Faith (Jude 1:1-3)
Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true. Its idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in accordance with the evidence on which it rests. Faith is the result of teaching. Knowledge is an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoken of as an equivalent to faith. The two are distinguished in this respect, that faith includes in it assent, which is an act of the will in addition to the act of the understanding. Assent to the truth is of the essence of faith, and the ultimate ground on which our assent to any revealed truth rests is the veracity of God. Historical faith is the apprehension of and assent to certain statements which are regarded as mere facts of history. Temporary faith is that state of mind which is awakened in men by the exhibition of the truth and by the influence of religious sympathy, or by what is styled the common operation of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is so called because it has eternal life inseparably connected with it. It cannot be better defined than in the words of the catechism: Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, he is offered to us in the gospel. The object of saving faith is the revealed Word of God. Faith accepts and believes it as the very truth. But the special act of faith which unites to Christ has as its object the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the specific act of faith by which a sinner is justified before God. In this act of faith the believer appropriates and rests on Christ alone as Mediator in all his offices. This assent to or belief in the truth received upon the divine testimony has always associated with it a deep sense of sin, a distinct view of Christ, a consenting will, and a loving heart, together with a reliance on, a trusting in, or resting in Christ. It is that state of mind in which a poor sinner, conscious of his sin, flees from his guilty self to Christ his Savior, and rolls over the burden of all his sins on him.