(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 347

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347. As to the formation of faith: it is effected by man's going to the Lord, learning truths from the Word, and living according to them. First: Faith is formed by man's going to the Lord, because faith that is faith, or that is a saving faith, is from the Lord and in the Lord. That it is from the Lord is evident from His words to His disciples:
Abide in Me, and I in you for apart from Me, ye can do nothing (John 15:4, 5).
That it is faith in the Lord, is evident from the passages presented in abundance (n. 337, 338), to the effect that men ought to believe in the Son. Since then faith is from the Lord and in the Lord, it may be said that the Lord is faith itself, for its life and essence are in Him, and thus from Him. [2] Secondly: Faith is formed by man's learning truths from the Word, because faith in its essence is truth; for all things that enter into faith are truths; consequently faith is nothing but a complex of truths shining in the mind of man; for truths teach not only that man ought to believe, but also in whom he ought to believe, and what he ought to believe. Truths ought to be taken from the Word, because all truths that conduce to salvation are in the Word, and there is efficacy in them because they are given by the Lord, and are therefore inscribed on the whole angelic heaven; consequently when man learns truths from the Word, he comes into communion and consociation with angels beyond what he knows. Faith destitute of truths like grain without inner substance, which when ground yields nothing but bran; while faith from truths is like useful grain, which when ground yields flour. In a word, the essentials of faith are truths; and if truths do not reside in and constitute the faith, it is only like the shrill sound of a whistle; but when they do reside in and constitute it, faith is like a voice of glad tidings. [3] Thirdly: Faith is formed by man's living according to truths, because spiritual life is life according to truths, and truths do not actually live until they are in deeds. Truths abstracted from deeds are merely matters of thought, and unless they become of the will also, are only in the entrance to the man, and thus are not inwardly in him; for the will is the man himself, and the thought is so far the man, in quantity and quality, as it adjoins the will to itself. He who learns truths and does not practice them, is like one who sows seed in a field and does not harrow it in; and consequently the seed becomes swollen by the rain and is spoiled. But he who learns truths and practises them, is like one who sows the seed and covers it, and the rain causes it to grow to a crop and to be of use for food. The Lord says:
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them (John 8:17)
And again:
He that was sown upon the good ground, this is he that heareth the Word and giveth heed; who also beareth fruit and bringeth forth (Matt. 13:23);
Everyone that heareth these My words, and doth them, I will liken him unto a prudent man, who built his house upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these My words and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand (Matt. 7:24, 26).
All words of the Lord are truths.


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