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and prayer, it is increased and strengthened. "
II. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true, whatsoever is revealed in the word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein; and acteth differently, upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that
without a preacher ?-So, then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
1 Pet. ii. 2. As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. Luke xvii. 5. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. Rom. i. 16, 17. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. See also Acts xx. 32.
▾ 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this cause also thank we God, without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 John v. 10. He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. Acts xxiv. 14. Believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.
Rom. xvi. 26. But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.
Isa. lxvi. 2. To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.
III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and many ways
y Heb. xi. 13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 1 Tim. iv. 8. But godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
z John i. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Acts xvi. 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Gal. ii. 20. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Acts xv. 11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved, even as they.
a Heb. v. 13, 14. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Rom. iv. 19, 20. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. Matt. vi. 30. Shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Matt. viii. 10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
assailed and weakened, but gets the victory;] growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith. d
OF REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE.
REPENTANCE unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached
b Luke xxii. 31, 32. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Eph. vi. 16. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 1 John v. 4, 5. For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
e Heb. vi. 11, 12. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb. x. 22. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Heb. xii. 2. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Acts xi. 18. When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. See also Zech. xii. 10.
by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.
II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavouring to walk
f Luke xxiv. 47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Mark i. 15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Acts xx. 21. Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
g Ezek. xviii. 30, 31. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezek. xxxvi. 31. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. Psa. li. 4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Jer. xxxi. 18, 19. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. 2 Cor. vii. 11. For behold this self-same
with him, in all the ways of his commandments.h
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God's free grace in Christ; yet is it of such neces
thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. See also Joel ii. 12, 13. Amos v. 15, and Psa. cxix. 128.
h Psa. cxix. 6, 59, 106. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.-I thought on my ways and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I have sworn and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. Luke i. 6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. See also 2 Kings xxiii. 25.
i Ezek. xxxvi. 31 32. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Ezek. xvi. 63. That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.
j Hos. xiv. 2, 4. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. Rom. iii. 24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Eph. i. 7.