Jonathan Edwards’ Definition of Saving Faith

“Practice is the most proper evidence of trusting in Christ for salvation. The proper signification of the word trust, according to the more ordinary use of it, both in common speech and in the Holy Scriptures, is the emboldening and encouragement of a person’s mind, to run some venture in practice, or in something that he does, on the credit of another’s sufficiency and faithfulness. And therefore the proper evidence of his trusting, is the venture he runs in what he does. He is not properly said to run any venture in a dependence on any thing, who does nothing on that dependence, or whose practice is no otherwise than if he had no dependence. For a man to run a venture in dependence on another, is for him to do something from that dependence, by which he seems to expose himself, and which he would not do were it not for that dependence. And therefore it is in complying with the difficulties and seeming dangers of christian practice, in a dependence on Christ’s sufficiency and faithfulness to bestow eternal life, that persons are said to venture themselves upon Christ, and trust in him for happiness and life. They depend on such promises as that, Matt. 10:39. ‘He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.’ And so they part with all, and venture their all, in a dependence on Christ’s sufficiency and truth. And this is the scripture notion of trusting in Christ, in the exercise of a saving faith in him. Thus Abraham, the father of believers, trusted in Christ, and by faith forsook his own country, in a reliance on the covenant of grace which God established with him, Heb. 11:8, 9.”

~ Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections, III.XIV.

Ironic Trust

Christians have faith in a large variety of things. We are very trusting people. For example, when we go out to eat we have faith that there is nothing wrong with the food we are eating. Or, if we fly in an large commercial airplane, we have faith in the pilot whom we most likely have never met and know no very little about. When we take extended trips we trust that the gas stations we will need to continue our journey will actually have gas despite the fact we never called a head of time to check if this is so (in fact, we don’t even check to make sure there are gas stations where we are heading; we assume and trust). The list goes on. There are countless other regular things that we never doubt or have second thoughts about.

Think about this…
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