(Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism, Vol.1. part 8) True Faith, the Line of Separation Lord's Day 7 Psalter No. 426 st. 6, 8 Read Rom. 9:14-33 Psalter No. 73 st. 1, 5, 6 Psalter No. 381 st. 2 Psalter No. 428 st. S Beloved: Before the foundation of the world, God in His sovereignty has determined who among Adam's posterity shall be saved, and who shall not be saved. Election and reprobation are both parts of predestination, of which Paul wrote in the Chapter that was read to you. "Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated." That election was not because of foreseen faith and good works, nor was reprobation because of foreseen unbelief and evil works. Predestination is hence not a decree of God based upon mercy and righteousness, but upon absolute sovereignty. That sovereignty in eternity drew a line between Jacob and Esau, between those that are saved and those that are lost. God has appointed, as Paul says in I Thess. 5:9, some to wrath and some to salvation. While before the foundation of the world God has thus drawn a line between those that will be lost and those that will be saved, in time that line is drawn by true faith. God grants His elect that faith by which they are in grafted into Christ and receive all His benefits. Thus they actually accept that salvation in Him which they already have in Him objectively, as the Form for the Administration of Baptism so simply and truthfully states: "The Holy Ghost assures us that He will apply unto us that which we have in Christ, namely, the washing away of our sins, and the daily renewing of our lives, till we shall finally be presented without spot or wrinkle among the assembly of the elect in life eternal." Beyond a doubt, they are those who were chosen in Christ, who have remission of sins in Him; they, and they only who are included in Him, as their Head, and definitely not all people that are presented for baptism. As all men have fallen in Adam, so the elect in Christ are reconciled with God and are made to sit in heavenly places with Him in favour and communion with God. But that which they have in Christ they must be made to be partakers of in time, because they too, by nature are children of wrath, as were the others. They also are included in the fall of Adam, and are without Christ in the world. Although they are born and brought up under the light of the gospel, as far as their state is concerned, they are "strangers and sojourners," and the ingrafting in Christ is indispensable, if they are to obtain salvation in Him. That ingrafting in Christ is the work of the Holy Spirit and takes place by faith, that is planted by the Holy Spirit Himself in regeneration, in the hearts of those chosen in Christ and purchased by His blood. He that lacks that ingrafting in Christ by faith to life, is subject to condemnation in Adam, and dead in trespasses and sins. Faith therefore draws the line of separation between those that are in Adam and those that are in Christ. I now ask your attention to this matter as I am to discuss with you the seventh Lord's Day of our Heidelberg Catechism. Lord's Day 7 Q. 20: Are all men then, as they perished in Adam, saved by Christ? A. No; only those who are ingrafted into Him, and receive all His benefits, by a true faith. Q. 21: What is true faith? A. True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel, in my heart; that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits. Q. 22: What is then necessary for a Christian to believe? A. All things promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic undoubted Christian faith briefly teach us. Q. 23: What are these articles? A. I I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; II And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord; III Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; IV Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; V The third day He rose again from the dead; VI He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; VII From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead; VIIII believe in the Holy Ghost; IX I believe an holy catholic church; the communion of saints; X The forgiveness of sins; XI The resurrection of the body; III And the life everlasting. Amen. In this Lord's Day faith is shown to be the line of demarcation when: I salvation is ascribed to them who partake of Christ by faith, II the essence of faith is described, and III the contents of faith is given briefly. The sixth Lord's Day of the Heidelberg Catechism presented the Mediator of the Covenant, the Emmanuel, God with us, in His all-sufficiency and ability. He was revealed by the Father as the seed of the woman in Paradise and later came as the all-fulfilling One, purchasing His people with His blood, as the prophets and the ceremonies testified. Now understand me well, all men are reckoned in Adam, and hence are fallen in perdition; only the elect are reckoned in Christ to their salvation, and they, and only they are ingrafted in Christ by faith and partake of His benefits. Thus the line of separation is drawn between those that will be saved and those that will be lost. The Catechism therefore places before us the question: "Are all men then, as they perished in Adam, saved by Christ?" And then the scriptural and decisive answer is "No." Every single person from Adam to the very last one that shall be born, every one of them is reckoned in Adam, but Christ is not the Covenant head of all these people. Grace is not universal, and all men shall not be saved in Christ. Are then the merits of Christ not sufficient to save all people? Oh yes, viewing those merits in themselves, you must admit that their atoning power is boundless. God's wrath, that perfect, endless loathing of everything that is sin, that demands complete satisfaction for sin, burns in full force upon all the children of Adam. Christ has borne that full wrath in both body and soul; and has pacified that wrath. That is the point; the fruit of that pacification of God's wrath and of the satisfaction of God's justice is, according to sovereign love, limited by election and the eternal Covenant of Grace to those given to Christ by the Father. It is certainly not for everyone. Because of the virtue and value of His mediatorial work, we have in the ministry perfect liberty to publish salvation to all; to declare that none is too bad, no one's debt is too great; and to show everyone who hears the Word the dreadful responsibility that rests upon him, and the judgment that shall fall upon him if he hardens himself; for all excuses for sin are taken away, and the woe of Chorazin and Capernaum hang over his head; nevertheless, Christ became the Surety for His elect, and to them, to them only He will apply what He has merited. But is it not written, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life?" There was then no separation in His love. He loved the entire world and gave His son for it. Now it depends upon ourselves whether we accept that love or reject it. If we believe, that salvation is ours. Is not this the correct explanation? There really are people who thus pervert the truth to their own destruction. They thereby deny sovereign election and the substitutionary work of Christ, as though the Mediator had died for all people, and salvation depends on man's free will. They take hold of more texts. Does not Paul say in I Tim. 2:4 that God wills that all men be saved? And do you not read in II Peter 3:9, "The Lord is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." Stronger still, boasts the old Pelagian and his successor, the Remonstrant, and all those sickly dreamers about God's love, Paul speaks almost irrefutably in Romans 5: The gift of grace is greater than sin, says Paul. Through the offense of one many are dead, but much more the grace of God abounded unto many. "Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Thus they conclude that salvation is for all men and it depends on us whether we shall enter that salvation. But that conclusion is against Scripture. When John testifies that God loved the world, he does not state that Christ was given for all the people on that world, but he only shows that it was not for fallen angels, but mankind is the object of God's eternal mercy. That God wills salvation for all men does not mean that it is God's will that each and every person shall be saved, for if that were God's will, who would prevent Him from doing what He pleases? But with God there is no respect of persons. Therefore supplications shall be made for all men, for kings and for all those that are in authority. For God wills that all, means all classes of men, whether great or small, rich or poor, whoever they may be, shall be saved, as He has shown throughout the ages in bringing sinners to conversion. Always read Scripture in context. Then we shall also understand Peter in his second epistle in which he refers to those called and chosen, whose are the promises, of which He wills that none should perish. How can anyone think Peter's words refer to all men, without inferring that God is unable to execute His will, since many go to eternal perdition. To direct our attention to Romans 5, you shall never understand Paul's strong argument if you do not see that Paul is contrasting the two covenant heads, and that the "many" and "all" refer every time to those who are represented in these covenant heads. All and many in relation to Adam means each and every man, but those words in relation to Christ are the elect who are all in Him before the foundation of the world. Only they will be saved who are in Christ Jesus, and therefore they are ingrafted in Christ by a true faith and receive all His benefits, as our Catechism says, and that statement we must heed closely. Here are many snares of Satan, and the enmity of our nature against free grace is great. Ingrafted in Christ by true faith! That true faith is a gift of God, as Paul says in Eph. 2. "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." There is so much imitation of that true faith, so much faith that does not bear the stamp of the Holy Spirit, and hence does not graft the soul into Christ. There is only one faith that leads to salvation, that faith which grafts us into Christ, and by which we receive His benefits. Whatever you may think of yourself, very conscientious, well meaning or whatever you call it, without being ingrafted in Christ, everything, everything shall fall away at death like the sandy ground in the parable. That ingrafting in Christ is wrought by the Holy Spirit which works faith in our heart. True faith is of an entirely different nature than historical, temporary and miraculous faith. In all of them there is not even the least particle of true faith, however much they may seem outwardly to be like it. An historical faith is nothing but a mere assent to a known truth. If you would ask such an historical believer whether he believes what the Bible says, he would surely answer affirmatively, for he holds God's Word to be the truth. Agrippa had such an historical faith, therefore Paul asked him, "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." But still he was not concerned about the salvation of his soul. It is much to be feared that many get no farther than King Agrippa, although they live with the church. Historical faith is necessary, but not enough. James would say, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou does well; the devils also believe and tremble." Temporary faith goes deeper. A temporary believer differs from an historical believer in that he receives the truth with some outward joy, the word has taste for him. In Matth. 13 the Lord compares the temporary believer to the seed sown in stony ground. But he lacks the inward sincere delight in the truth of God that is the portion of all God's children. He knows nothing of the opening of the Scriptures for the poor, lost sinner, because the seed of the Word had no root in him to show him his misery and he had no true sorrow for sin, as an affront against the holy Majesty of God. Temporary faith does not yield fruit. Temporary faith lacks all the real characteristics of true faith. It does not unite the soul to Christ, and therefore it lacks the principle of life and it withers away. It is temporary. Both historical and temporary faith are founded on God's Word. Miraculous faith is not. Miraculous faith is the strong conviction that a miracle shall be wrought on us or by us. It can be exercised by God's people, as, for example, the apostles, who wrought miracles, or the leper who returned to Christ. But it is very different from saving faith. Consider those ten lepers. They all had faith; they showed it, else they would not at the Lord's command have departed to show themselves to the priest. What could they, lepers, do by the priest? They had to go to the priest only after they had been cleansed. Still they went without contradiction upon the command of Christ; for they all believed; they all had that strong feeling that He would work a miracle of healing in them. That was all the nine had. The Lord Jesus was to them a miracle-doctor. One, only one, sought in Him the salvation of his soul. That one was a Samaritan. Many shall say, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?" But the dreadful words shall sound in their ears, "Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." Let not the miracle be everything for us. One miracle is necessary for us, that we, being spiritually dead, should awaken. "Though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." If we lack true faith, that of the elect, we have no part with Christ, and if we lack Christ the condemnation rests upon us. True faith separates those that shall be saved from those that shall be lost. Only by true faith are we ingrafted in Christ, and the result is that we accept his gifts. But he who is not ingrafted in Christ, cannot accept his benefits. How closely, how very closely we must examine ourselves, and inquire after the essence of true faith, as does the Catechism: "What is true faith?" To this question the instructor gives a clear and simple answer: "True faith is not only a certain knowledge whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel, in my heart; that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits." This answer leads us to consider our second point: II the essence of faith described. Let us in the first place notice that the Catechism does not speak of the quintessence of faith, but of faith itself in its character, nature and essence. The description is written so that whoever lacks what is here described, lacks true faith, and therefore has no part with Christ and salvation. This faith draws a line of separation between those that shall be saved and those that are lost. There is no other way. Certainly there are steps in faith and there are steps in the life of grace, but that is beside the point now. To the view that the Seventh Lord's Day speaks of the quintessence, not of the essence of faith, (or else that particular application, and an inward assurance of the forgiveness of our sins in Christ are not essential to the essence of faith) many of our godly fathers including Vander Groe had very weighty and insoluble objections. We may not drop that clear and Biblical description our fathers gave us both here and elsewhere. But do not forget that the exercise of this true faith is not always just as energetic and clear in all God's people. With Comrie we differentiate between the grace and the act of faith. The acts of faith flow from the grace of faith. What the Catechism and the Form for the Lord's Supper says so beautifully always refers to the grace of faith, while the act of faith may be so defective that very few of its characteristics are evident. If this were more correctly considered, we would understand and agree with the description given of the essence of faith, indeed that description would not depress or exclude any of the upright, but on the contrary, it would be a means of delivering us out of much darkness and strengthening our faith. By saving grace "I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word." This is the fruit that faith yields in the soul and it increases as it grows. By faith a blessed light falls upon God's truth that makes one experience its liberating power. Then we not only stop that sinful despising of God's Word and attempting to escape it, but it also puts an end to our formal, dry and dead life, with which so many religious people are content, albeit to their eternal perdition. The eyes of our understanding are enlightened to know the truth that is in Jesus. "Thy Word is a lamp for my feet, a light upon my path", says such a believer. His soul hungers after the eternal truth of God more than his body for bread. This truth causes him to delve into the revealed mind of God to find the life of his soul. He often experiences either in his private reading, for which he often sacrifices some of his sleep, or when he goes to God's house, the comforting fruit. He knows the voice of God; it seems to him that the Lord Himself speaks to him. It is a certain knowledge; in that knowledge of faith there is no doubt; it is firm. However much the world may shrug its shoulders mockingly about the Word of God; whatever the "wise" may say about the impossibility of the Word's being true, faith does not waver, but exalts itself far above those unstable and weak, hellish attacks upon God's revelation. Faith can stand a few knocks, and the believer shall not perish in doubt. Faith is a certain, that is, a firm knowledge of the promises of God. These with their rich contents are unlocked, applied, and embraced, so that the soul can plead upon them, for pleading upon God's promises is a work of faith. Thus the firmness of faith does not consist in the believer's ability to state the doctrines clearly for himself and for others. Here again it is the work of Christ that is decisive, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." That intercession is enough, and gives a firmness to faith, making that knowledge so sure, that all doubt must flee. In the believer there are both faith and unbelief, but in faith itself there is not the least doubt. Faith and unbelief are mutually exclusive; this knowledge is immovably firm. But it can very well be that unbelief causes the believer to doubt. See Thomas who firmly rejected all the messages of Christ's resurrection, and boldly declared that he would not believe until he had seen and touched. Oh, that God dishonoring doubt that disbelieves what the soul shortly before had embraced in faith. And yet, however often the believer doubts, that faith is still a certain knowledge, that does not waver, but embraces all that God has revealed in His Word. Yea, faith is also a certain trust; faith causes the soul to lean upon Christ. Whenever that faith is exercised, a light arises that clears up the darkness, but also that sinking, that resting and trusting comes to shame us for our doubting; and causes us to embrace the truth of God's work and the salvation in Christ. Read in that light what the instructor says of that confidence, namely that the Holy Ghost works it in our heart by the gospel. This is affirmed in the life of God's children. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Now let us continue, that confidence concerns this: "that not only to others, but to me also remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation are freely given by God, merely of grace only for the sake of Christ's merits." How hard this is for many people. Just that causes the struggle for those who see salvation in Christ for those who are lost, but lack the appropriation and assurance of faith. On the one hand they cannot deny what God has done to them, but on the other hand, oh, how they are attacked by Satan, who tells them that the remission of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation are for others, for God's people, but not for them. If only they could believe that they were partakers of Christ, but they are often so distressed at the thought that they yet lack Christ. Oh, they fear death. Solomon's chariot had a covering of purple, the red of atoning blood, but their soul has no covering. God's justice demands, and their righteousness is too short. There is salvation only in Christ, and Him they want. Thus many of God's children spend long years, although they do not let go of God's promise. The point is now, if faith is a certain knowledge and an assured confidence that to me also salvation is given in Christ, have those souls then no faith? We must distinguish between the grace and the exercise of faith, as we said above. Then you have the answer. In the exercise of faith there can be such a defect; the exercise may be beset with much darkness in knowledge, and uncertainty in the confidence; but faith itself, as a gift of grace, does not waver. That is shown in the exercise of it. Tell us, doubting souls, when you are in a lively frame, when faith breaks through, is there doubt then? Do you then say, "It is for others, but not for me?" Certainly not. Then you embrace that salvation and redemption which is in Christ. "Not only to others, but also to me", that is the voice of faith, that glories only in grace. It is "merely of grace", not mixed with anything of ourselves, pure grace which excludes all works. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay; but by the law of faith. Of grace, yea of grace alone God's people shall sing to their last breath. By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is God's gift. By grace remission of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation are given, only for the sake of Christ's merits. By the grace of faith, all those who are called out of death unto life are in grafted in Christ and they partake of His benefits. But let us not misuse this comforting doctrine of faith by supposing that it is now less necessary to experience this union with Christ by the exercise of faith. This would be contrary to the essence of faith. Does not God's Word teach the assurance of faith? Do you not know what Paul said, "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day?" Do you really think that the benefits of the New Testament were less than those given to Job? This severely tried servant of God gloried in the face of death, not during sweet communion, or under the sweet influences of God's love, but under the sad hiding of God's face, and under the fierce assaults of Satan; and while his friends think him a hypocrite, in a word, under indescribable darkness, Job gloried; "For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." Even then faith had power, and a hope for perfect salvation with Christ lived in Job's soul. Is that not written so that we too shall seek to attain that assurance, that we shall seek to experience in the exercise of faith, what we have received in the grace of faith. Salvation does not depend on the assurance, but we should strive earnestly to attain to perfection. Being constantly assured of God's grace to us is a second grace. All this does not change the fact that the grace of faith makes all God's children partakers of these benefits, so that they embrace by faith: "All things promised us in the Gospel, which the articles of our catholic undoubted Christian faith briefly teach us." This brings us to our third point, III the contents of faith. We cannot live with less than the instructor here explains, but we do not need more. To be saved it is necessary, but also sufficient to believe in God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. What faith in the Triune God means is comprehended very briefly in the 12 articles of faith which Luther condensed into three articles, expressing faith in the three Divine Persons. The twelve articles are a development of the formula for baptism in Matth. 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The story that each of the Apostles wrote one article of this creed is fictitious. The Twelve Articles date from the end of the second century. The name Apostles' Creed was given to this confession because of its apostolic contents, not because the apostles composed it. That which is expressed in this creed agrees perfectly with the apostles' doctrine. They are the articles of our catholic, undoubted Christian faith, of our catholic, or universal faith. The Romish church has wrongly appropriated the term catholic to itself. It is the false church. The contents of the only, true catholic faith is summarized briefly in the twelve articles. Let others think what they please, this is the contents of our undoubted Christian faith. What God has promised in the Gospel is so wonderful. It includes all His people need for soul and body, for time and eternity. All the blessings of the covenant of grace are bequeathed in the promises of God to the church, and by faith it receives the benefits of them. It is necessary to believe all of this, for nothing of the promised salvation can be spared, and all the saints were saved by that Gospel. How our soul should be exercised with the promises of the gospel to understand them better, and to fathom the depth of God's salvation and love therein, and to find in those promises a foundation upon which we may plead with the Lord to grant us the promised salvation. God's people are set upon the Word of the Lord; that is their touchstone and their comfort in their afflictions. If only that Word is opened to them, they lose themselves in adoration and cry out with the poet of Psalm 138: "I cried to Thee and Thou didst save, Thy word of grace new courage gave." Psalter No. 381 st. 2 Application Was that saving faith planted in your soul? Alas, how many live coldly on under the most effective ministry of the gospel. Heaven does not comfort them, nor does hell terrify them. They have become hardened to the warnings, as the smithy's dog to the sparks of fire. The eternal love of God in Christ preached to poor sinners does not enrapture them. The Gospel leaves them unmoved; God's promises have no value; they believe, but their faith has only the characteristics of historical faith. Oh, if only the invitation of the Gospel would touch you! Would you remain lukewarm concerning the Gospel that calls you to your eternal salvation? Would you say coolly, "I am unconverted"? Would you not hasten for your life? Shall it not be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you? For they who knew the way and walked not in it, shall be beaten with many stripes. Remember that distress which disappears as a morning cloud and as an early dew is no part of the true life of faith. They that build their hope upon the soul agonies they have endured, may very well fear they have no more than temporary faith. True faith unites our soul with Christ and causes us to live out of Him. Outside of union with Christ there is only eternal perdition. That union by faith with Christ is so very different than a superficial consideration of the Scriptures, and thus accepting Jesus. Our days are full of such. Thousands come to Jesus with their sins without ever learning to know their state of misery. They believe Jesus and accept Him, while you look in vain for any true characteristics of having been ingrafted by faith. They accept it on authority of the Scriptures which they were taught. Is it surprising that everyone who holds to the old doctrine hates such a presentation of the union with Christ by faith, as it is taught in the schools to our children and in the churches to all, whether converted or unconverted? For in that presentation lies the practical denial of man's state of death, and of our unwillingness and inability to believe. Therefore it is misleading souls for eternity and deadening the souls of the upright. Those who fear God, learned it very differently. Oh friends, who have been truly humbled before God, testify whether the ideas and understanding of the truth of the Gospel which you have received by education do not fall away, and frighten rather than comfort you, because you can make no use of all your knowledge. I have known people who were very letter wise, yet how well they knew the Gospel with their mind, out of legal fear they almost spoke the language of the devils, "Art Thou come to torment us before the time?" Remember Spira, of whom Comrie speaks, and others. That superficial knowledge leaves us outside of Christ, and if God does not prevent it, will some day increase our judgment. "I believe," says Comrie, "that literal knowledge of the Gospel, which we have rejected, will be a hell in the hell." The Lord plant in you that saving grace that grafts you into Christ. The great difference between true life and the almost Christendom that is dead, lies in this: that God's people are cut off from Adam and are ingrafted in Christ. Without being cut off there is no ingrafting. The fruit of this grafting is that the true believer is drawn to Christ. Oh, do test yourself by these marks. In the conviction of our sins and in the humiliation of our soul before the Lord, in spite of our condemnation, that hope lived that bound us to God and caused us to cleave unto Him. It was the grace in Christ that drew us, and in all our fears and misery called to us, as it were, that there is forgiveness with the Lord, that He might be feared. Then we took courage out of the salvation of great sinners, who could glory in naught but grace, as Manassah and Saul. Oh, then it could be possible that our soul would be saved from death. Christ stood, as it were, behind a wall, but His love, His loveliness, and His grace went out to His poor people, even though they did not see them. Then there was hope, because sinners are saved freely; then the Gospel opened for us and gave encouragement; then they saw the salvation that God has prepared for His people, and they learn to love the people and the service of God above all else. Then they believed. And still that exercise of faith passed, and sin and guilt weighed heavily upon them under the condemnation of God's holy law, and unbelief became so strong that they could not hold fast that God had ever done good things to them. Thus it went up and down and they were tossed to and fro between faith and doubts. They had to lose all their prayers, their tears and everything to which they would hold, so that they would learn by faith to know Christ alone as the way of life. Oh, hearken, ye souls who are weary because of your sins and misery, hearken to the soul-winning invitation of the Lord, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest for your souls." Let nothing prevent you from seeking refuge in Him. True faith seeks no other refuge. And truly the Lord will not cast His seeking people away. In the midst of all worry and fear, the confidence of faith is at times so strong that we are above all doubts. What then must the assurance of faith for our state for eternity be? Does our soul then never again doubt? Oh yes, a thousand times, if not about our state, then in one way or another. But the more clearly we may embrace the promises of the Gospel, the more our soul shall cleave to Him, Who testified, "Without Me ye can do nothing," so we can not believe either. May He grant that living exercise of faith which causes to know and trust Christ in his mediatorial gravings more and more. May He strengthen our faith in us so that even in darkness when there is no light, we shall trust in Him Who does not forsake the work of His own hands. Amen. (continued in part 9...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: krhc1-08.txt .