Forgiveness—A Measure of Love

KEY VERSE: “He said to the woman, thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” —Luke 7:50


THESE words were spoken by Jesus to a woman who was called a sinner by those who knew her, but who undoubtedly had been greatly influenced by Jesus and his teachings. She had a repentant heart concerning her life and saw in Jesus a man of great compassion, and believed he had the authority from God to forgive her sin.

In the gift of ointment, with which she so gently anointed his feet, he saw a wonderful expression of faith, and in the tears which flowed so freely a repentant and contrite heart. Such is the basic heart attitude upon which salvation is possible. When our Lord declared that her faith had saved her, he was aware that his death as a ransoming requirement for salvation had not yet been accomplished; but it was soon to happen, and looking beyond he saw in her a candidate for the great salvation—the call of this age.

Like this remorseful woman, all who have shared in the Gospel Age call to salvation have first come to sadly realize that they are sinners, condemned under a sentence of death. By God’s grace we were enabled to see our condition. He pointed us to the only way of escape—Christ Jesus—and, as we accepted him, we passed figuratively from death unto life. We were called of God with a heavenly calling. Responding, we were begotten of the Holy Spirit and were given exceeding great and precious promises involving our hope of salvation.

In Romans 10:17 we have the statement that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. This implies that a certain kind of faith is the result of knowledge. That is true so far as a faith which is a natural quality is concerned, but it is not strictly true of the faith which is a fruit of the Spirit. Someone may ask, What is the difference? The former is a natural, inherent quality; while the latter is an acquired quality, a grace that is put on—a fruit which is developed. Does all Biblical knowledge result in a living, active faith? By no means. If it did, it would prove that those who have the largest amount of knowledge would also have the greatest degree of faith. This does not necessarily follow.

Knowledge alone is not the faith which is the victory that overcometh the world. From the standpoint of the Apostle Peter, true knowledge of God is an outgrowth of faith. This is shown in his statement in II Peter 1:5, where he said, “Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge.” If all faith were the result of knowledge, the apostle could have said, Add to your knowledge virtue, and to virtue faith; but we notice he did not put it that way. He said: “Add to your faith virtue, … knowledge, … temperance, … patience, … godliness, … brotherly kindness, … love.”

We read in Ephesians, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” (Eph. 3:14) Also, in Romans we read, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. … By whom [Jesus] also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”—Rom. 5:1,2

These scriptures and many more express how vital our faith is to the hope of salvation we rightfully entertain through the authority of God’s Word. The heavenly salvation can only dimly be grasped by our finite minds. We are told that it “doth not yet appear what we shall be.” (John 3:1) But we have assurance of the validity of this hope because we have evidence that our faith in it is tested by God, as he told us it would be—that the trial of our faith … “though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”—I Pet. 1:7

And so, in the end, it will be our faith that will see us through to victory in the obtaining of our salvation. If our faith is sure and steadfast in his promised salvation, and is more firmly established with each trial, then we too can walk in peace—peace with God. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith.”—I John 5:4

Dawn Bible Students Association
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