1.It is impossible that saving faith can exist without a new nature and thereby new affections (love, a desire for holiness, and so on).
2.Saving faith is nevertheless not the same thing as such affections or desires and does not include in its definition the effects of which the new birth is the cause.
3.It is not enough to say that we are justified and accepted by grace alone, for even Rome has agreed that it is only by God’s grace that we can become transformed in holiness. We must add that we are justified by grace alone through faith alone, and it is a great error to change the meaning of faith to include acts of obedience and repentance in an effort to make a disposition other than knowledge, assent, and trust a condition of justification.
4.The definition of saving faith is: Knowledge, which we take to mean the intellectual grasp of the relevant historical and doctrinal facts concerning Christ’s person and work and our misery; Assent, or the volitional agreement of our hearts and minds that these facts are true; and Trust, which is the assurance that these facts that are true are not only true generally, but true in my own case. In this way I abandon all hope for acceptance with God besides the holiness and righteousness of Christ.
5.Not only is the ground of our justification the person and work of Christ; the assurance, hope, and comfort that this salvation belongs to us must have Christ alone as its sufficient object and faith as its sufficient instrument.
6.While evidences of the new birth can be discerned by ourselves and others, such evidences do not have sufficient righteousness or holiness to form a ground of assurance or a clear conscience. For, as Calvin says, “A fine confidence of salvation is left to us, if by moral conjecture we judge that at the present moment we are in grace, but we know not what will become of us tomorrow!”
7.We affirm that, although no one will be justified by works, no one will be saved without them.
8.We affirm that it is contempt and presumption, not faith, that produces apathy with regard to the commands of God.
9.He seeks to tear Christ apart who imagines a savior without a lord. Christ offers no priesthood outside his prophetic ministry and kingly reign.
10.Those who are confident in this: that because they have exercised their will or mind in such a way that God is obligated thereby to save them, show contempt for God’s holiness and Christ’s cross.
Michael S. Horton, ed., Christ the Lord: The Reformation and Lordship Salvation, 209–210.
More in Paramount Blog
November 5, 2021A New Garment Before God
November 4, 2021The Relationship of the Gospel to Christian Living
November 3, 2021Justification and a Divided Church