I am going to speak of faith in the evangelical or saving sense—not faith as used sometimes to denote the whole of Christianity, or to represent a system of truth, but faith when it is used to set forth that act of the soul which translates it out of the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God—that living, powerful, transforming principle in the soul of the believer which enables him to live in obedience to God—the faith that saves.
What is this faith? It is not a mere mental perception or conviction of the truth. Saving faith is not intellectual perception of the truth. There are hundreds of drunkards who believe thoroughly in sobriety. I have known of many who have believed that abstinence was the finest thing in the world; nevertheless, you found them drunk every Saturday night just the same. Their faith in sobriety had no practical effect on their lives! This is an illustration of a mere intellectual perception and approval of a truth without any corresponding effect upon the heart.
Saving faith is not mere feeling on the subject of religion. But if it is neither intellectual perception nor conviction of the truth, nor mere feeling about the truth, what is it?
I like to let one Scripture explain another, so I want to remark that the word translated “faith,” or “belief,” as used in the saving sense, is, in several other places in the New Testament, translated “commit,” or “committal,” the giving of one’s self to another.
What is faith? It is giving myself up to God, “risking” myself, risking my all, for this life and for the next, on the truthfulness and the goodness of God, and daring to live and act contrary to everybody around me, as if all that God has said were true!
Faith is, all through the Scriptures, represented as a voluntary thing. It is a thing you can do or leave undone. Faith must be a voluntary committal of your heart to Him. God wants your heart. Then He will enlighten your intellect. Faith is a thing of the heart, hence the philosophy of the Scripture, which says, “For with the heart man believes unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10 KJV).
Dare you not pledge yourself to His throne and link yourself on to His almightiness? He waits for your choice. He knocks at the door of your heart. He woos your love.
Catherine Booth, Life and Death