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Some of our readers will probably be surprised to hear about the difficulty of saving faith. On almost every side today is being taught, even by men styled orthodox and “fundamentalists,” that getting saved is an exceedingly simple affair. So long as a person believes John 3:16 and “rests on it,” or “accepts Christ as his personal Savior,” that is all that is needed. It is often said that there is nothing left for the sinner to do but direct his faith toward the right object: just as a man trusts his bank or a wife her husband, let him exercise the same faculty of faith and trust in Christ. So widely has this idea been received, that for any one now to condemn it, is to court being branded as a heretic. Notwithstanding, the writer here unhesitatingly denounces it as a most God-insulting lie of the Devil. A natural faith is sufficient for trusting a human object; but a supernatural faith is required to savingly trust in a Divine object.
While observing the methods employed by present-day “evangelists” and “personal workers,” we are made to wonder what place the Holy Spirit has in their thoughts: certainly they entertain the most degrading conception of that miracle of grace which He performs, when He moves a human heart to truly surrender unto the Lord Jesus. Alas, in these degenerate times, few have any idea that saving faith is a miraculous thing. Instead, it is now almost universally supposed that saving faith is nothing more than an act of the human will, which any man is capable of performing: all that is needed is to bring before a sinner a few verses of Scripture which describe his lost condition, one or two which contain the word “believe,” and then a little persuasion for him to “accept Christ,” and the thing is done. And the awful thing is that so very, very few see anything wrong with this—blind to the fact that such a process is only the Devil’s drug to lull thousands into a false peace.
A. W. Pink (1886–1952)
Taken from “Studies on Saving Faith”