Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises, and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.
That is a statement worth thinking back over and meditating upon.
Of course the Bible is filled with statements that faith is the only way that one attains eternal life. Remember John’s words in the opening of his gospel?
As many as received Him to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe (i.e. place their faith in Christ) in His name” (John 1:12).
And did not the apostle Paul express that same thought?
For by grace you have been saved through faith . . . (Eph. 2:8).
In fact, the word faith is used in the Bible nearly 250 times. But what Piper is talking about is the nature of saving faith, and I appreciate his clarification. He is saying that true faith is more than a ticket to heaven. We don’t place our faith in Christ only because He is reliable and trustworthy (even though He is). But we find in our moment of faith that he is desirable. To express it in simpler terms: We love Him.
Paul makes the point again,
But if any man loves God, the same is known by Him. (I Cor. 8:3).
Therefore, the Christian finds Jesus Christ to not only be reliable but also desirable. The believer will find that he not only trusts the Lord, but that he also loves the Lord.
Do we trust Him more than the things of this world?
Do we love Him more than the things of this world?