In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed…
In whom having believed. Faith is a God-given reliance on an all-sufficient Mediator.
I. IT IS MORE THAN A MERE BELIEF or THE TRUTH ' it is an act of the will; it is trust in a Person. It has been strongly urged in our day that faith is simply the belief in God's testimony that Christ has died for us. "It is simply believing that Christ died for me." There are two statements here: Christ is the Savior of sinners; he has saved me. The first is true, whether I believe in him or not; the second only becomes true on my believing. Faith is not believing that I am saved; it is believing in order to be saved. The grant of salvation is absolute or it is not. If not, the grant does not make the pardon mine before I believe; if it is absolute, it makes the pardon mine before I believe; so I am justified before faith and therefore without faith. On this theory of faith, faith is utterly impossible; for the soul would require to accept the proposition, "I am saved," in order to be saved. A man may firmly credit the testimony of God, and yet doubt whether he is himself a believer, though he is convinced that Christ will save all true believers. The position of some is practically this: "I believe that I am a believer." If this is true faith, we cannot deceive ourselves; for the more firmly a man believes he is a believer, the stronger must his faith be. But nothing but a theory of universal salvation could warrant a sinner, while be is still a sinner, to believe that Christ died for him and will assuredly save him. The apostle said to the Galatians, "Let no man deceive himself;" but on this principle there is no need for any warnings against self-deception.
II. FAITH IS TRUST IN A PERSON. It thus becomes the instrument of our justification. It is the receptive organ or the hand by which the graciously provided ransom is received by the sinner; or, it is the bond which attaches him to Christ. When the object of faith is stated in Scripture, it is presented in connection with certain significant forms of grammatical construction. We are said to believe in or upon Jesus Christ. This form occurs fifty times in the New Testament, and the object is always a Person, and not a statement to be believed. If faith, indeed, is not taken to include trust, we have not a single exhortation in the whole New Testament to trust in the Lord like what occurs so often in the Old Testament; and if faith does not include trust, where is the evidence that the Old Testament saints had faith at all, apart from the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 11.); for in the Old Testament they are not said to believe, but always to trust in the Lord?
III. FAITH IS THE SUSTAINING PRINCIPLE OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE. It is not the mere roof-principle; it is the continuing principle of it; for the apostle says, "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). He who believes receives the saving blessings which Christ's death procured. Faith apprehends Christ under three gracious aspects: "Christ for us," for our justification; "Christ in us," for our sanctification; "Christ with us," for comfort and confidence. These are not three separate blessings, any one of which we may have without the others, but three parts of the Christian's privilege, bound up together in the same bundle of life, and given upon our believing. There is a mysticism which speaks of Christ in his people which fails to realize Christ for his people; but our fellowship of life with Christ is not redemption, but as the Bible everywhere represents it, as the result, reward, and fruit of the ransom offered by our Divine Redeemer. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,