The Origin of Faith

Matthew 16:15-17, [Jesus] said to them, “But who dod you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”

Jesus’ saying here shows the absurdity of every notion that we have any free will to “accept” Jesus or “make a decision” for Jesus; for as Christ Himself says, such a confession of Peter’s is not possible by human flesh and blood—that is, an exertion of the human will. Rather, He says, it comes from God and God alone; for since we were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1), how can a corpse suddenly decide to get up and walk in Christ? It cannot! Not unless Jesus first says, “Rise,” and gives it the faith to walk.

If we could decide on our own to love God and follow Him, the Law would be sufficient and grace superfluous; but we cannot keep the Law, which is why it required God to come down as a man and perfectly keep the Law on our behalf, crediting His righteousness and life to us in His death and resurrection. All faith, therefore—whether fides qua creditur (faith by which it is believed) or fides quae creditur (faith which is believed)—comes from God and God alone.

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