Faith is that my whole heart takes to itself this treasure. It is not my doing, not my presenting or giving, not my work or preparation, but that a heart comforts itself, and is perfectly confident with respect to this, namely, that God makes a present and gift to us, and not we to Him, that He sheds upon us every treasure of grace in Christ.
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Part 3. What is justifying faith?
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The Huberites have this to say about the Holy Spirit's faith - the righteousness of Christ.
WELS Siegbert W. Becker:
"Faith does nothing more than accept the forgiveness proclaimed in the Gospel. It is not a condition we must fulfill before we can be forgiven. It is not a cause of forgiveness on account of which God forgives us. The forgiveness comes first. Faith is merely the response to the message. God says to us, “Your sins are forgiven.” This is objective justification, and God’s message to us is true whether we believe it or not. Faith makes God’s message its own and says, “My sins are forgiven.” This is subjective justification. The whole doctrine is just as simple as that." Page 12, The Place of Faith
WELS Our Great Heritage states, "And yet many Lutherans still labor under the delusion that God does not forgive us unless we believe. Instead of seeing faith as nothing more than the spiritual hand with which we make the forgiveness of God our own, they see it as a reason why God forgives us. They believe that Christ has indeed provided forgiveness for all men, that God is willing to forgive them, but before he really forgives he first of all demands that we should be sorry for our sins and that we should have faith. Just have faith they say, and then God will forgive you. All the right words are there. The only thing wrong is that the words are in the wrong order. God does not forgive us IF we have faith. He has forgiven us long ago when he raised his Son from the dead." (p. 59)" WELS MLC President Mark Zarling, "Faith does nothing more than receive the forgiveness which is offered in the Gospel. It is not a condition we fulfill nor is it a cause of forgiveness. We are already forgiven. God's message of justification in Christ is there whether we believe it or not. Faith then receives the blessings." And, "Faith that accepts the good news of universal justification is the work of God the Holy Ghost." Page 7
WELS AZ/CA DP Pastor Jon Buchholz
"Faith doesn’t bring anything into existence that doesn’t already exist. Faith doesn’t cause something to happen. Faith simply grasps— trusts—something that already is in place." Page 14
August Pieper, third volume of the Quartalschrift , "But whoever molests the doctrine of justification stabs the gospel in the heart ...even if he ever so much emphasizes justification by faith."
(W)ELS sister Synod the CELC
Faith is like the empty hand of a beggar, which receives the gift that someone puts in it. If the beggar refuses to accept the money, which is given to him, he gets no blessings from it. Yet it is not the beggar who creates the gift. The gift is already there and it is reached out to him without his cooperation. In the same way it is with faith.
From Another Reader: