, 6, 17, 20; 5:1-2, 5, 8, 10, 11, 15; 6:10, 11, 13, 17, 22-23, 7:4, 22, 25; 8:3, 9, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 27, 28, 31, 33, 34, 39, 9:8, 11, 16, 26, 10:1, 3, 9, 17; 11:2, 22-23, 29-30, 32-33; 12:1-3, 14:3, 6, 17-18, 20, 22, 15:5-9, 13, 15-17, 19, 30, 32-33; 16:20, 26-27) among a significant variety of other uses of Qeo/ß (cf. 1:4, 10; 8:7-8; 9:5-6, 14, 20, 22; 10:2, 11:8, 21; 13:1-2, 4, 6, 14:11-12—note that His judgment and wrath are also present in a variety of these texts). Cristo/ß appears elsewhere frequently in Romans (1:1, 4, 6–8, 16; 3:22, 24; 5:1, 6, 8, 11, 15, 17, 21; 6:3–4, 8–9, 11, 23; 7:4, 25–8:2; 8:9–11, 17, 34–35, 39–9:1; 9:3, 5; 10:4, 6–7; 12:5; 13:14; 14:9–10, 15, 18; 15:3, 5–8, 16–20, 29–30; 16:3, 5, 7, 9–10, 16, 18, 20, 24–25, 27) as does ∆Ihsouvß (1:1, 4, 6–8; 3:22, 24, 26; 4:24; 5:1, 11, 15, 17, 21; 6:3, 11, 23; 7:25–8:2; 8:11, 39; 10:9; 13:14; 14:14; 15:5–6, 8, 16–17, 30; 16:3, 18, 20, 24–25, 27).

[326]        Romans 2:7-8. Of course, spiritual life and eternal life are highly overlapping or even synonymous terms—those who will have eternal and spiritual life eschatologically are those who have spiritual and eternal life now by means of faith and regeneration.

[327]        The human exercise of pi÷stiß is absent in 1:18-3:20. Obviously, 3:3 is no exception.

[328]        All (pa◊ß, 1:16) need the salvation set forth in the gospel because God’s wrath is revealed against all unrighteousness and ungodliness (1:18) of all men, Jew or Gentile (2:1, 9-10; 3:9) who are filled with all unrighteousness (1:29; 3:12) and therefore are all unable to be justified by the law (3:19-20). Thankfully, the gospel is set forth in Romans as offered to all, whether Jew or Gentile, who believe (3:22-23; 4:11, 16; 5:12, 18; 9:33; 10:4, 11-13, 18, 26, 32; 15:11; 16:26). The point of Romans 2:13 is the availability of salvation to both Jew and Gentile, as the following context demonstrates, while the verse also indicates that all who are justified by faith alone will characteristically keep God’s commandments.

[329]        2:9; 3:9. 2:10 is a proleptic reference to truth explained after 3:20—the manner in which, by grace through faith alone, one can become a true Jew (2:17, 28-29).

[330]        aÓpokalu/ptw appears only in 1:17, 18; 8:18.

[331]        aÓdiki÷a, 1:18, 29; 2:8; 3:5; cf. 6:13. Oujk e¶sti di÷kaioß oujde« ei–ß, 3:10. The di÷kaioß recipient of dikaio/w in 2:13 does not receive elaboration in the portion from 1:18-3:20; the following portions of the epistle provide elaboration.

[332]        3:4-5; 9:14.

[333]        21 nuni« de« cwri«ß no/mou dikaiosu/nh Qeouv pefane÷rwtai, marturoume÷nh uJpo\ touv no/mou kai« tw◊n profhtw◊n: 22 dikaiosu/nh de« Qeouv dia» pi÷stewß ∆Ihsouv Cristouv ei˙ß pa¿ntaß kai« e˙pi« pa¿ntaß tou\ß pisteu/ontaß: ouj ga»r e˙sti diastolh/: 23 pa¿nteß ga»r h¢marton kai« uJsterouvntai thvß do/xhß touv Qeouv, 24 dikaiou/menoi dwrea»n thØv aujtouv ca¿riti dia» thvß aÓpolutrw¿sewß thvß e˙n Cristwˆ◊ˆ◊ ∆Ihsouv: 25 o§n proe÷qeto oJ Qeo\ß i˚lasth/rion, dia» thvß pi÷stewß, e˙n twˆ◊ aujtouv aiºmati, ei˙ß e¶ndeixin thvß dikaiosu/nhß aujtouv, dia» th\n pa¿resin tw◊n progegono/twn aJmarthma¿twn, 26 e˙n thØv aÓnochØv touv Qeouv: pro\ß e¶ndeixin thvß dikaiosu/nhß aujtouv e˙n twˆ◊ nuvn kairwˆ◊, ei˙ß to\ ei•nai aujto\n di÷kaion kai« dikaiouvnta to\n e˙k pi÷stewß ∆Ihsouv. 27 pouv ou™n hJ kau/chsiß; e˙xeklei÷sqh. dia» poi÷ou no/mou; tw◊n e¶rgwn; oujci÷ aÓlla» dia» no/mou pi÷stewß. 28 logizo/meqa ou™n pi÷stei dikaiouvsqai a‡nqrwpon, cwri«ß e¶rgwn no/mou.

[334]        3:22–23; 4:11, 16; 5:12, 18.

[335]        3:29; 4:17–18.

[336]        The emphasis of the texts with Qeo/ß in 3:21-5:21 (3:21–23, 25–26, 29–30; 4:2–3, 6, 17, 20; 5:1–2, 5, 8, 10–11, 15) differs radically from those references to Qeo/ß in 1:18-3:20—in the latter section, God is now, because of Jesus Christ, who is abundantly referenced in the section (3:22, 24; 5:1, 6, 8, 11, 15, 17, 21), the God who manifests grace and love through propitiated justice, rather than the God of wrath who justly punishes those who have not been reconciled through the Redeemer.

[337]        Notice the abundance of references to both God’s and to imputed dikaiosu/nh (3:21-22, 25-26, 4:3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 22; 5:17, 21) and to dikaio/w (3:20, 24, 26, 28, 30; 4:2, 5; 5:1, 9); note also di÷kaioß (3:26; 5:7, 19). The progression manifested in the uses of dikai÷wma is noteworthy. The ungodly know God’s righteous judgments but do not keep them (1:32), while regenerate Gentiles who keep God’s righteous judgments will be reckoned among the people of God (2:26). Despite many offences, the people of God receive dikai÷wma for Christ’s sake, di∆ e˚no\ß dikaiw¿matoß receiving dikai÷wsiß (5:16, 18). Consequently, because of regeneration, the righteous judgments of the law are fulfilled in them (8:4).

In the book of Romans, the complete list of references to dikaiosu/nh is: 1:17; 3:5, 21–22, 25–26; 4:3, 5–6, 9, 11, 13, 22; 5:17, 21; 6:13, 16, 18–20; 8:10; 9:28, 30–31; 10:3–6, 10; 14:17; dikaio/w appears in 2:13; 3:4, 20, 24, 26, 28, 30; 4:2, 5; 5:1, 9; 6:7; 8:30, 33, and di÷kaioß in 1:17; 2:13; 3:10, 26; 5:7, 19; 7:12.

[338]        pi÷stiß, 3:22, 25–28, 30–31; 4:5, 9, 11–14, 16, 19–20; 5:1–2; pisteu/w, 4:3, 17–18, 24.

[339]        swthri÷a, 5:9-10 (eschatological, rather than present, swthri÷a); zwh/, 5:17, 18, 21 (see also 5:10)—note the references to zwh/ appear only at the end of the section 3:21-5:21, where a transition is being made to 6:1-8:39, and the references to swthri÷a are also both in chapter 5, where the dikaio/w word group is, although certainly still present, less overwhelmingly central than it is in chapters 3-4.

[340]        e˙k pi÷stewß. Note that this important Pauline expression (Romans 1:17; 3:26, 30; 4:16; 5:1; 9:30, 32; 10:6; 14:23; Galatians 2:16; 3:7–9, 11–12, 22, 24; 5:5; Hebrews 10:38) occurs only in Habakkuk 2:4 in the LXX. It is also rare in the writings of early post-apostolic Christiandom (but cf. Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho 135: “[T]here are two seeds of Judah, and two races, as there are two houses of Jacob: the one begotten by blood and flesh, the other by faith and the Spirit” (du/o spe÷rmata ∆Iou/da, kai« du/o ge÷nh, wJß du/o oi¶kouß ∆Iakw¿b: to\n me«n e˙x aiºmatoß kai« sarko/ß: to\n de« e˙k pi÷stewß kai« pneu/matoß gegennhme÷non).

[341]        The believer is one who has the quality of being oJe˙k pi÷stewß, Romans 4:16.

[342]        oJe˙k pi÷stewß, Romans 3:26, 30; 4:16; Galatians 3:7-9; also Romans 5:1; Galatians 2:16; 3:22-24; contrast 3:12.

[343]        Romans 9:30-32; 10:6.

[344]        In addition to Romans 12:3; 14:23; 15:13, note also 1 Corinthians 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 4:13; 5:7, for evidence that the entire Christian life from justification to glory is a life of faith.

[345]        Galatians 5:5, e˙k pi÷stewß . . . aÓpekdeco/meqa.

[346]        James 2:24.

[347]        pa◊n de« o§ oujk e˙k pi÷stewß, aJmarti÷a e˙sti÷, Romans 14:23b.

[348]        Romans 12:3, oJ Qeo\ß e˙me÷rise me÷tron pi÷stewß.

[349]        e˙k pi÷stewß ei˙ß pi÷stin—followed by kaqw»ß ge÷graptai, ÔO de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai. The significance of the “from faith to faith” (e˙k pi÷stewß ei˙ß pi÷stin) is illuminated by “they shall go from strength to strength” (poreu/sontai e˙k duna¿mewß ei˙ß du/namin, Psalm 84:7 (83:8, LXX)); “they have gone on from evil to evil” (e˙k kakw◊n ei˙ß kaka» e˙xh/lqosan, Jeremiah 9:2 (9:3, LXX)); “To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life” (oi–ß me«n ojsmh\ qana¿tou ei˙ß qa¿naton, oi–ß de« ojsmh\ zwhvß ei˙ß zwh/n, 2 Corinthians 2:16); “But we all . . . are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (hJmei√ß de« pa¿nteß . . . th\n aujth/n ei˙ko/na metamorfou/meqa aÓpo\ do/xhß ei˙ß do/xan, 2 Corinthians 3:18); classical parallels include Suetonius, Galba 14.1, where in abandoning one imperial choice after the next after the death of Nero, “some demon” drove the soldiers “from treachery to treachery” (e˙k prodosi/aß ei˙ß prodosi/an).

[350]        Romans 6:19; note the contrast: w‚sper ga»r paresth/sate ta» me÷lh uJmw◊n douvla thØv aÓkaqarsi÷aˆ kai« thØv aÓnomi÷aˆ ei˙ß th\n aÓnomi÷an, ou¢tw nuvn parasth/sate ta» me÷lh uJmw◊n douvla thØv dikaiosu/nhØ ei˙ß aJgiasmo/n, the latter being a description of the same process of progressive sanctification as 1:17’s e˙k pi÷stewß ei˙ß pi÷stin.

[351]        Thus, pi÷stiß appears in Rom 1:5, 8, 12, 17; 3:3, 22, 25–28, 30–31; 4:5, 9, 11–14, 16, 19–20; 5:1–2, but then disappears until 9:30, after which it appears again in 9:32; 10:6, 8, 17; 11:20; 12:3, 6; 14:1, 22–23; 16:26. The pisteu/w word group appears only in 6:8 between 5:2 and 9:30. The gap is unmistakable when the entire group in Romans is examined: Romans 1:5, 8, 12, 16–17; 3:2–3, 22, 25–28, 30–31; 4:3, 5, 9, 11–14, 16–20, 24; 5:1–2; 6:8; 9:30, 32–33; 10:4, 6, 8–11, 14, 16–17; 11:20, 23; 12:3, 6; 13:11; 14:1–2, 22–23; 15:13; 16:22, 26.

[352]        e˙n Cristwˆ◊ˆ◊ appears once in Romans 1-5 (3:24), but becomes more frequent after the idea involved in union with Adam and with Christ is set forth, although without the specific use of e˙n Cristwˆ◊ˆ◊, in 5:12-21; thus, in the section 6:1-8:39 (where e˙n Cristwˆ◊ˆ◊ concludes the section in 8:39), and in the subsequent portions of Romans, the phraseology grows very notably in abundance (Romans 3:24; 6:11, 23; 8:1–2, 39–9:1; 12:5; 15:17; 16:3, 7, 9–10).

[353]        Thus, zwh/ and za¿w are central in 6-8, being found in 6:2, 4, 10–11, 13, 22–7:3; 7:9–10; 8:2, 6, 10, 12–13, 38—ÔO de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai. Note the identification of Christ and His life with the believer and his life through the suza¿w of 6:8. aÓnaza¿w is also found in 7:9. The complete list of zwh/ texts in Romans is: 2:7; 5:10, 17–18, 21; 6:4, 22–23; 7:10; 8:2, 6, 10, 38; 11:15. za¿w appears in 1:17; 6:2, 10–11, 13; 7:1–3, 9; 8:12–13; 9:26; 10:5; 12:1; 14:7–9, 11.

[354]        Note the transition from judicial righteousness to practical righteousness in progressive sanctification in the use of the di÷kaioßword group; contrast the uses in Romans 3:20–22, 24–26, 28, 30; 4:2–3, 5–6, 9, 11, 13, 22; 5:1, 7, 9, 17, 19, 21 with those in Romans 6:7, 13, 16, 18–20.

[355]        That is, the du/namiß . . . Qeouv . . . ei˙ß swthri÷an of 1:16 includes a restoration by the Holy Spirit (8:9ff.) of the du/namiß to obey God lost in the Fall (8:7-8, du/namai), and God’s exercise of du/namiß is absolutely and unstoppably effectual in its purpose (cf. 8:38-39); see 15:13, 14, 19; 16:25.

[356]        While a rhetorical oughtness should not be excluded from the questions in Romans 6:1, 15 (Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? e˙pimenouvmen thØv aJmarti÷aˆ, iºna hJ ca¿riß pleona¿shØ; Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?aJmarth/somen, o¢ti oujk e˙sme«n uJpo\ no/mon, aÓll∆ uJpo\ ca¿rin;), the questions are not simply ones of propriety, but ones of possibility—a possibility indubitably negated, Paul declares. That is, the “God forbid” (mh\ ge÷noito) that answers Paul’s questions does not just negate the propriety of continuing in sin, but the possibility of it. The fact that Romans 6:1ff. teaches that the believer is certain to not continue in sin is demonstrated by a number of exegetical considerations.

First, whenever Paul follows a “What shall we say” (ti÷ e˙rouvmen;) question in Romans with another question, what is negated is the possibility, not merely the propriety, of the action. Consider the examples outside of Romans 6:

A.) The answer to “What shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance?” (Romans 3:5, ti÷ e˙rouvmen; mh\ a‡dikoß oJ Qeo\ß oJ e˙pife÷rwn th\n ojrgh/n (kata» a‡nqrwpon le÷gw);—note that the “I speak as a man” is an appropriate addition to all of the following similar questions in Romans) is not, “God who takes vengeance ought not to be unrighteous, but perhaps He is unrighteous,” but “God who takes vengeance is certainly not unrighteous.”

B.) The answer to “What shall we say then? Is the law sin?” (Romans 7:7, Ti÷ ou™n e˙rouvmen; oJ no/moß aJmarti÷a;), is not “The law ought not to be sin, but perhaps it is sin,” but “The law certainly is not sin.”

C.) The answer to the question, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31, Ti÷ ou™n e˙rouvmen pro\ß tauvta; ei˙ oJ Qeo\ß uJpe«r hJmw◊n, ti÷ß kaq∆ hJmw◊n;), is not “No one ought to be effectually against us and defeat God’s purpose of grace, but it is possible that God will be defeated,” but “Certainly no one is effectually against us and can defeat God’s purpose of grace.”

D.) The answer to the question, “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?” (Romans 9:14, Ti÷ ou™n e˙rouvmen; mh\ aÓdiki÷a para» twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊;), is not, “There ought not to be unrighteousness with God, but perhaps there is,” but “There is certainly no unrighteousness with God.”

Certainty, not possibility, is not only under consideration in all the “What shall we say?” constructions in Romans followed by a question outside of chapter six, but also in view when a statement rather than a question follows (9:30). Consequently, the questions in Romans 6 are also answered by certainties, not mere potentialities or proprieties. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1, Ti÷ ou™n e˙rouvmen; e˙pimenouvmen thØv aJmarti÷aˆ, iºna hJ ca¿riß pleona¿shØ;) is not answered, “we ought not, but may, continue in sin,” but “we shall certainly not continue in sin.” “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:2, oiºtineß aÓpeqa¿nomen thØv aJmarti÷aˆ, pw◊ß e¶ti zh/somen e˙n aujthØv;) is not answered, “We that are dead ought not to be alive to and live in sin any longer, but we may,” but “We that are dead will not be alive to and live in sin any longer.” The question, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?” (Romans 6:15, Ti÷ ou™n; aJmarth/somen, o¢ti oujk e˙sme«n uJpo\ no/mon, aÓll∆ uJpo\ ca¿rin;) is not answered, “We ought not to continue in sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace, but we might,” but “We will not continue in sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace.” Likewise, the condition in Romans 6:8 is not merely possible, but certain; those that are dead with Christ will certainly, rather than only potentially, live with Him—they are eternally secure and saved from sin’s penalty and power. The questions that parallel those of Romans 6:1, 15 demonstrate that the believer will certainly not continue in sin.

Second, leaving aside the “What shall we say?” (Romans 3:5; 4:1; 6:1; 7:7; 8:31; 9:14, 30) use of e˙rouvmen, which does not, in any case, provide any contrary evidence, Paul always uses the first plural future active indicative (the Textus Receptus properly reads e˙pimenouvmen and aJmarth/somen in Romans 6:1, 15, while the minority text’s reading of e˙pime÷nwmen and aJmarth/swmen is corrupt) of a certainty, not a mere possibility. Believers are certain to judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3); it is certain that it is not a great thing to reap carnal things where spiritual things have been sown (1 Corinthians 9:11); it is certain that believers will bear the image of the heavenly second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:49); it is certain that believers who do not faint will reap (Galatians 6:9); it is certain that those who are dead with Christ will live with Him (2 Timothy 2:11); it is certain that those who suffer with Christ will reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12); it is certain that the audience of Hebrews will go on, if God permit (Hebrews 6:3); it is certain that those who are in subjection to the Father of spirits shall live (Hebrews 12:9). Consequently, it is also certain that believers will not continue in sin (Romans 6:1, 15) and will not live in sin (Romans 6:2) but will live with Christ (Romans 6:8).

            Third, in every instance where Paul negates an affirmation with “God forbid” (mh\ ge÷noito) in Romans, what is negated is not potentially possible, but certainly impossible. It is certain that the faithfulness of God is not of none effect (Romans 3:3-4). It is certain that God who takes vengence is not unrighteous (Romans 3:5-6). It is certain that the law is not sin (Romans 7:7). It is certain that God’s good law was not made death unto Paul (Romans 7:13). It is certain that there is no unrighteousness with God (Romans 9:14). It is certain that God has not cast away His people (Romans 11:1). It is certain that Israel has not stumbled so that the nation was cast off forever (Romans 11:11). Indeed, there is no clear evidence of any instance of “God forbid” in Paul’s writings that does not deal with a certainty (Romans 3:4, 6, 31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14; 11:1, 11; 1 Corinthians 6:15 (cf. 6:9-11); Galatians 2:17; 3:21; 6:14). Consequently, it is a certainty that believers will not continue in sin (Romans 6:1-2, 15). God forbid—He will not allow it to be so. (Note that God is involved, and “God forbid” a proper translation, in the expression mh\ ge÷noito. See, on the Old Testament construction with lyIlDj, Commentary on the Old Testament, C. F. Keil & F. Delitzsch, on Joshua 22:29; also see 1 Samuel 24:6; 26:11; 1 Kings 21:3; Job 34:10; 1 Chronicles 11:19. The LXX renders the Old Testament lyIlDj phrase with mh\ ge÷noito at times (Genesis 44:7, 17; Joshua 22:29; 24:16). A. T. Robertson notes: “In modern Greek Dr. Rouse finds people saying not mh\ ge÷noito, but oJ qeo\ß na» fula¿xhØ”(pg. 940, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, A. T. Robertson. See also pg. 94, The Epistle to the Romans, John Murray).

            Fourth, the context of Romans 6 indicates that the believer is certain not to live in sin. His death to sin and identification with Christ (6:1-4) make a walk in newness of life certain. He is certain to be in the holy likeness of Christ’s resurrection (6:5). Crucifixion with Christ is certain to bring freedom from sin’s domination (6:6-7); the believer’s new spiritual life is as certain as the resurrection of Christ to new life (6:8-10). The believer is to reckon himself dead to sin and alive to God (6:11-13), not because it is possible that true Christians can be dominated by sin, but because God’s promise is certain: “sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (6:14). While his new obedience is imperfect (6:19), nonetheless the time that believers were enslaved to sin is in the past—now all have become the servants of righteousness and are free from sin’s dominion (6:17-21). All believers have their fruit unto holiness, and their end everlasting life (6:22), while all those who still bring forth fruit unto sin receive spiritual death and eternal damnation (6:15-16, 21-23).

            Sound exegesis makes it very clear that Romans 6:1 and 15 affirm that the believer not only ought not to, but certainly will not, live in sin as do the unregenerate.

[357]       Note the plentitude of references to the pneuvma in Romans 8 (8:1–2, 4–6, 9–11, 13–16, 23, 26); the Holy Spirit is mentioned earlier in Romans only in 1:4 and 5:5 (though the word pneuvma also appears in 1:9; 2:29; 7:6. After Romans 8, the Holy Spirit is mentioned also in 9:1; 14:17; 15:13, 16, 19, 30; pneuvma appears also in 11:8; 12:11). The Holy Spirit as a Product and Gift of the “in Christ” relationship, and as Producer of spiritual life, comes to the fore in Romans 8. It should be noted that His presence and work are a blessing possessed by all those in union with Christ in Romans 8—nothing in the chapter limits His work to a minority of Christians or to, say, those who affirm that they have entered into a post-conversion second blessing or Higher Life experience.

[358]        The passive plhrwqhØv in to\ dikai÷wma touv no/mou plhrwqhØv e˙n hJmi√n indicates that God is the source of the fulfillment of the law—grace is the source of all in the believer’s salvation and new covenant obedience. However, there is nothing in Romans 8:4 that indicates that the believer’s progressive sanctification is vicarious or that the believer does not himself act in the fulfillment of the law. In the similar syntax in John 17:13 (iºna e¶cwsi th\n cara»n th\n e˙mh\n peplhrwme÷nhn e˙n aujtoi√ß), God is certainly the One who produces the fulfillment, but the believers are actively joyful. Indeed, the syntax of the passive of plhro/w + e˙n + pronoun can even be instrumental; cf. “this was Jesus, and that the Scripture was fulfilled in/by Him,” Touvton ei•nai ∆Ihsouvn, kai« peplhrw◊sqai e˙n aujtwˆ◊ th\n Grafh/n, (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:12:8).

[359]        ∆Ioudai÷wˆ te prw◊ton kai« ›Ellhni. ›Ellhn appears in 10:12 after being absent since early in Romans (1:14, 16; 2:9–10; 3:9), and ∆Ioudai√oß reappears also in 9:24, 10:12 after being absent since 1-3 (1:16; 2:9–10, 17, 28–3:1; 3:9, 29), while ∆Israh/l appears only in 9-11, but there very frequently (9:6, 27, 31; 10:1, 19, 21; 11:2, 7, 25–26; note also e¶qnoß in 9:24, 30; 10:19; 11:11–13, 25, which had been absent since 1-4; e¶qnoß also reappears in 15-16 in light of the content of those chapters, after being absent in 12-14). Since the receipt, or rejection, of salvation (swthri÷a/sw¿ˆzw, 9:27; 10:1, 9–10, 13; 11:11, 14, 26) in its juridical, renewing, and eschatological fullness is under consideration in the chapters, the development from emphasis upon righteousness and consequently life found in the progression from 3:20-5:21 and 6:1-8:39 is no longer maintained. Thus, pi÷stiß reappears (Romans 9:30, 32; 10:6, 8, 17; 11:20) along with pisteu/w (9:33; 10:4, 9–11, 14, 16) frequently in the company of dikaiosu/nh (9:28, 30–31; 10:3–6, 10), while the fact that receipt of righteousness brings life is assumed rather than receiving continued emphasis (hence za¿w appears only in 9:26; 10:5, in neither case of the life of the justified by faith). Note also the reappearance of eujagge÷lion/eujaggeli÷zw in 10:15–16; 11:28, appearing earlier only in 1:1, 9, 15–16; 2:16.

[360]        dia» tw◊n oi˙kti÷rmwn touv Qeouv in 12:1 refers back to 9:15, ∆Eleh/sw o§n a·n e˙lew◊, kai« oi˙kteirh/sw o§n a·n oi˙ktei÷rw.

[361]        In Romans 15:13, oJ de« Qeo\ß thvß e˙lpi÷doß plhrw◊sai uJma◊ß pa¿shß cara◊ß kai« ei˙rh/nhß e˙n twˆ◊ pisteu/ein, ei˙ß to\ perisseu/ein uJma◊ß e˙n thØv e˙lpi÷di, e˙n duna¿mei Pneu/matoß ÔAgi÷ou, the e˙n twˆ◊ pisteu/ein of Romans 15:13 indicates the means (cf. pg. 145, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, vol. 3, Nigel Turner) by which the saints are filled with joy and peace, just as the e˙n duna¿mei Pneu/matoß ÔAgi÷ou indicates means. Both the Divine power and the human responsibility in sanctification are seen in the parallel e˙n phrases, while Paul does not affirm that they have equal ultimacy. While e˙n twˆ◊ + infinitive is more commonly used for contemporaneous time than for means, the parallelism with e˙n duna¿mei Pneu/matoß ÔAgi÷ou supports means (cf. also 15:19, e˙n duna¿mei Pneu/matoß Qeouv). Furthermore, even if one wished to affirm that e˙n twˆ◊ pisteu/ein indicates contemporaneous time, the fact that the filling takes place at the time of the believing would support that belief is in some sense a condition of being filled with joy and peace. The spiritual life of Divinely produced joy and peace received by means of faith is part of what is involved in the life that the just have by faith (Romans 1:16-17), as Romans 15:13 is the logical conclusion to the main body of the letter that began in 1:16. Compare 1 Peter 1:8.

[362]        The e˙n duna¿mei Pneu/matoß ÔAgi÷ou of 15:13 also ties back to the “power of God,” the du/namiß . . . Qeouv, of 1:16; note the references to du/namai at 15:14 and the end of the epistle in 16:25.

[363]        A i˚erourge÷w of to\ eujagge÷lion touv Qeouv; note also leitourgo/ß; cf. Hebrews 8:2; Ezra 7:24; Nehemiah 10:39; Isaiah 61:6 (LXX).

[364]        eujpro/sdektoß; cf. 1 Peter 2:5, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, kai« aujtoi« wJß li÷qoi zw◊nteß oi˙kodomei√sqe oi•koß pneumatiko/ß, i˚era¿teuma a‚gion, aÓnene÷gkai pneumatika»ß qusi÷aß eujprosde÷ktouß twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊ dia» ∆Ihsouv Cristouv.

[365]        Romans 15:18-19 indicates that the uJpakoh/ e˙qnw◊n, lo/gwˆ kai« e¶rgwˆ, was a product of the mediate agency of Paul’s apostolic ministry e˙n duna¿mei shmei÷wn kai« tera¿twn and the ultimate agency of the Spirit, e˙n duna¿mei Pneu/matoß Qeouv.

[366]        The offering of 15:25-33 and the holy actions mentioned in the people listed in 16:1-24 are examples of the holy sacrifices that the almighty grace of God produces in those justified and regenerated; they are specific manifestations of what the renewed life of those who have become just by faith looks like.

[367]        The continuity and development from 1:16-17 to 15:13-16 (cf. 17-20) and 16:25-27 is clear.

[368]        ti÷ ga»r hJ grafh\ le÷gei; ∆Epi÷steuse de« ∆Abraa»m twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊, kai« e˙logi÷sqh aujtwˆ◊ ei˙ß dikaiosu/nhn. The One who accounted Abraham as righteous is God, twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊; e˙logi÷sqh is a form of the Divine passive. “Abraham believed in God, and God reckoned [it] [“it was reckoned by God”] to him unto righteousness.” Compare Leviticus 7:18 (7:8, LXX): e˙a»n de« fagw»n fa¿ghØ aÓpo\ tw◊n krew◊n thvØ hJme÷raˆ thvØ tri÷thØ, ouj decqh/setai aujtw◊ˆ tw◊ˆ prosfe÷ronti aujto/, ouj logisqh/setai aujtw◊ˆ, mi÷asma¿ e˙stin: hJ de« yuch/, h¢tiß e˙a»n fa¿ghØ aÓp∆ aujtouv, th\n aJmarti÷an lh/myetai, “And if he do at all eat of the flesh on the third day, it shall not be accepted for him that offers: it shall not be reckoned to him, it is pollution; and whatsoever soul shall eat of it, shall bear his iniquity.” Whether in Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, or James 2:23, the aorist of ∆Epi÷steuse in the New Testament quotation of Genesis 15:6 is constative. Compare the present tenses of pisteu/w employed for Christian belief in 4:5, 11, 24 and the aorists for Abraham’s belief in 4:3, 17, 18.

[369]        Charles Hodge explains:

According to the Remonstrants or Arminians, faith is the ground [rather than merely the instrumental cause] of justification. Under the Gospel God accepts our imperfect obedience including faith and springing from it, in place of the perfect obedience demanded by the law originally given to Adam. There is one passage in the Bible, or rather one form of expression, which occurs in several places, which seems to favour this view of the subject. In Romans 4:3, it is said, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness;” and again in ver. 22 of that chapter, and in Galatians 3:6. If this phrase be interpreted according to the analogy of such passages as Romans 2:26, “Shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?” it does mean that faith is taken or accepted for righteousness. The Bible, however, is the word of God and therefore self-consistent. Consequently if a passage admits of one interpretation inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible in other places, and of another interpretation consistent with that teaching, we are bound to accept the latter. . . . [We must not only consider what] grammatical structure and logical connection indicate . . . [but also] the analogy of Scripture. . . . [T]he Apostle . . . teaches, first, that the great promise made to Abraham, and faith in which secured his justification, was not that his natural descendants should be as numerous as the stars of heaven, but that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed; secondly, that the seed intended was not a multitude, but one person, and that that one person was Christ (Gal. 3:16); and, thirdly, that the blessing which the seed of Abraham was to secure for the world was redemption. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: … that the blessing of Abraham (i.e., the promise made to Abraham) might come on” us. The promise made to Abraham, therefore, was redemption through Christ. Hence those who are Christ’s, the Apostle teaches, are Abraham’s seed and heirs of his promise. What, therefore, Abraham believed, was that the seed of the woman, the Shiloh, the promised Redeemer of the world, was to be born of him. He believed in Christ, as his Saviour, as his righteousness, and deliverer, and therefore it was that he was accepted as righteous, not for the merit of his faith, and not on the ground of faith, or by taking faith in lieu of righteousness, but because he received and rested on Christ alone for his salvation.

Unless such be the meaning of the Apostle, it is hard to see how there is any coherence or force in his arguments. His object is to prove that men are justified, not by works, but gratuitously; not for what they are or do, but for what is done for them. They are saved by a ransom; by a sacrifice. But it is absurd to say that trust in a ransom redeems, or is taken in place of the ransom; or that faith in a sacrifice, and not the sacrifice itself, is the ground of acceptance. To prove that such is the Scriptural method of justification, Paul appeals to the case of Abraham. He was not justified for his works, but by faith in a Redeemer. He expected to be justified as ungodly (Romans 4:5). This, he tells us, is what we must do. We have no righteousness of our own. We must take Christ for our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. In the immediately preceding chapter the Apostle had said we are justified by faith in the blood of Christ, as a propitiation for sin; and for him to prove this from the fact that Abraham was justified on account of his confiding, trusting state of mind, which led him to believe that, although a hundred years old, he should be the father of a numerous posterity, would be a contradiction.

Besides, it is to be remembered, not only that the Scriptures never say that we are justified “on account” of faith (dia» pi÷stin), but always “by,” or “through” faith (dia» or e˙k pi÷stewß, or pi÷stei); but also that it is not by faith as such; not by faith in God, nor in the Scriptures; and not by faith in a specific divine promise such as that made to Abraham of a numerous posterity, or of the possession of the land of Canaan; but only by faith in one particular promise, namely, that of salvation through Christ. It is, therefore, not on account of the state of mind, of which faith is the evidence, nor of the good works which are its fruits, but only by faith as an act of trust in Christ, that we are justified. This of necessity supposes that He, and not our faith, is the ground of our justification. He, and not our faith, is the ground of our confidence. How can any Christian wish it to be otherwise? What comparison is there between the absolutely perfect and the infinitely meritorious righteousness of Christ, and our own imperfect evangelical obedience as a ground of confidence and peace!

This doctrine is moreover dishonouring to the Gospel. It supposes the Gospel to be less holy than the law. The law required perfect obedience; the Gospel is satisfied with imperfect obedience. And how imperfect and insufficient our best obedience is, the conscience of every believer certifies. If it does not satisfy us, how can it satisfy God?

The grand objection, however, to this Remonstrant doctrine as to the relation between faith and justification, is that it is in direct contradiction to the plain and pervading teachings of the Word of God. The Bible teaches that we are not justified by works. This doctrine affirms that we are justified by works. The Bible teaches that we are justified by the blood of Christ; that it is for his obedience that the sentence of justification is passed on men. This doctrine affirms that God pronounces us righteous because of our own righteousness. The Bible from first to last teaches that the whole ground of our salvation or of our justification is objective, what Christ as our Redeemer, our ransom, our sacrifice, our surety, has done for us. This doctrine teaches us to look within, to what we are and to what we do, as the ground of our acceptance with God. It may safely be said that this is altogether unsatisfactory to the awakened conscience. The sinner cannot rely on anything in himself. He instinctively looks to Christ, to his work done for us as the ground of confidence and peace. This in the last resort is the hope of all believers . . . they all cast their dying eyes on Christ. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (pgs. 167-170, Systematic Theology, vol. 3, Charles Hodge)

[370]        The Reformed sacramental notion that infant baptism is a vehicle conveying saving grace and that through baptism grace is “conferred by the Holy Ghost” upon the elect (Westminster Confession of Faith, Article 28) because baptism is a “seal” of salvation is a serious heresy. Since Romans 4:11 is the only verse in Scripture that could with any plausibility be used to support the Reformed view, its advocates argue from this text that circumcision is a “seal” of grace, that their sacrament of infant baptism is equivalent to circumcision, and that, therefore, infant baptism seals or conveys grace to their infants. This argument is filled with errors. Even if circumcision were equivalent to baptism, which it is not, the example of Abraham would teach that faith is a prerequisite to baptism. A parallel between circumcision given to all the physical seed of Abraham and baptism given to the spiritual seed of Abraham would restrict baptism to believers, since “they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7).

The use of the word “seal” (sfragi÷ß) in Romans 4:11—for the already justified and already believing Abraham—by no means supports the Reformed contention. First, the verse does not say that circumcision was a seal of grace to Jewish male infants. While circumcision was a “sign” by nature, it is not affirmed to have been a “seal” to all, but only personally to believing Abraham, who received it when he had already been justified by faith. A recognition of this distinction in Romans 4:11 explains the Old Testament use of the word sign or token (twøa) in connection with circumcision (Genesis 17:11) but the complete absence of references in the Old Testament to the ceremony as a “seal.” Second, the New Testament does not equate circumcision with baptism or state that the latter replaces the former. Third, the Biblical immersion of believers has nothing to do with the ceremonial application of water to infants that the Reformed claim is baptism. Fourth, a seal is a visible mark or impression evidencing the authority of the one who authorizes the seal to the genuineness or correctness of whatever is witnessed to by its presence. However, baptism does not leave a visible mark upon those who receive it, and it is not administered to single individuals by Divine authority—the authority given the church to administer baptism is general (Matthew 28:18-20). No man can put marks upon the elect of God which shall authoritatively certify that they are His, and neither baptism nor the Lord’s Supper authenticate one’s personal election to himself or to others; such authentication is given to the regenerate individual himself by the presence of true faith and the manifestation of that faith in a changed life, as taught in 1 John (cf. 5:13). Unlike the ordinance of baptism, the “seal” of circumcision given to Abraham was indeed a visible mark and was applied to the individual man Abraham by direct Divine authority. Circumcision was a seal to Abraham, but to nobody else. Finally, when advocates of Reformed theology and other Protestants speak of baptism as a “seal” or vehicle of grace, they use the word in a sense entirely absent in Scripture. None of the appearances of the word “seal” (sfragi÷ß) in the New Testament indicate that grace is conveyed through a “seal” (Romans 4:11; 1 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Timothy 2:19; Revelation 5:1-2, 5, 9; 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; 7:2; 8:1; 9:4). Those who think that infant baptism was the instrument of their receiving forgiveness, those who think that they received the sacrament as confirmation and evidence that they were already regenerated in the womb, and those who think they had water applied to them in infancy as evidence that they were certain to be regenerated in the future unless they consciously rejected the “sacrament” and its efficacy are underneath a terrible spiritual delusion. They will certainly be damned unless they recognize that their unbiblical religious ceremony did nothing beneficial for them, admit they are still lost, and then repent and believe the gospel.

Indeed, baptism is not even a “sign” in the sense regularly employed in Reformed theology. The ordinance is indeed a sign of what Christ did and suffered, but it is not a “sign” promising that any saving work will be done in the one who receives it—yet it is in this latter sense that the Reformed generally speak of the ordinance as a “sign.”

[371]        Romans 4:12, toi√ß stoicouvsi toi√ß i¶cnesi thvß e˙n thØv aÓkrobusti÷aˆ pi÷stewß touv patro\ß hJmw◊n ∆Abraa¿m. The present participle stoicouvsi supports the fact that a continuing lifestyle that matches Abraham’s is in view, rather than only the action of a particular moment.

[372]        There are many convincing works defending the Pauline authorship of Hebrews, from John Owen’s “Of the Penman of the Epistle to the Hebrews” in his Exercitations on the Epistle to the Hebrews in vol. 17 of his complete works, to Charles Forster’s The Apostolic Authority of the Epistle to the Hebrews (London: James Duncan, 1838), to William Leonard’s Authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews: Critical Problem and Use of the Old Testament (Rome: Vatican Polyglot Press, 1939), to more modern works. However, the testimony of Scripture itself to the Pauline authorship of the Apostle’s 14th epistle is conclusive. 2 Peter 3:15-16 indicates that Paul wrote an inspired epistle, a work that is part of the New Testament canon, to the Jewish diaspora (2 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 1:1; cf. James 1:1). Since Paul’s other thirteen inspired and canonical epistles are written to specific Gentile churches, the book of Hebrews must be the Pauline epistle that Peter refers to in 2 Peter 3:15-16.

[373]        “That in the Epistle to the Hebrews it is the general idea of faith, or, to be more exact, the subjective nature of faith, that is dwelt upon, rather than its specific object, is not due to a peculiar conception of what faith lays hold upon, but to the particular task which fell to its writer in the work of planting Christianity in the world. With him, too, the person and work of Christ are the specific object of faith (Hebrews 13:7, 8; 3:14; 10:22). But the danger against which, in the providence of God, he was called upon to guard the infant flock, was not that it should fall away from faith to works, but that it should fall away from faith into despair. His readers were threatened not with legalism but with ‘shrinking back’ (Hebrews 10:39), and he needed, therefore, to emphasize not so much the object of faith as the duty of faith. Accordingly, it is not so much on the righteousness of faith as on its perfecting that he insists; it is not so much its contrast with works as its contrast with impatience that he impresses on his readers’ consciences; it is not so much to faith specifically in Christ and in Him alone that he exhorts them as to an attitude of faith—an attitude which could rise above the seen to the unseen, the present to the future, the temporal to the eternal, and which in the midst of sufferings could retain patience, in the midst of disappointments could preserve hope. This is the key to the whole treatment of faith in the Epistle to the Hebrews—its definition as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1); its illustration and enforcement by the example of the heroes of faith in the past, a list chosen and treated with the utmost skill for the end in view (11.); its constant attachment to the promises (Hebrews 4:1, 2; 6:12; 10:36, 38; 11:9); its connexion with the faithfulness (Hebrews 11:11; cf. 10:23), almightiness (Hebrews 11:19), and the rewards of God (Hebrews 11:6, 26); and its association with such virtues as boldness (Hebrews 3:6; 4:16; 10:19, 35), confidence (Hebrews 3:14; 11:1), patience (Hebrews 10:36; 12:1), [and] hope (Hebrews 3:6; 6:11, 18; 10:23)” (“The Biblical Doctrine of Faith,” Biblical Doctrines, Warfield, vol. 2 of Works).

[374]        oJ de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai: kai« e˙a»n uJpostei÷lhtai, oujk eujdokei√ hJ yuch/ mou e˙n aujtwˆ◊. hJmei√ß de« oujk e˙sme«n uJpostolhvß ei˙ß aÓpw¿leian, aÓlla» pi÷stewß ei˙ß peripoi÷hsin yuchvß.

            The critical text corruption that changes Paul’s oJ de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai into oJ de« di÷kaio/ß mou e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setaiin Hebrews 10:38 contradicts the Hebrew text of Habakkuk 2:4 and Paul’s own method of quoting the passage in Romans and Galatians. The Textus Receptus follows 97% of Greek MSS, while the critical text corruption follows the remaining 3%. There is even evidence in the MSS of the LXX for oJ de« di÷kaioß e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai rather than oJ de« di÷kaio/ß mou e˙k pi÷stewß zh/setai.

[375]        While aÓpw¿leia is a word Scripture reserves, in spiritual judgments, to the unregenerate, peripoi÷hsiß, “saving” in Hebrews 10:39, is employed only of blessings upon the people of God (Ephesians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; Hebrews 10:39; 1 Peter 2:9).

[376]        The proud person, the wóø;b wäøvVpÅn hñ∂rVvÎy_aøl h$DlVÚpUo of Habakkuk 2:4a, is the one who draws back (uJpostei÷lhtai) in Habakkuk 2:4a, LXX—the passage identifies him as an unsaved person. Furthermore, “perdition,” aÓpw¿leia, is never used in the New Testament of a spiritual judgment that a saved person can undergo, but is very regularly used of the eternal damnation of the unregenerate (cf. the complete list of uses: Matthew 7:13; 26:8; Mark 14:4; John 17:12; Acts 8:20; 25:16; Romans 9:22; Philippians 1:28; 3:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 6:9; Hebrews 10:39; 2 Peter 2:1–3; 3:7, 16; Revelation 17:8, 11). Note also sunapo/llumi for the fate of unbelievers in Hebrews 11:31.

[377]        pi÷stei.

[378]        Compare John Owen’s extensive exposition of chapter 11 in his Exposition of Hebrews.

[379]        Hebrews 10:38; 11:4; 12:23 are the only texts with di÷kaioß in Hebrews, and they all refer to the same sort of person. Those who are the just will live like just Abel, and then enter into the eternal home of just men made perfect.

[380]        eujhresthke÷nai twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊. eujareste÷w appears in the NT only in Hebrews 11:5-6; 13:16. As in Hebrews 11:5-6 those with saving faith please God, so in Hebrews 13:16 God is pleased with the good deeds and charitable sharing with needy fellow Christians that arise out of a heart established with grace, rather than being pleased with the sacrifices performed by the unconverted Jews who would call the Christian Hebrews back to the shadows of the ceremonial law (13:7-17).

[381]         Note the continuity demonstrated in the uses of marture÷w in Hebrews 11:

11:2 e˙n tau/thØ ga»r e˙marturh/qhsan oi˚ presbu/teroi.

For by it the elders obtained a good report.

11:4 pi÷stei plei÷ona qusi÷an ⁄Abel para» Ka¿iœn prosh/negke twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊, di∆ h∞ß e˙marturh/qh ei•nai di÷kaioß, marturouvntoß e˙pi« toi√ß dw¿roiß aujtouv touv Qeouv: kai« di∆ aujthvß aÓpoqanw»n e¶ti lalei√.

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

11:5 pi÷stei ∆Enw»c metete÷qh touv mh\ i˙dei√n qa¿naton, kai« oujc euJri÷sketo, dio/ti mete÷qhken aujto\n oJ Qeo/ß: pro\ ga»r thvß metaqe÷sewß aujtouv memartu/rhtai eujhresthke÷nai twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊:

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.

11:39 kai« ou∞toi pa¿nteß, marturhqe÷nteß dia» thvß pi÷stewß, oujk e˙komi÷santo th\n e˙paggeli÷an,

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

[382]        Hebrews 11:16; cf. 2:11; Romans 9:33; 10:9-11; 1 Peter 2:6.

[383]        Genesis 27, which is referred to in Hebrews 11:20, illustrates both the true faith present in Isaac and that serious sins and manifestations of corruption from indwelling sin can be present in those with saving faith.

[384]        Note that the section from 11:4-31 begins with a plain statement that acts of faith manifest the presence of spiritual life in the just or righteous and are instrumental in holy practice (11:4) and ends with an indication that those who do not possess those products of faith in the life will perish as unbelievers (11:31).

[385]        In John 2:22, both the Old Testament Scripture and Christ’s audible speech during His earthly ministry are the Word of God (e˙pi÷steusan thØv grafhØv, kai« twˆ◊ lo/gwˆ wˆ— ei•pen oJ ∆Ihsouvß), which the disciples believe in regard to His resurrection (2:18-22).

[386]        The “ontological Trinity [refers to] the internal, intratrinitarian distinctions ad intra or within the Godhead itself,” while the “economic Trinity [refers to] the offices or functions performed by each of the three members of the Trinity. The economic Trinity concerns the roles that each member performs in terms of the created order ad extra or outside of himself” (pgs. 954, 959, Dogmatic Theology, W. G. T. Shedd, 3rd. ed. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2003). That is, the ontological Trinity is God as He is in Himself, while the economic Trinity is God as He is towards us.

[387]        Brian Kay, in setting forth the Trinitarian spirituality of John Owen, effectively explains the connection between meditation on the Trinity and on Christ the Mediator:

[W]hat exactly is the connection between meditating on the Trinity in action and actual growth towards Christian maturity? The best way to understand this may come by examining . . . another related question which is more specific: how is meditating on Christ transformative for the believer? These are related questions, of course, because . . . the prime ad extra act of the Trinity is to communicate Christ to the believer[.] . . . Thus, to meditate on the glory of Christ as Redeemer is to meditate on the most important work of the Trinity. . . . [A]pprehending Christ in his glory is not only the remedy for spiritual decays, but our apprehension of this glory is the spring of all our obedience and is also the controlling object of Christian affection because of Christ’s consuming beauty. How is this contemplation so effective? Two reasons . . . rise to the surface. The first is that since the Spirit’s work is to fashion believers into the image of Christ’s human nature, the believer’s own transformation begins as he fills his mind with thoughts of the now glorified human nature of Christ [and other elements of His Theanthropic glory]. In other words, one slowly becomes what one fills one’s mind with . . . one becomes what one apprehends or gazes upon. The connection between beholding and transformation comes also in the scriptural language “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord[.”] . . .

         More deeply, a consideration by the worshipper of the very hypostatic union by which Christ’s human nature is united to [the] divine nature is especially powerful. On one hand, diligently inspecting the Son of God’s condescension to take on human nature impresses the believer’s mind with the prototype of all Christian self-denial, for human obedience is similarly acting in self-denying submission to the will of the Father. On the other hand, the hypostatic union presents to the mind a glorious mystery that exalts God’s ineffable wisdom in salvation. . . . [C]ontemplating . . . Christ as fully God and fully man . . . raises the human mind to new heights of both delight in God and progress in sanctification. Somehow, such lofty thoughts of such an inexplicable union, yet a union made real by the Godhead as an act of love for those who would be saved because of it, moves the soul to humble worship and new sensations of appreciative delight. . . . [E]njoyment [is] the language of . . . meditating on Christ[.] . . . In the last analysis, the enjoyment of Christ is what drives out the enjoyment of sin, for the former causes the believer to lose his appetite for the latter. The late-born Puritan Thomas Chalmers would express the same idea with the title of a sermon on the secret of dislodging fleshly appetites, “The Expulsive Power of a new Affection.” (pgs. 70-71, Trinitarian Spirituality, Brian Kay. Some quotation marks have been removed and the traditional English generic pronoun restored.)

[388]        tau/thn e˙poi÷hse th\n aÓrch\n tw◊n shmei÷wn oJ ∆Ihsouvß e˙n Kana◊Ø thvß Galilai÷aß, kai« e˙fane÷rwse th\n do/xan aujtouv: kai« e˙pi÷steusan ei˙ß aujto\n oi˚ maqhtai« aujtouv. The specific manifestation of Christ’s glory in the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana, and the specific belief in Him as a response to this particular manifestation of His glory, is specified by the aorists e˙fane÷rwse and e˙pi÷steusan. Note that John 11:15, 40; 13:19; 19:35; 20:8, 25, 29, 31; 1 John 3:23 also contain aorists.

[389]        pisteu/w + ei˙ß.

[390]        e˙a»n pisteu/shØß, o¡yei th\n do/xan touv Qeouv. While all present in John 11 saw the physical miracle of the raising of Lazarus, only those with spiritual sight could see the glory of God in Christ revealed by the miracle.

[391]        aÓp∆ a‡rti le÷gw uJmi√n pro\ touv gene÷sqai, iºna, o¢tan ge÷nhtai, pisteu/shte o¢ti e˙gw¿ ei˙mi.

[392]        Mh\ tarasse÷sqw uJmw◊n hJ kardi÷a: pisteu/ete ei˙ß to\n Qeo/n, kai« ei˙ß e˙me« pisteu/ete. As in the Authorized Version, the first pisteu/ete is an indicative, while the second is an imperative; cf. Non turbetur cor vestrum. Creditis in Deum, et in me credite (Vulgate). Support for taking pisteu/ete in 14:1b as an imperative is also found in the present imperative pisteu/ete in 14:11 and the exhortation to pisteu/w in 14:10.

[393]        The pisteu/shte of John 14:29 is a specific and deeper faith in Christ as all He has revealed Himself to be in John 14, specifically in Christ as the soon to be crucified and ascended Redeemer who would send the Spirit, and come again.

[394]        The pisteu/ete, both the indicative and the imperative, are in the present tense. As the disciples were already believing in God, so they were to believe ever the more deeply in Christ as His saving work on their behalf was revealed to them in the Word and fulfilled in history.

[395]        “[T]he Greek perichōrēsis (περιχώρησις), or emperichōrēsis . . . [is] used as a synonym of . . . circumincessio: circumincession or coinherence. . . . Circumincessio refers primarily to the coinherence of the persons of the Trinity in the divine essence and in each other, but it can also indicate the coinherence of Christ’s divine and human natures in their communion or personal union. (pgs. 67-68, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology, Richard A. Muller. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1985). The fact that the fulness of the Godhead is in the Theanthropos is the natural consequence in salvation-history of the ontological trinitarian circumincession.

[396]        The question “Believest thou not[?]” (ouj pisteu/eiß) of 14:10 expects a positive answer. Note that 14:11 subordinates belief based on Christ’s miracles to belief based on His Word.

[397]        The disciples already had a perfect tense faith (pepisteu/kate o¢ti e˙gw» para» touv Qeouv e˙xhvlqon, John 16:27), one which began at the moment of their regeneration and which had abiding results.

[398]        nuvn . . . pisteu/omen o¢ti aÓpo\ Qeouv e˙xhvlqeß.

[399]        ⁄Arti pisteu/ete; i˙dou/, e¶rcetai w‚ra kai« nuvn e˙lh/luqen, iºna skorpisqhvte eºkastoß ei˙ß ta» i¶dia, kai« e˙me« mo/non aÓfhvte. Their faith was deeper, but it still was far weaker than it should have been.

[400]        pisteu/shte, John 19:35. The audience of the “that ye might believe” is the same as the audience of the gospel of John as a whole, 20:30-31.

[401]        Oti e˚w¿rakaß me, Qwma◊, pepi÷steukaß.

[402]        By means of Christ’s exhortation to Thomas to not become faithless and unbelieving, but faithful and believing (mh\ gi÷nou a‡pistoß, aÓlla» pisto/ß, John 20:27), accompanied by His effectual grace and power, Thomas was brought into a state of believing, having passed out of his position as one on the road to faithlessness to a state of faith and consequent faithfulness (pepi÷steukaß, 20:29, so that Thomas was now pisto/ß, not one on the path to a‡pistoß, 20:27). John 20:27 contains the only references to the adjectives pisto/ßand a‡pistoß in the Gospel; the noun pi/stißdoes not appear in John’s Gospel. A comparison with the Johannine epistles and Revelation, supported also by the context of John 20, indicates that the emphasis of pisto/ß/a‡pistoß in John 20:27 is faithfulness (1 John 1:9; 3 John 1:5; Revelation 1:5; 2:10, 13; 3:14; 17:14; 19:11; 21:5; 22:6 & Revelation 21:8) although, of course, such faithfulness is impossible without faith (3 John 5; Revelation 2:10, 13; 17:14; 21:8). Thomas is exhorted to embrace the truth of the resurrection, with all that it involves about the Person and Office of Christ, and consequently become one who is faithful, not faithless (note the present imperative in mh\ gi÷nou a‡pistoß, aÓlla» pisto/ß; cf. gi÷nou pisto\ß a‡cri qana¿tou, Revelation 2:10, and the discussion on pgs.121ff. of A Grammar of New Testament Greek, vol. 1, J. H. Moulton). As Christ’s exhortation is accompanied by His Almighty power, Thomas does indeed respond in faith to Christ’s self-revelation, confess Him as Lord and God, and become one who is believing and faithful (pepi÷steukaß, 20:29). The believing response in the Apostle Thomas is a paradigm of the faith of the normal Christian, the one who has not seen, and yet has believed, and so is blessed (maka¿rioi oi˚ mh\ i˙do/nteß, kai« pisteu/santeß, John 20:29); such a believing response is the purpose of the Gospel (John 20:30-31).

[403]        Thomas’s faith-response to the revelation of Christ is set forth as a pattern by John for the response of faith in the conversion of the lost and for the continuing faith-response to greater revelations of the Person and work of Christ by the Christian, although, in light of 1 Corinthians 15, the specific doubt about the bodily resurrection of Christ by Thomas is not possible for the child of God in the fully inaugurated dispensation of grace as it was for the disciples in the pre-resurrection and ascension period. Indeed, John 20, in its context, clearly teaches that rejecting the resurrection is an act of the unregenerate, and Christ prevents Thomas from reaching that point through His command, accompanied by His effectual grace, in 20:27.

[404]        For a helpful outline of John’s Gospel, its themes, purpose, and plan, see “The Purpose of the Fourth Gospel, Part I” and “The Plan of the Fourth Gospel, Part II,” by W. H. Griffith Thomas, Bibliotheca Sacra 125:499 (July 1968) 254-263 & 125:500 (October 1968) 313-324.

[405]        iºna pisteu/shte, “that ye might come to initial saving faith in Christ,” the first purpose of the Gospel of John, a fact supported by the aorist tense verb. (The aorist, found in the Textus Receptus and 99.5% of Greek MSS, is indubitably the correct reading.)

[406]        iºna pisteu/onteß zwh\n e¶chtee˙n twˆ◊ ojno/mati aujtouv, “that you might through continuing deeper and fuller entrusting of and surrender to Christ, be having life in ever greater spiritual fulness through Christ’s name,” the second purpose of the Gospel of John, a fact supported by the present tense verbs.

[407]        pisteu/swmen twˆ◊ ojno/mati touv ui˚ouv aujtouv ∆Ihsouv Cristouv, leading to continuing love, a fruit of regeneration (aÓgapw◊men aÓllh/louß). The first person plural “we should believe,” and the fact that the audience of 1 John is believers, indicates that the pisteu/swmen is not limited to the conversion of the unbeliever. God also commands the regenerate to exercise particular acts of faith in Christ.

[408]        1 John 4:16; 5:1, 5, 10, 13; hJmei√ß e˙gnw¿kamen kai« pepisteu/kamen th\n aÓga¿phn h§n e¶cei oJ Qeo\ß e˙n hJmi√n, through which the Christian now is oJ pisteu/wn, 1 John 5:1, 5, 10, 13, while the unbeliever is oJ mh\ pisteu/wn because ouj pepi÷steuken, 5:10. Those who enter into perfect tense faith possess present tense faith.

[409]        mh\ panti« pneu/mati pisteu/ete.

[410]        Tauvta e¶graya uJmi√n toi√ß pisteu/ousin ei˙ß to\ o¡noma touv ui˚ouv touv Qeouv, iºna ei˙dhvte o¢ti zwh\n e¶cete ai˙w¿nion, kai« iºna pisteu/hte ei˙ß to\ o¡noma touv ui˚ouv touv Qeouv.

[411]        toi√ß pisteu/ousin.

[412]        ei˙dhvte o¢ti zwh\n e¶cete ai˙w¿nion. Since ei˙dhvte is from oi•da the perfect functions as does the present e¶cete. It is unfortunate that the critical Greek New Testament follows a tiny minority of Greek MSS to corrupt both the purpose statement of 1 John in 5:13 and the purpose statement of the Gospel of John (20:31).

[413]        iºna pisteu/hte ei˙ß to\ o¡noma touv ui˚ouv touv Qeouv.

[414]        Moses knew the value of greater experiential knowledge of God and of the holy graces that flowed from such knowledge, and consequently prayed in Exodus 33:13 that because he had found grace, the Jehovah of the Theophany, the eternal Son of God (John 1:18), would reveal Himself to him, that he might have the more grace, based on Jehovah’s redeeming covenants with His people: :h`RΩzAh ywñø…gAh äÔKV;mAo y¶I;k h›Ea√r…w ÔKy¡RnyEoV;b N™Ej_aDxVmRa NAo¶AmVl $ÔKSoâ∂dEa◊w ÔK$Rk∂r√;d_tRa ‹aÎn yˆn§Eoîdwøh ÔKyG‰nyEoV;b N%Ej yIta°DxDm ·aÎn_MIa h&D;tAo◊w “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” The presence of experiential knowledge and communion in the text was recognized by the LXX translator (although the last clause of the verse is mistranslated): ei˙ ou™n eu¢rhka ca¿rin e˙nanti÷on sou, e˙mfa¿niso/n moi seauto/n: gnwstw◊ß i¶dw se, o¢pwß a·n w° euJrhkw»ß ca¿rin e˙nanti÷on sou, kai« iºna gnw◊ o¢ti lao/ß sou to\ e¶qnoß to\ me÷ga touvto. “If then I have found favour in thy sight, reveal thyself to me, that I may evidently see thee; that I may find favour in thy sight, and that I may know that this great nation is thy people.”

David recorded the Messiah’s promise to His Father that as the Risen Redeemer He would reveal the Father to His people after His crucifixion and resurrection: “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” :D;K`RlVlAhSa l∞Dh∂q JKwäøtV;b y¡DjRaVl ∞ÔKVmIv hâ∂rVÚpAsSa Psalm 22:22, cf. 22:1-21 & Hebrews 2:12, ∆Apaggelw◊ to\ o¡noma¿ sou toi√ß aÓdelfoi√ß mou, e˙n me÷swˆ e˙kklhsi÷aß uJmnh/sw se, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.”

The intertestamental Jews also knew that the Lord revealed Himself to those who believed in Him: ∆Agaph/sate dikaiosu/nhn, oi˚ kri÷nonteß th\n ghvn, fronh/sate peri« touv kuri÷ou e˙n aÓgaqo/thti kai« e˙n aJplo/thti kardi÷aß zhth/sate aujto/n. o¢ti euJri÷sketai toi√ß mh\ peira¿zousin aujto/n, e˙mfani÷zetai de« toi√ß mh\ aÓpistouvsin aujtw◊ˆ. “Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth: think of the Lord with a good heart, and in simplicity of heart seek him. For he will be found of them that tempt him not; and manifests himself to such as are not disbelieving in him” (Wisdom 1:1-2).

[415]        That is, koinwni÷a.

[416]        Revelation 3:20 has absolutely nothing to do with an unsaved person asking Jesus to come into his heart in order to be saved. The unregenerate need to repent and believe, not ask Jesus to come into their hearts.

[417]        oujk aÓfh/sw uJma◊ß ojrfanou/ß: e¶rcomai pro\ß uJma◊ß. The Lord Jesus will not leave His own “without the aid and comfort of one who serves as associate and friend, orphaned” (BDAG on ojrfano/ß; cf. KJV margin, “comfortless: or, orphans.”)

[418]        John 14:21-23, oJ e¶cwn ta»ß e˙ntola¿ß mou kai« thrw◊n aujta¿ß, e˙kei√no/ß e˙stin oJ aÓgapw◊n me: oJ de« aÓgapw◊n me, aÓgaphqh/setai uJpo\ touv patro/ß mou: kai« e˙gw» aÓgaph/sw aujto/n, kai« e˙mfani÷sw aujtwˆ◊ e˙mauto/n. le÷gei aujtwˆ◊ ∆Iou/daß, oujc oJ ∆Iskariw¿thß, Ku/rie, ti÷ ge÷gonen o¢ti hJmi√n me÷lleiß e˙mfani÷zein seauto/n, kai« oujci« twˆ◊ ko/smwˆ; aÓpekri÷qh oJ ∆Ihsouvß kai« ei•pen aujtwˆ◊, ∆Ea¿n tiß aÓgapaˆ◊ me, to\n lo/gon mou thrh/sei, kai« oJ path/r mou aÓgaph/sei aujto/n, kai« pro\ß aujto\n e˙leuso/meqa, kai« monh\n par∆ aujtwˆ◊ poih/somen. The verb e˙mfani÷zw is to “lay open to view, make visible . . . to provide information, make clear, explain, inform, make a report . . . of matters that transcend physical sight or mere verbal statement reveal, make known . . . e˙mfani÷sw aujtw◊ˆ e˙mauto/n I will reveal myself to that person J 14:21” (BDAG). Compare the use of e˙mfani÷zw in Exodus 33:13 (LXX) and the evidence of inter-testamental Judaism in the use in Wisdom 1:2.

[419]        John 15:15; 16:13-14, “[A]ll things that I [Christ] have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. . . . [T]he Spirit of truth . . . shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you,” pa¿nta a± h¡kousa para» touv patro/ß mou e˙gnw¿risa uJmi√n.. . . to\ pneuvma thvß aÓlhqei÷aß . . . e˙kei√noß e˙me« doxa¿sei, o¢ti e˙k touv e˙mouv lh/yetai, kai« aÓnaggelei√ uJmi√n. Note that the order of the working in the economic Trinity reflects the eternal order in the ontological Trinity; the Son who is eternally begotten by the Father is, in time, sent by the Father and is the Agent for the revelation of the Father, and the Holy Spirit, who eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son as from a single principle, is in time sent by the Father and the Son to reveal to the saints what has been given by the Father to the God-Man Mediator. Compare also Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 1:18; 14:6-9.

[420]        The covenant of redemption or pactum salutis is “the pretemporal, intratrinitarian agreement of the Father and the Son concerning the covenant of grace and its ratification in and through the work of the Son incarnate. The Son covenants with the Father, in the unity of the Godhead, to be the temporal sponsor of the Father’s testamentum in and through the work of the Mediator. In that work, the Son fulfills his sponsio or fideiussio, i.e., his guarantee of payment of the debt of sin in ratification of the Father’s testamentum. . . . [T]he idea of the pactum salutis is to emphasize the eternal, inviolable, and trinitarian foundation of the temporal foedus gratiae much in the way that the eternal decree underlies and guarantees the ordo salutis. . . . [The] foedus gratiae [or] covenant of grace; also foedus gratiae gratuitum: gracious or graciously given covenant of grace; and foedus gratiae evangelicum: covenant of grace concerning the gospel or evangelical covenant of grace; considered, first, as a foedus monopleuron, or one-sided covenant, the covenant of grace is the pact (pactum, pactio) made by God beginning with the protevangelium, confirmed and revealed more fully in Abraham, and finally fulfilled in Christ. It is a foedus monopleuron because it stands as a gracious promise of salvation given to fallen man apart from any consideration of man’s ability to respond to it or fulfill it and apart from any human initiative. Human beings are drawn into covenant by the grace of God alone. Once they enter covenant, however, and become parties to the divine offer of salvation, they take on responsibilities, under the covenant, before God. The foedus gratiae, therefore, also appears as a mutual pact and agreement between God and man, a foedus dipleuron” (pgs. 120-121, 217, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms, Richard Muller).

            It should be noted that recognition of the fact that the ideas of a covenant of redemption and covenant of grace have Scriptural support does not deny the clear Biblical covenantal distinctions affirmed by classical dispensationalism, nor does the use of such a terminology constitute either an endorsement of Reformed covenant theology or a rejection of dispensationalism, any more than the acceptance of the covenant of redemption and of grace by Lewis Sperry Chafer constitutes a repudiation of his own theological system by that outstanding dispensationalist (cf. pg. 42, vol. 1, pgs. 163-165, 232, vol. 4, etc., Systematic Theology, Chafer).

[421]        John 17:3, 6, 8, 14, 17, 22-26. au¢th de« e˙stin hJ ai˙w¿nioß zwh/, iºna ginw¿skwsi÷ se to\n mo/non aÓlhqino\n Qeo/n, kai« o§n aÓpe÷steilaß ∆Ihsouvn Cristo/n. . . . e˙fane÷rwsa¿ sou to\ o¡noma toi√ß aÓnqrw¿poiß ou§ß de÷dwka¿ß moi e˙k touv ko/smou: soi« h™san, kai« e˙moi« aujtou\ß de÷dwkaß: kai« to\n lo/gon sou tethrh/kasi. . . . o¢ti ta» rJh/mata a± de÷dwka¿ß moi, de÷dwka aujtoi√ß: kai« aujtoi« e¶labon, kai« e¶gnwsan aÓlhqw◊ß o¢ti para» souv e˙xhvlqon, kai« e˙pi÷steusan o¢ti su/ me aÓpe÷steilaß. . . . e˙gw» de÷dwka aujtoi√ß to\n lo/gon sou . . . aJgi÷ason aujtou\ß e˙n thØv aÓlhqei÷aˆ sou: oJ lo/goß oJ so\ß aÓlh/qeia e˙sti. . . . kai« e˙gw» th\n do/xan h§n de÷dwka¿ß moi, de÷dwka aujtoi√ß, iºna w°sin eºn, kaqw»ß hJmei√ß eºn e˙smen. e˙gw» e˙n aujtoi√ß, kai« su\ e˙n e˙moi÷, iºna w°si teteleiwme÷noi ei˙ß eºn, kai« iºna ginw¿skhØ oJ ko/smoß o¢ti su/ me aÓpe÷steilaß, kai« hjga¿phsaß aujtou/ß, kaqw»ß e˙me« hjga¿phsaß. pa¿ter, ou§ß de÷dwka¿ß moi, qe÷lw iºna o¢pou ei˙mi« e˙gw¿, kaÓkei√noi w°si met∆ e˙mouv: iºna qewrw◊si th\n do/xan th\n e˙mh/n, h§n e¶dwka¿ß moi, o¢ti hjga¿phsa¿ß me pro\ katabolhvß ko/smou. pa¿ter di÷kaie, kai« oJ ko/smoß se oujk e¶gnw, e˙gw» de÷ se e¶gnwn, kai« ou∞toi e¶gnwsan o¢ti su/ me aÓpe÷steilaß: kai« e˙gnw¿risa aujtoi√ß to\ o¡noma¿ sou, kai« gnwri÷sw: iºna hJ aÓga¿ph, h§n hjga¿phsaß me, e˙n aujtoi√ß hØ™, kaÓgw» e˙n aujtoi√ß.

[422]        That is, the Higher Life view of Habakkuk 2:4 and its New Testament quotations, as set forth by William Boardman and others (cf. Hannah W. Smith’s article in the Friends Review of 1867, reproduced in the entry for February 18 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter), must be reckoned eisegesis, not exegesis:

“The just shall live by faith.” The just shall be made alive first, and afterwards learn to live by faith. The just shall be justified before God first, and afterwards learn the way to become just also in heart and life, by faith. . . . [This is the] two-fold significance of the text, illustrated by its suggestion the first and second time in [Luther’s] heart, as by a celesial voice within, with the interval of years between the two, and meeting in each case a want so different[.] (pg. 191, The Higher Christian Life, W. E. Boardman. New York: Sheldon & Co., 1859. Italics found in original.)

Boardman’s “afterwards” disjunction that leaves some Christians, those who have not yet discovered his Higher Life theology, without any spiritual growth, has no support whatsoever in the New Testament doctrine of the just living by faith, and his historical reconstruction of Luther’s life is most questionable.

[423]        E. g.: “We must insist, with . . . the Reformed confessions . . . that . . . it is intolerable cruelty to demand of people a dramatic conversion experience before they can be assured of their salvation. Such obstacles may not be placed before believers who grew up in the church, who were taught to pray on their mother’s knee, who were catechized and who therefore do not know a time when they did not believe in Christ. . . . Nor may it be demanded on the mission field. . . . True conversion is a lifelong process, where the child of God daily turns from sin to God[.] . . . This is the Reformed doctrine of conversion as set forth in the Heidelberg Catechism” (pgs. 83-84, “The Notion of Preparatory Grace in the Puritans,” Martyn McGeown. Protestant Reformed Theological Journal 41:1 (November 2007) 58-84). While such an idea may indeed be the teaching of the Heidelberg Catechism, it is certainly not the teaching of the Bible.

[424]        Deuteronomy 1:39; Isaiah 7:16; Jonah 4:11; Romans 9:11.

[425]        This fact is supported not only by the pattern of Old and New Testament conversion, but also by the fact that saving faith, as seen in the perfect tense uses of pisteuo, “to believe,” contain within them the idea of a snapshot action—the point of conversion—with results that continue. One must come to Christ with an aorist, point-action of faith before one can have a perfect tense belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

[426]        That is, those in John 2:23-25 knew that Christ did miracles and had intellectual apprehension of various facts about Him, but did not commit themselves to Him, and were thus still unconverted (3:1-3). The blind man Christ healed in John 9 was willing to get cast out of the synagogue for His sake, yet he did not know that the Lord Jesus was the Son of God (9:36), or that He was not a sinner (9:25), and was only converted at the end of the chapter when he found out the proper knowledge of the Person of Christ (9:35-41).

[427]        For what is arguably the preeminent treatment of this theme, see CRISTOLOGIA: or, a Declaration of the Glorious Mystery of the Person of Christ, and Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ, in His Person, Office, and Grace: With the Differences Between Faith and Sight: Applied unto the Use of Them that Believe & Applied unto Unconverted Sinners and Saints Under Spiritual Decays, by John Owen.

More Resources on Soteriology: The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation