Mar 2, 2010

The Faith of the Gospel Vindicated by William Wales Horne

The Faith of the Gospel Vindicated

Download the PDF HERE

[Below are some Quotes on duty-faith from the article. I have added the titles to these quotes for clarification.]

The Law is Not of Faith
Second. As man is dead in sin, with a nature hostile to Christ, and an heart incapable of believing – as faith in Christ is God's gift, and God's work in the sinner's heart, it follows, unavoidably, that faith is not a duty of the law; Rom. 3:28, Gal. 2:16, and 3:12, and Rom. 9:32, all, undeniably prove faith opposite, in its nature, to the works of the law; that it is not a duty which God requires of his people, but a grace which he gives them. In the first-mentioned Scripture, we are told, that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law; so that it is evident, faith cannot be one of the deeds, or duties, that God has made incumbent upon his creatures in the Decalogue. And Gal 2:16 beautifully corresponds with this: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Faith and the law are here held in contrast, by the apostle, as having nothing to do with each other: the former points to, and embraces a bleeding Christ, as the way to God; the latter demands perfect holiness of the creature, and curses to eternity for the least transgression. They are so diametrically opposite in their design, their nature, and their language, that they must not be blended together; for the law is not of faith (Gal. 3:12) and, consequently, faith cannot be of the law. May you learn, my dear friends, to distinguish between the law and the Gospel! The want of which occasions much darkness and distress of soul. We are always to keep distinct the following things: the Old covenant and the New, the seed of the serpent and the seed of Christ, the Old man and the New man, the Law and the Gospel; and be assured that your comfort, and establishment in the truth, very much depend upon this. Farther, had faith been a duty of the law, the Jews of old would have obtained that which they sought after (the peculiar favor of God) for they sought it by the works of the law; but faith was not of the law, and therefore they could not obtain it, as it is written, Rom. 9:32, they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.

The Gift of Faith
The Lord thus sends for this ministers to preach his precious word, which comes not in word only, but also in power and in much assurance, and in the Holy Ghost (1 Thes. 1:5). The Lord opens the hearts of sinners, that they attend unto the things which are spoken (Acts 16:14); the Holy One of Israel, who teaches his people to profit (Isa. 48:17), gives them the hearing ear, and as many as were ordained to eternal life believe (Acts 13:48). Not because they are obedient, and perform the duty of faith, but because it is given unto them to know, and believe, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

Duty Faith Leads to Boasting
If Evangelical Faith is a duty, the believer may glory, and boast himself against the unbeliever (Rom. 11:18). He may, with the greatest propriety, address him thus: Faith is the duty of every creature where the Gospel comes; I have been obedient, and performed my duty, by believing; you still remain in a state of disobedience, neglecting to do your duty of faith; "Therefore stand by thyself, come not near to me, I am holier, I am more obedient, than thou" (Isa. 45:5). O Sirs! May the Lord show us daily, more of our own insufficiency and nothingness, that, under the influence of distinguishing grace, we may abhor ourselves (Job 42:6), and looking to the High Rock, Christ Jesus, triumphantly exclaim, with the Psalmist, "Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord! But unto thy name be all the glory."

Duty Faith - Bordering upon Blasphemy!
That faith is the work of God, is evident, for we are risen with him (i.e., Christ) through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. The very same power that raised Christ from the dead, quickened us who were dead in trespasses and sins, and gave us faith, which is emphatically termed, faith of the operation of God: the powerful, invincible, wonderful, operation of the Spirit. We were shut up in nature's darkness, and unbelief; and in that state we must have remained, had not that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shined in our hearts (2 Cor. 4:6). The very same power that created all worlds, created us new creatures in Christ Jesus; or wrought faith in our hearts; which are synonymous terms. Now I would ask, Is it the duty of an unconverted man to make himself a new creature in Christ? – to give himself the Holy Ghost? – O presumptuous idea! bordering upon blasphemy! and not less presumptuous, and erroneous is the idea of Evangelical Faith, as the duty of the unconverted! For, if faith is the work of the Spirit, and at the same time the duty of the creature, it consequently follows, that it is the duty of a man dead in sin, to give himself the Spirit of God! A sentiment equally as absurd as presumptuous! And to be detested by all sincere advocates for the glory of Free grace!

The Reason Why Goats Cannot Believe on Christ
That it is peculiar to God's people. Thy blessing is upon thy people (Psa 3:8), saith the Psalmist; and his peculiar blessing is upon none other. Happy art thou, O Israel! who is like unto thee, O people! saved by the Lord! (Deut. 33:29). These are the people that shall believe, through the preaching of his word, who are eternally one with Christ! (Read John 17). "For as many as were ordained unto eternal life, believed." Ye believe not, saith the blessed Jesus, because – of what? Because ye will not perform the duty of faith? No, but because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you (John 10:26). Offensive as this doctrine is to some, Paul rejoices in it (2 Thes. 2:13). "We are bound to give thanks always to God, for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning, chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth." We find then, that faith was provided in covenant, for the elect of God, and for them alone; and to them, and them only, is it communicated.

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions