6 February 2005
Hebrews 10:39, John 1:12 & Philippians 3:9
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, by which we receive and rest on Him alone for salvation, as He is offered to us in the gospel.
1. Why is faith in Jesus Christ called a “saving grace”?
It is called a “saving grace” because it is a gift of God and is given to the sinner not because of any merit or worth the sinner has (1 Corinthians 4:7).
2. Why is this faith called faith in Jesus Christ?
It is called such because Christ is the principal object of saving faith according to Acts 16:31.
3. Why is the word “receive” used in this question?
The word “receive” is used because Christ is offered in Scripture as a gift. He is given to those who are without hope in themselves, have nothing and are nothing.
4. Why does the question mention resting on Him alone for salvation?
The person coming to Christ must rest on Him alone because the Bible reveals Him as the only foundation on whom one can rest his confidence, his trust.
5. What is this salvation that is received by the person coming to Him?
This salvation includes three things: (1) Deliverance from the curse of the law. (2) Deliverance from the dominion of sin. (3) The blessedness of heaven.
6. Who offers Christ to us?
God offers Christ to us, God the Father who made the offer in John 3:16.
7. Do all believers have the same measure of saving faith?
No, all believers do not. Some have little faith and others have strong faith (note the comparison of Matthew 14:31 and Romans 4:20). But even those with little faith have sufficient to get to glory if it is saving faith.