What does it look like to believe?
John Owen points out the following word pictures given us in the Scripture and their significance in order to help us understand the nature of saving faith:
1.) Faith is described as receiving. (John 1:12) “That the nature of faith, and its acting with respect unto all the causes of justification, consisting in receiving, that which is the object of it must be offered, tendered, and given unto us, as that which is not our own, but is made our own by that giving and receiving.”
2.) Looking. (John 8:28, 12:32) “Faith is that act of the soul whereby they who are hopeless, helpless and lost in themselves, do, in a way of expectancy and trust, seek for all help and relief in Christ alone.”
3.) Coming unto Christ. (Matt.11:28) “This coming unto Christ consists in a man’s going out of himself, in a complete renunciation of all his own duties and righteousness, and betaking himself with all his trust and confidence unto Christ alone, and his righteousness, for pardon of sin, acceptation with God, and a right unto the heavenly inheritance.”
4.) Fleeing for refuge. (Heb. 6:18)
5.) Leaning on God, casting our burden upon the Lord, resting on God, trusting, hoping, waiting. “And it may be observed that those who acted faith as it is thus expressed, do everywhere declare themselves to be lost, hopeless, helpless, desolate, poor, orphans, whereon they do place all their hope and expectation on God alone.”
These pictures show us that the faith that saves, “is such an act of the whole soul whereby convinced sinners do wholly go out of themselves to rest upon God in Christ for mercy, pardon, life, righteousness and salvation, with an acqquiescence of heart therein.”