Lord's Day 38

Week 37 :: Week 38 :: Week 39


What must we do in order to be reconciled to God unto eternal life, which, having previously studied God’s law, we find to be our greatest need? The catechism offers three things in answer to this question: faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, and the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicates the benefits of redemption. Today, we shall briefly study what it means to have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, addressing the other two requirements next week. 

The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches that saving faith consists of three things, 1) believing to be true that which is revealed in the Word, 2) acting obedience to the word of God, and 3) embracing the promises of God. Essential to a saving faith in Jesus is our doctrine. Jesus did say that unless we have the faith of a child we will never enter into the kingdom of heaven, but that did not mean that we are to have a childish faith. We are called to have a maturing understanding of God’s Word, giving assent to the revelation of God’s will and nature as found in scripture. 

Moreover, our growing understanding of God’s word should also lead to godly action. We are saved by faith alone, but not a faith that is alone. Scripture clearly shows that sincere faith is always accompanied by sincere action, and our response to the grace of God is a life of service and thanksgiving. 

Ultimately, though, a saving faith is one that embraces the promises of God, trusting and resting in Jesus alone for salvation. Our doctrines, as important as they are, will not save us. Our good works, as crucial as they may be, cannot earn our way into heaven. Only Christ can save us; and a saving faith is one that has come to accept, receive, and rest upon Christ alone for salvation. 


Gracious God, we thank you that you have provided for us a means of salvation. When we were dead in our sins, you gave us your Son to redeem and deliver us. Grant us, by the power of your Spirit, a saving faith, in which we believe your Word, live according to it, and trust in Christ alone for our salvation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. 

Question 85

Q. 85. What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse, due to us for sin?

A. To escape the wrath and curse of God, due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.

Scripture Proofs

Acts 20:21;

testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prov. 2:1-5;

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 

yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

Prov. 8:33-36;

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.

For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

Isa. 55:3.

Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

Question 86

Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ

A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.

Scripture Proofs

Heb. 10:39;

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

John 1:12;

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Isa. 26:3-4;

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

Phil. 3:9;

and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

Gal. 2:16.

yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.