“As Jesus Christ and the apostles often speak of faith and the truth indifferently, or to the same purpose, we may just point at a few instances. John i, 17, Truth came by Jesus Christ. Gal. iii, 23, But before faith came. Verse 25, But after that faith is come. John xvii, 19, That they also might be sanctified through the truth. Acts xxvi, 18, which are sanctified by faith that is in me. John xvi, 13, the Spirit of truth. 2 Cor. iv, 13, the Spirit of faith. John xviii, 37, every one that is of the truth. Gal. iii, 9, they which be of faith. Acts vi, 7, obedient to the faith. 1 Pet. i, 22, in obeying the truth. 2 Tim. i, 5, the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also. 2 John ver. 2, for the truth’s sake that dwelleth in us. 3 John ver. 3, the truth that is in thee. I might likewise take notice of many other phrases, where the style is somewhat varied, but which still carry the same meaning; as where Paul, Rom. v, speaks of being justified by faith, and justified by his blood; by both which it is plain, he means the same thing.
Every one who believes the same truth which the apostles believed, has equally precious faith with them. He has unfeigned faith, and shall assuredly be saved. If any man’s faith be found insufficient to save him, it is owing to this, that what he believed for truth, was not the very same thing that the apostles believed, but some lie connected with, or dressed up in the form of truth. So this faith can do him no good; because, however seriously and sincerely he believes, yet that which he believes is false, and therefore it cannot save him. There is but one genuine truth that can save men.
To illustrate this matter, let it be remembered that the saving truth which the apostles believed was, That Jesus is the Christ. The apostles had one uniform fixed sense to these words, and the whole New Testament is writ to ascertain to us in what sense they understood them. Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ in a different sense from the apostles, or who maintains anything in connection with these words subversive of their real meaning, believes a falsehood; so his faith cannot save him. In the days of the apostles many affirmed along with them, that Jesus is the Christ, who yet meant very differently from them. The far greater part of Christendom will affirm in like manner; yet we shall not easily find many who, when they come to explain themselves, have the same meaning with the apostles. Let us, then, lay aside all questions about faith, or how a man believes; and let the only question be: What does he believe? What sense does he put on the apostolic doctrine about the way of salvation?” (Sandeman).
Regarding the first paragraph and the comparison of being “justified by faith” and “justified by His blood.” Faith has an object (namely, Jesus Christ) and so many times in Scripture faith is put for the object of one’s faith. For instance, in the gospels Christ tells a woman that her faith has saved her or made her well. Clearly this is a figure of speech that puts her faith for the object of her faith since it was Christ Himself who made her well or whole.
Mormons and Arminians would be one example of those who believe “that Jesus is the Christ in a different sense from the apostles” and “who [maintain things] in connection with these words subversive of their real meaning,” and who therefore “[believe] a [damning] falsehood.”
Sandeman had written:
“Let us, then, lay aside all questions about faith, or how a man believes; and let the only question be: What does he believe?” (Sandeman)
Calvinists who cloud the gospel with malignant mysticism do not care so much about WHAT essential gospel doctrines every believer believes, as they do about HOW every believer believes (the “HOW” for these Calvinists being some psychological state that is MORE THAN assenting to understood propositions of the true gospel). Next Page (24)