Archive | June 16, 2017

Faith as a Condition for Salvation

Robert Shaw on the use of the term “condition” with respect to saving faith:

“That God “requires of sinners faith in Christ that they may be saved,” admits of no dispute. The part assigned to faith, however, has been much controverted. Many excellent divines, in consequence of the distinction which they made between the covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace, were led to speak of faith as the condition of the latter covenant. But the term, as used by them, signifies not a meritorious or procuring cause, but simply something which goes before, and without which the other cannot be obtained. They consider faith merely as a condition of order or connection, as it has been styled, and as an instrument or means of obtaining an interest in the salvation offered in the gospel. This is very different from the meaning attached to the term by Arminians and Neonomians, who represent faith as a condition on the fulfilment of which the promise is suspended.. The Westminster Assembly elsewhere affirm, that God requires of sinners faith in Christ, “as the condition to interest them in him.” But this is very different from affirming that faith is the condition of the covenant of grace. That faith is indispensably necessary as the instrument by which we are savingly interested in Christ, and personally instated in the covenant, is a most important truth, and this is all that is intended by the Westminster Divines. They seem to have used the term condition as synonymous with instrument; for, while in one place they speak of faith as the condition to interest sinners in the Mediator, in other places they affirm, that “faith is the alone instrument of justification,” and teach, that “faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness.” As the word condition is ambiguous, apt to be misunderstood, and is frequently employed in an unsound and dangerous sense, it is now disused by evangelical divines.”

Source: http://www.reformed.org/documents/shaw/, referenced at https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-6, Comment 163

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My Slayer Is My Savior

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works, 1:64:

Faith can stand under that distress that breaks the back of presumption; Job 13:15, 16, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him; but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him. “He hath taken away my children all at once, my estate in one day; hath taken away my health, and made me miserable, to a proverb in all ages: although he should proceed, and slay me with his own hand, my slayer is my Saviour, my death shall be my salvation.” Great words, and hard to be spoken in the day of heavy trial! God slaying Job, is Job’s salvation. God slays, Job trusts, and maintains his confidence under the stroke. No hypocrite can do this; and many believers do but bungle at the doing of it. There is an extremity a-coming on every man, that will try and discover what metal there is in his faith; prepare for it.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/my-slayer-is-my-saviour.90631/