Two kinds of faith


Martin Luther, portrayed by Lucas Cranach the ElderI have often said that there are two kinds of faith. First, a faith in which you indeed believe that Christ is such a man as he is described and proclaimed here and in all the Gospels, but do not believe that he is such a man for you, and are in doubt whether you have any part in him and think: Yes, he is such a man to others, to Peter, Paul, and the blessed saints; but who knows that he is such to me and that I may expect the same from him and may confide in it, as these saints did?

Behold, this faith is nothing, it does not receive Christ nor enjoy him, neither can it feel any love and affection for him or from him. It is a faith about Christ and not in or of Christ, a faith which the devils also have as well as evil men….

Such a faith will work in you love for Christ and joy in him, and good works will naturally follow. If they do not, faith is surely not present; for where faith is, there the Holy Ghost is and must work love and good works.

[Martin Luther, sermon, “First Sunday in Advent,” on Matthew 21:1-9, in John Nicholas Lenker, ed., Sermons of Martin Luther, Volume 1, (Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Baker Book House, reprinted n.d.), 21-22.]

3 thoughts on “Two kinds of faith

  1. Hi Ron,

    First of all I want to live where you live…it’s cold here. Second of all I appreciated your comments on Greenbaggins. I’ve been associated with the PCA since 1998 however I only recently became a Member of a PCA congregation this past June. I was a blogger linked up to Mark Horne, Joel Garver, and many other FVers however this was before the controversy broke out. I listened to all the Sermons preached at the AAPC conferences over the years as well as Norman Shepherd’s “Call of Grace” which was recommended to me by these folks. It was by reading that book and listening to the sermons preached at the AAPC conferences that I became convinced these men were not only outside of the WCF but there claims striked at the heart of the Gospel which is very serious. I’m glad that you were able to see through the fog and smoke created during those days and land right side up. Take Care and God Bless! Wayne

  2. Thanks Ron,

    I was unaware of this quote from Luther. I disagree with his outlook on this however as there is a difference in knowing what other people believe about someone and believing it yourself. I for instance know what atheists believe but disagree. 1 Corinthians 12:3 makes it clear that no one believes in the Christ of the gospels except by the Holy Spirit. Two kinds of faith mentality has a “gnostic” tenor to it and will lead to the errors of The Federal Vision crowd. Gordon Clark has answered this excellently in his book What is Saving Faith?

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