The fourth essential element of the gospel presented in this book is Response- Faith and Repentance. I will need a few posts to unpack Gilbert’s explanation of faith and repentance.

Here is his summary statement that introduces this part of the gospel:

Faith and repentance.  This is what marks out those who are Christ’s people, or Christians.  In other words, a Christian is one who turns away from his sin and trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ-and nothing else-to save him from sin and the coming judgement.  (73)

So, what is faith:

The world thinks faith…is a charade, a fun and comforting game that people are free to engage in if they wish, but with no real connection to the actual world.  Children believe in Santa Claus and the Easter bunny.  Mystics believe in the power of stones and crystals.  Crazy people believe in fairies.  And Christians, well, they believe in Jesus.

Read the Bible, though, and you’ll find that faith is nothing like that caricature.  Faith is not believing in something you can’t prove, as so many people define it.  It is, biblically speaking, reliance.  A rock-solid, truth-grounded, promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from sin. (74)

He draws on Paul’s description of faith in Romans 4, in his discussion about Abraham.  Abraham’s faith was described as being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised (Romans 4:21).

How does this impact those of us who are living after the cross of Christ?

The gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to do the very same thing-to put our faith in Jesus, rely on him, and trust him to do what he has promised to do. (75)

OK, enough for today; tomorrow I will share his explanation of being clothed in the righteousness of Christ and how that relates to faith.  For you theological eggheads, it is his explanation of ‘alien’ or ‘imputed’ righteousness.