In the Bible, then, it is not merely God as Creator who is the object of faith, but also, and primarily, God as Redeemer from sin. We fear God because of our guilt; but we trust Him because of His grace. We trust Him because He has brought us by the Cross of Christ, despite all our sin, into His holy presence. Faith in God depends altogether upon His redeeming work.
That fact explains an important feature of the New Testament teaching about faith—the feature, namely, that the New Testament ordinarily designates as the object of faith not God the Father but the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament does indeed speak of faith in God, but it speaks more frequently of faith in Christ.
The importance of this observation must indeed not be exaggerated; no man can have faith in Christ without also having faith in God the Father and in the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the blessed Trinity are according to the New Testament active in redemption; and all three therefore may be the object of faith when redemption is accepted by sinful men.
Redemption was accomplished, however, according to the New Testament, by an event in the external world, at a definite time in the world’s history, when the Lord Jesus died upon the cross and rose again. In Christ the redeeming work of God became visible; it is Christ, therefore, very naturally, who is ordinarily represented as the object of faith.
But as in the case of God the Father, so in the case of Christ, it is impossible to have faith in a person without having knowledge of the person; faith is always based upon knowledge.
That important principle is denied by many persons in the modern world in the case of Christ, just as we have seen that it is denied in the case of God the Father. (Machen, J. Gresham. What is. Faith?, 87-88)
Faith in Christ
Pastor, Exhorter, Cyclist
Frank Jones is presently pastor at Faith Memorial Baptist Church in Chesterfield, Virginia.