Hebrews 11:6; John 14:1,6; Matthew 11:28-30
Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): “He that cometh to God.” Now what does that mean?
JOHN OWEN (1616-1683): In general, it denotes an access of the person into the favour of God―we must therefore inquire what it is thus to come to God, and what is required thereunto.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): All that men undertake without faith is vain and useless―faith alone is sufficient, because this alone does God require from us, that we believe.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Now, if believing be so necessary, and unbelief so dangerous and fatal, it deeply concerns us to know what it is to believe―what is faith?
ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER (1772-1851): Faith is a firm persuasion or belief of the truth, apprehended under the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
A. W. PINK: The old Puritan writers tell you that faith is made up of three things: first knowledge, then assent, and then what they call affiance, or the laying hold of the knowledge to which we give assent, and making it our own by trusting in it—“Recumbency” on the truth was the word which the old preachers used. You will understand that word: Leaning on it; saying, “This is truth, I trust my salvation on it.” Now, true faith, in its very essence rests in this—a leaning upon Christ. It will not save me to know that Christ is a Saviour; but it will save me to trust Him to be my Saviour. I shall not be delivered from the wrath to come by believing that His atonement is sufficient, but I shall be saved by making that atonement my trust, my refuge, and my all.
HORATIUS BONAR (1808-1889): I shall not attempt a definition of faith. This only let me say in a few words, that the faith which goes no further than the intellect can neither save nor sanctify. It is no faith at all. It is unbelief. No faith is saving but that which links us to the Person of a living Saviour. Whatever falls short of this is not faith in Christ. While salvation is described sometimes in Scripture as a “coming to the knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:4, it is more commonly represented as a “coming to Christ” Himself.
A. W. PINK: What, then, is meant by “coming to Christ?”
DANIEL ROWLAND (1711-1790): The man within the body is possessed of three principal faculties: the understanding, the affections, and the will…The motions of Divine grace work through the apprehensions of faith in the understanding, these warming and firing the affections, and they in turn influencing and moving the will. Every faculty of the soul is put forth in a saving “coming to Christ.”
WILLIAM MASON (1719-1791): To “come to Christ” in its proper sense, is to receive Him as He is offered to us in the Word; to believe in Him, as a suitable and all-sufficient Saviour; to submit to His government, in both suffering and doing His will, with all lowly-mindedness and humility; and this by the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit upon the soul.
A. W. PINK: To “come to Christ” signifies the movement of a Spirit-enlightened mind toward the Lord Jesus—as Prophet, to be instructed by Him; as Priest, whose atonement and intercession are to be relied upon; as King, to be ruled by Him. To “come to Christ” is the turning of the whole soul unto a whole Christ in the exercise of Divine grace upon Him: it is the mind, heart, and will being supernaturally drawn to Him, so as to trust, love and serve Him.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): It is “to believe on Him, as the Scripture hath said,” John 7:38,39.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): But surely men ought to be told to repent as well as to believe. They should be told why they are to come to Christ, and what they are to come for, and whence their need arises.
PHILIP MAURO (1859-1952): There is, in the heart of man―corrupted as it is by sin―not only an obstinate reluctance to admit his hopelessness as a guilty sinner, and his utter helplessness to do anything for his own recovery; but there is, also, a rooted aversion to being saved by grace alone.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound. It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form.
JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688): The coming, then, intended in the text, is to be understood of the coming of the mind to Him, even the moving of the heart towards Him―from a sound sense of the absolute want that a man has of Him for his justification and salvation.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): It is looking from yourself to Jesus.
THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): By repentance a man abhors himself, by faith he goes out of himself.
A. W. PINK: It is a going out of self so as to rest no longer on anything in self. It is the abandoning of every idol and of all other dependencies, the heart going out to Him in loving submission and trustful confidence. It is the will surrendering to Him as Lord, ready to accept His yoke, take up the cross, and follow Him without reserve.
HUGH BINNING (1625-1654): To believe in Christ is simply this: I, whatsoever I be―ungodly, wretched, polluted, desperate―am willing to have Jesus Christ for my Saviour.
C. H. SPURGEON: Remember the story of the plowman and James Hervey? The plowman asked Hervey what he thought was the greatest hindrance to men’s salvation. Hervey replied, “Sinful self.” “No,” said the plowman, “I think righteous self is a greater hindrance to men’s salvation than sinful self. They that are sinful will come to Christ for pardon, but they that think they are righteous never will.”
ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): To “come to Christ” for life, in short, is to give up our own righteousness, and be justified by His.
JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): This is the very thing your salvation will stand or fall on; even on your yielding to come to Him―on your leaning to His righteousness or not, and according as you act faith or not on Him, in this respect, so will the sentence of your absolution or condemnation pass in the great day.
JOHN OWEN: Do not deceive yourselves; it is not an indifferent thing whether you will come to Christ upon His invitation or not; a thing which you may put off from one occasion into another. Your present refusal of it is as high an act of enmity against God as your nature is capable of.