The reason is, that he who does not believe in Christ, has already turned away from God and quite separated himself from him. Therefore he cannot have the Holy Spirit, nor originate good thoughts, nor have a true, hearty pleasure in living according to God’s will; notwithstanding he may outwardly assume a different appearance, like a hypocrite, and act so as not to be rebuked or chastised. Just like a bad, ill-behaved servant, who is inimical to his master, and does what he hates to do, only because he is compelled, and as opportunity arises, does evil. Such are the beautiful, precious fruits, produced by this fountain and stem, if Christ is not accepted and heard as the Savior, presented to us by God in order to blot out our sin and to take from us God’s wrath.
13. Therefore I say, however, you cannot have committed so many sins, neither is Satan such an invincible enemy of yours, but that all is taken away and forgiven as soon as you begin to believe. For through faith you have Christ as your own treasure, who was given to you for the very purpose of taking away sin; and who will be so bold as to condemn Christ?
34. So, we see everywhere in the Scriptures that faith is such an unspeakably great thing that we can never preach about it sufficiently nor reach it with words. It cannot be heard and seen, therefore it must be believed. Such is the nature of faith that it feels nothing at all, but merely follows the words which it hears, and clings to them. If you believe, you have; if you believe not, you have not. In this wise must we understand this article of faith, that Christ is ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God.
7. But let no one think that the apostles were altogether unbelieving; they believed what was written in the Law and the prophets, although their faith was not yet perfect. There was a faith there and yet no faith; they did not yet believe all things, although they believed that God created heaven and earth, and was the Maker of every creature. So the apostles were not altogether without faith, for they had faith in part. Faith is a thing that always grows. It is with faith as with a man who is ill and begins to get well — is increasing in strength. Therefore the Lord shows where they did not believe, and what they lacked; it was that they did not believe the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Although they believed the other things, they were still lacking in this. I hold that they believed that they had a gracious God. Yet this was not enough; they must believe also the resurrection of Christ. The Lord upbraided them with their unbelief, reproved them and said that in spite of all they had seen, they were not believing, they still lacked in a certain article of faith, namely the article on the resurrection. Hence Christ’s words to them at the Last Supper: “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1.