The Homilies begin by showing us that we can know God truly through Scripture. They then expose our sin, the barrier which separates us from God, before praising God for salvation in Christ alone by faith alone.
In today’s extract (as we continue our Lent series through the Homilies), we begin the next Homily, which teaches us about the nature of that true and living faith which binds us to God. We are exhorted not only to believe in the doctrines of the faith, but to place all our confidence in God and his promises. Here’s what it says:
“Living faith is not only believing in the articles of the creed. It is also a sure trust and confidence in the mercy of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and a steadfast hope of all good things to be received at God’s hand. And that although we, through infirmity or temptation by our spiritual enemy, do fall from him by sin, yet if we return again to him by true repentance that he will forgive and forget our offences, for the sake of his Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and will make us inheritors with him, of his everlasting kingdom, and that in the meantime, until that kingdom comes, he will be our protector and defender in all perils and dangers, whatever happens.
It is also trusting that, though sometimes he sends us sharp adversity, yet he will always be a loving father to us, correcting us for our sin but not finally withdrawing his mercy from us — if we trust in him and commit ourselves wholly to him, hang only upon him, and call upon him, ready to obey and serve him.
This is the true, lively, and unfeigned Christian faith, and is not in the mouth and outward profession only. It lives and stirs inwardly in the heart. And this faith is not without hope and trust in God, nor without the love of God and of our neighbours, nor without the fear of God, nor without the desire to hear God’s word and to follow the same in eschewing evil and gladly doing all good works.”