From the book of Hebrews we read,
- “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3 – NASB)
It has been said that in regards to saving faith all three elements of it are implied in these three verses. I am of the mind that they are. Regarding these three elements, systematic theology usually recognizes them as such,
- KNOWLEDGE – (The intellectual element) The Mind: it embraces knowledge, a recognition and understanding of the truth that Christ saves.
- ASSENT – (The emotional element) The Heart: it gives assent, or the settled confidence and affirmation that Christ’s salvation is applicable to one’s own soul.
- TRUST – (The volitional element) – The Will: it responds with trust, the personal commitment to and appropriation of Christ as the only hope for eternal salvation . . . as Lord and Savior.
With the mind we take in the knowledge. With the heart we give assent to that knowledge. With the will we respond by appropriating that knowledge.
Louis Berkhof, in his work on Systematic Theology, has noted,
- “When one embraces Christ by faith, he has a deep conviction of the truth and reality of the object of faith, feels that it meets an important need in his life, and is conscious of an absorbing interest in it.”
Dr. John MacArthur has noted regarding saving faith,
- “Saving faith . . . is the whole of my being embracing all of Christ.”
The “whole of my being” is made up of “the mind” and “the heart” and “the will,” and all of these are elements that are involved in the oh so important “embracing . . . of Christ.”
The truth of God’s saving gospel is proclaimed . . . and the mind embraces it. The truth of God’s saving gospel is proclaimed . . . and the heart assents to believe it. The truth of God’s saving gospel is proclaimed . . . and the will responds in personal commitment to it.
Simply put, faith in Christ as Lord and Savior saves, it is saving faith, and it involves the mind, the heart, and the will.
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk may your mind and your heart and your will bear witness of your saving faith in Christ.
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