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The Power Of Faith

By Alexander Maclaren

    “We are justified,” says the Bible, “by faith” (Rom. 5:1). If a man believes, he is saved. Why so? Not as some people sometimes seem to fancy – not as if in faith itself there was any merit. There is a very strange and subtle resurrection of the whole doctrine of works in reference to this matter, and we often hear belief in the Gospel of Christ spoken about as if it, the work of the man believing was, in a certain way and to a certain extent, that which God rewarded by giving him salvation.

    What is that but the whole doctrine of works come up again in a new form? What difference is there between what a man does with his hand and what a man feels in his heart? If the one merits salvation or if the other merits salvation, equally we are shut up to this – men get heaven by what they do, and it does not matter a bit what they do it with, whether it be body or soul.

    When we are saved by faith, we mean, accurately, through faith. It is God who saves. It is Christ’s life, Christ’s blood, Christ’s sacrifice, Christ’s intercession that saves. Faith is simply the channel through which there flows into my emptiness the divine fullness, or to use the good old illustration, it is the hand which is held up to receive the benefit which Christ lays in it.

    A living trust in Jesus has power unto salvation only because it is the means by which the power of God unto salvation may come into my heart. On that side is the great ocean, Christ’s love, Christ’s abundance, Christ’s merits, Christ’s righteousness – or rather, that which includes them all, Christ Himself, and on this side is the empty vessel of my soul.

    It is not faith that saves us; it is Christ that saves us, and He saves us through faith.

    – Taken from What Is Faith?