Continuing with questions concerning justification taken from Wayne Grudem's book, Bible Doctrines, we will consider question 6.
QUES 6: Is faith itself the merit for eternal life. Is faith my righteousness? Am I to have faith in my faith?
Or as worded by Wayne Grudem:
- What is the relationship between faith and justification? Does faith earn us salvation? Explain.
A. Faith does not earn us salvation. Faith is the instrument or connection to CHRIST. He is our righteousness. He is the one who made atonement. Faith is a gift and grace. It is not ON ACCOUNT OF OUR FAITH that we are declared righteous, but by means of our faith.
We are counted righteous not on account of our faith, but by means of faith. (Remember even faith is a gift Eph 2:8-9)
Wayne Grudem writes: “Faith is an instrument to obtain justification, but it has no merit in itself….Scripture never says that we are justified because of the inherent goodness of our faith, as if our faith has merit before God. It never allows us to think that our faith in itself earns favor with God. Rather, Scripture says that we are justified “by means of” our faith, understanding faith to be the instrument through which justification is given to us, but not at all an activity that earns us merit of favor with God. Rather we are justified solely because of the merits of Christ’s work (Rom. 5:17-19)” Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine, Zondervan 1999, p. 321
From The Everlasting Righteousness by Horatius Bonar.
Faith is not the cross.
Faith is not the sacrifice.
Faith cannot be a sin bearer.
Faith does not expiate any guilt.
Faith does not propitiate the wrath of God. Christ is our propitiation. He is the propitiatory sacrifice for us to God.
Faith is not the blood that washes away all our sins and by which we are redeemed.
Faith is not satisfaction to God.
Faith is not the physician but brings us to the physician that heals.
Faith is not Christ - it is our connection unto him.