Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate

Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate
Pray for us, oh Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What is Faith?



St. Paul knows that the Jews, as children of Abraham, are the adopted children of God. Even prior to the coming of Christ and His revelation of God, St. Paul understood that it is through faith, and not through family or tribal lineage nor by adherence to the Mosaic law, that gentiles are justified.   This is St. Paul's point in the excerpt from Galatians, below.
Gal 3:7-14
Brothers and sisters:
Realize that it is those who have faith
who are children of Abraham.
Scripture, which saw in advance that God
would justify the Gentiles by faith,
foretold the good news to Abraham, saying,
Through you shall all the nations be blessed.
Consequently, those who have faith are blessed
along with Abraham who had faith.
For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse;
for it is written, Cursed be everyone
who does not persevere in doing all the things
written in the book of the law.
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear,
for the one who is righteous by faith will live.
But the law does not depend on faith;
rather, the one who does these things will live by them.
Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us,
for it is written, Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,
that the blessing of Abraham might be extended
to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,
so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Now, all that remains is to define "faith". What does it mean to have faith in Christ? What is the role of good works in one's justification? Do Catholics and Protestants define "faith" in the same way?

The answers to these questions can help both Catholics and Protestants as we discuss this pivotal question: "Are we justified by faith?" Peter Kreeft turns his lithe intellect to this question in a chapter from his book, Fundamentals of the Faith. .


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