The Substance of Faith

The Scriptures teach us that “Faith IS the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for”- Hebrews 11:1; that is, it is what hope is made from.
We learn however from Titus 1:1 that “knowledge of truth is the SUBSTANCE of Faith. In this note (part of the commentary on Titus 1:1 ), this truth is made so clear. Read and be blessed

Titus 1:1 “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, in the acknowledging of the truth which is according to godliness”

First, when “faith” is called “knowledge,” it is distinguished not only from opinion, but from that shapeless faith which some have contrived; for they have forged an implicit faith destitute of all light of the understanding. But when Paul describes it to be a quality which essentially belongs to faith — to know the truth, he plainly shows that there is no faith without knowledge.

The word truth expresses still more clearly the certainty which is demanded by the nature of faith; for faith is not satisfied with probable arguments, but holds what is true. Besides, he does not speak of every kind of truth, but of the heavenly doctrine, which is contrasted with the vanity of the human understanding. As God has revealed himself to us by means of that truth, so it is alone worthy of the honor of being called “the truth” — a name which is bestowed on it in many parts of Scripture.

“And the Spirit will lead you into all truth.” – John 16:13

“Thy word is the truth.” – John 17:17

“Who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?” – Galatians 3:1

“Having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of the Son of God.” – Colossians 1:5

“He wishes all to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4

“The Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 3 15

In a word, that truth is the right and sincere knowledge of God, which frees us from all error and falsehood. So much the more ought it to be valued by us, since nothing is more wretched than to wander like cattle during our whole life.

Which is according to godliness. This clause especially limits “the truth” of which he had spoken, but at the same time commends the doctrine of Paul from the fruit and end of it, because it has no other object than that God should be worshipped in a right manner, and that pure religion should flourish among men. In this manner he defends his doctrine from every suspicion of vain curiosity, as he did before Felix, (Acts 24:10,) and afterwards before Agrippa, (Acts 26:1;) for, since all questions which do not tend to edification ought justly to be suspected and even hated by good men, the only lawful commendation of doctrine is this, that it instructs us to fear God and to bow before him with reverence. And hence we are also informed, that the greater progress any one has made in godliness, he is so much the better disciple of Christ; and that he ought to be reckoned a true theologian who edifies consciences in the fear of God.

Have a lovely day!


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