Faith As a Bond and An Activity
From the first article in the Spring 2019 PR Theological Journal comes these words from the pen of Rev. M. McGeown, missionary-pastor laboring in Limerick, Ireland:
We are justified in eternity, at the cross, and in the final resurrection, but the main way in which Scripture speaks of justification is in time. We are justified—we come into the consciousness of our justification—in time when we believe (Luke 18:14; John 8:11; Rom.5:1). We believe only because faith has been given to us, and even breathed into us, bestowed on us as a gift (Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; Canons 3-4, 14). Nevertheless, we do believe, and therefore faith is necessary for justification (Canons 3-4, 12-14).
...The reader will notice my deliberate emphasis on the activity of faith. In Reformed circles, the teaching that faith is a bond or union with Christ is dominant, for it is a good and healthy counter to Arminianism, which promotes the idea that faith is only an activity—namely the activity of man’s freewill by which he accepts Jesus Christ and makes himself to differ from others who do not accept Him, something the Canons call the “proud heresy of Pelagius” (Canons 3-4, 10; see also Canons 3-4, RE 6 where the Arminians are cited as calling faith “only an act of man”). Nevertheless, the truth that faith is our union with Christ must not eclipse the equally important truth that faith includes the activity of believing. If we neglect that aspect of faith, we are not faithful to the Word of God or to the creeds.
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