Q20. Are all men saved through Christ just as all were lost through Adam?
A. No. Only those are saved who by true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all His blessings.1
1 Matt. 7:14; John 3:16, 18, 36; Rom. 11:16-21.
Q21. What is true faith?
A. True faith is not only a knowledge and conviction that everything God reveals in His Word is true;1 it is also a deep-rooted assurance,2 created in me by the Holy Spirit3 through the gospel4 that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ,5 not only others, but I too,6 have had my sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation.7
1 John 17:3, 17; Heb. 11:1-3; James 2:19.
2 Rom. 4:18-21; 5:1; 10:10; Heb. 4:14-16.
3 Matt. 16:15-17; John 3:5; Acts 16:14.
4 Rom. 1:16; 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21.
5 Rom. 3:21-26; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-10.
6 Gal. 2:20.
7 Rom. 1:17; Heb. 10:10.
Q22. What then must a Christian believe?
A. Everything God promises us in the gospel.1 That gospel is summarized for us in the articles of our Christian faith— a creed beyond doubt, and confessed through the world.
1 Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:30, 31.
Q23. What are these articles?
A. I believe in God the Father, almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; I believe a holy catholic church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.
I have heard it time and time again through out my seminary experience: Today’s culture is at a loss when it comes to understanding, defining and articulating the precepts of Christianity. Now we can spend hours arguing why this is happening, but for once I will give you my own take on it: As churches try to be more and more in touch with their audience, there is a gap that seems to be growing between the doctrinal teaching and the message of the church. Younger people have a harder time defining faith, their parents struggle articulating and explaining why they believe.
One of the things that we might need to do as a catholic church (universal, big, contemporary church) is for us to actually know what we believe and why we believe it. Simple concept, right? So here it is! today we just read the very essence of what Christianity is known for. This is what makes us, what gives meaning to our lives and ministry. Because of this faith conviction that God is at work we go and live our lives in our communities, we go and do good in the name of God, because of that we gather faithfully on Sunday morning and every chance we get with the people that find God to be their shelter too.
It is because of that faith that we pray that we will know God, the mystery of faith and His resurrection.