What happens in the heart when it experiences real saving faith? John Piper argues that faith in Christ is not saving unless it includes what he calls “the affectional dimension of treasuring Christ.” Nor is God glorified as he ought to be unless he is treasured in being trusted. Saving faith in Jesus Christ welcomes him forever as our supreme and inexhaustible pleasure. What Is Saving Faith? explains that a Savior who is treasured for his all-satisfying worth is more glorified than a Savior who is only trusted for his all-forgiving competence. In this way, saving faith reaches its God-appointed goal: the perfections of Christ glorified by our being satisfied in him forever.
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“So, to use more traditional theological terms, faith is the instrumental cause (not the ground) of our justification. Christ—including his blood and righteousness—is the ground. Faith is the receiving instrument.” (Page 16)
“What is its nature? Faith is not a theory. It is not an idea. It is experienced in the mind and heart, or we are not saved. That is important.” (Page 13)
“Does the very nature of saving faith include a treasuring of Christ as supremely valuable—that is, an affectional dimension that may hold the key to why saving faith necessarily severs the root of sin and bears the fruit of glad obedience?” (Page 32)
“This chapter deals with my fourth reason for digging into the affectional nature of saving faith—namely, my desire to see how justification by faith alone comes about when faith itself includes virtuous affectional elements.” (Page 47)
“This satisfaction in Christ is not merely a result of saving faith but part of what it is.11” (Page 34)
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