By James Morison
Saving faith is a kind of knowledge. This is rendered evident by what our Savior says in John 17:3, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”
Life eternal is the gift of God (Rom 6:23). It is the gift of God to men (1 John 5:11). It is given that men may know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent (John 17:3). And hence, when men come to this knowledge, they have eternal life, and shall “never die” (John 11:26).
They may drop the body; and eyes that have fondly looked on them here, may for a season see them no more. Hands that have fondly pressed them may touch them no more. But they shall “never die.”
Their death will, as it were, be no death. It will be death without its deadly element—death without its “sting.” How glorious!
And all this is to be attained by knowing God and Christ.
Hence we read in 1 Tim 2:4 that God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” The last clause informs us how the first is to be accomplished. Men are to be saved, by coming to the knowledge of the truth.
As soon as any come to the knowledge of the truth, he enters into the enjoyment of salvation. “They that know thy name,” says the Psalmist, “will put their trust in thee” (Ps 9:10). And if any do not put their trust in God, it is because they are “alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them” (Eph 4:18). They are “destroyed for lack of knowledge—because they have rejected knowledge” (Hos 4:6). “Israel doth not know,” says God, “my people doth not consider” (Isa 1:3). There are very many who are “laden with sins, and led away with divers lusts,” and who are “ever learning” and yet “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:6-7). For this reason they remain unsaved.
It is obvious, then, that saving faith is a kind of knowledge.
It is not so much a kind of feeling, or a kind of willing, as a kind of thinking.
But it is right thinking. And hence, it is knowledge.
It is thinking that corresponds to the reality of the thing which is the glorious object of the thought.
He who thinks the right thought regarding God and Christ—as God and Christ stand related, in the scheme of mercy, to sinners—knows the truth of truths. He is a believer of the glorious gospel and has eternal life.
James Morison (1816-1893) was a Scottish theologian. This is an excerpt from his book Saving Faith (London:Hamilton, Adams, & Co., 1871), pp. 39-41.